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Old 09-01-2011, 08:35 PM   #1
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Need help to locate leak in cathedral ceiling roof


Hi,

We moved into our house a year ago. We just had our first leak with the Irene storm (probably because of the strong winds, but it wasn't hurricane strength here in Canada though). The previous owners told us that they did have a leak two years ago but had it fixed without further issues. Well it looks like whatever the fix was, it wasn't that great.

It's a cathedral ceiling so there's no attic to locate the leak. I'm posting a few pictures here hoping that an expert can tell me the most likely spot for a leak.

Thanks!

-Patrick
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Need help to locate leak in cathedral ceiling roof-p1170310.jpg  

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Old 09-01-2011, 09:12 PM   #2
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Need help to locate leak in cathedral ceiling roof


IMO your leak is somewher on,,and or around that architectural blunder called a dormer.

I can feel confident in saying the top of the dormer should be reroofed and have the pitch raised a bit.The picture gives the dormer the appearance of a higher pitch in the front.

The aprons below the window should be installed.

Have the wall inspected for step flashing.,.,IMO when goo is smeared along the walls its a good bet that it could have step flashing issues.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:31 PM   #3
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Need help to locate leak in cathedral ceiling roof


Thanks. What are my options for a quick fix before winter? I'll look into reframing the top of that dormer for a better slope next summer but time is running out up here in Canada.

Is there a good product that I could apply over the botched patches that could seal the roof for the winter at least? That would buy me some time to fix it properly next summer.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:57 PM   #4
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Need help to locate leak in cathedral ceiling roof


I am sure alot of roofers in your area would jump on the chance to earn some quick free money for a repair.(Without a warranty for repairs or patches.,its a roll of the dice for your problem.)

Free does not mean free in realistic terms.When you goop and smear you are just putting a small band aid on a serious wound.

I will let someone else jump on the idea of a quick fix.That cement will mask it for a little bit.I understand money is tight but.,.,if you have someone patch or smear and they charge $400 and it does not remedy the problem then you have lost $400.

Do that a time or two all along you are having more and more water entry then the cost has gone up.Now you have money invested in a roof that still leaks,saturated insulation,ceiling damage and possibly the spread of mold.

Another issue is how many layers are on the dormer.Adding another layer could be against any building code requirements for your area.

If for some reason multiple layers are present on the dormer and I tell you to add another and you have major snow and ice and it falls in then I feel a bit responsible because you are seeking professional advice.

Not to mention that I am instructing you to break codes and requirements for your area.

You have so many areas that water can be entering that a proper repair is IMHPO your best option.

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Old 09-02-2011, 06:32 AM   #5
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Need help to locate leak in cathedral ceiling roof


Ok, thanks for your advice. Is there a minimum acceptable temperature to install new shingles? It seems like they would be more brittle and prone to cracking when handling them at low temperature.
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Old 09-02-2011, 06:55 AM   #6
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Need help to locate leak in cathedral ceiling roof


You can shingle as low as 30 IF the sun is warming the shingles AND they're spread around a little bit so each can soften. If not, 45-50.

The SBS for the dormer roof needs abot 50 AND rising. I hope you run those valleys 6" to 8" past those dormer corners. Tight like they are now leads to leaks as you may have already noticed. You can find many tips on my site that may help. The chimney page can be very helpfull.
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:50 PM   #7
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Need help to locate leak in cathedral ceiling roof


Tinner is right.,.,I have nailed shingles in the upper 20's.I always made sure that the sun was out.

The area being reroofed/repaired was tore off,,then felted and the bundles are opened and spread out on the felt.After that mother nature takes over removing the chill from the shingles(Black felt+sun= warmer material.

When roofing in frigid temps maintaining a proper air pressure will eliminate nail blow thru.Improper regulation of air will send the nail completely thru both shingles.(The previous shingle and the one being installed.)

When spring storms arrive its a good possibility that its bye,bye roof.The nail should be seated properly in the winter as it should be during all seasons.

Something to think about is the insurance companies (In my area) have really become critical about the criteria for legitimate wind damage.

Meaning tighter guidelines for what is wind damage and what is in fact a mechanical issue.(Workmanship)

Another great way to roof in cold temps is to handnail.

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Old 09-03-2011, 09:31 AM   #8
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Need help to locate leak in cathedral ceiling roof


Thanks guys for your replies. It rained again hard last night but it didn't leak. The difference is that the winds were much lower. I'm gonna chance it and just redo the caulking around the sides of the dormer for now. I know that it's not a permanent solution and I will look into having it properly redone next summer. My brother is a carpenter and has done some roofing jobs in the past so I'm hoping that he can help. He's just super busy building his own house right now (and a few hours away), so that's why I'm looking for a temporary fix.

-Patrick
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:16 PM   #9
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Need help to locate leak in cathedral ceiling roof


That might be a good idea.I would focus on the areas with holes and where the arrows are pointing.IMO
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:30 PM   #10
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Need help to locate leak in cathedral ceiling roof


just an observation, it looks as if in one of those shots that you do have some lift (wind damage). It couldn't hurt to have your insurance put an eyeball on the entire roof (maybe have a roofer there to meet with adjuster) and see if you do have a wind claim. Then you can address ALL the issues with it.

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