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Old 12-03-2018, 10:19 AM   #1
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Roof leak or condensation buildup?


Just wondering if there is an easy way to tell if water damage on the celing is a result of a roof leak, or condensation build up in the house.

Here are some pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/6w9uajoAcbcgYpbT8

I drilled a hole from the bottom and stuck a wire so i can be directly over the damged area.

The worst of it is in the corner but there is a bit of mold along the wall too.

Because the damage is in the corner, its very difficult to see the draywall/roof from the attic. However with the limited pictures i managed to snap it looks pretty dry.

I did order a moisture meter, and plan on testing both sides. Is there any thing else i can look for?

This is an older house, with no kitchen exhaust fan.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:47 AM   #2
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Re: Roof leak or condensation buildup?


A few thoughts:
1. A roof leak is not limited to winter, more a factor of rain.
2. Nails are a first place where condensation will form and often show a stain around them and I think I'm seeing that.
3. Difficult to see, but I don't see a ventilation path from soffit into the attic.
4. Do you have bath exhaust fans and are they vented to the outside and where?
5. Has this been happening every year?
6. Have you had any snow accumulation with ice?

Bud
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Old 12-03-2018, 12:06 PM   #3
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1. Completely agree. This has been happening since at least spring.

2. There may have been a more serious leak in this area before we got the house as wall in the corner does have some damage, but right now it doesnt have any water staining on it, andbthe roof has been redone 4 years ago. So perhaps looking at the nails may be misleading. House is 60+ years old, but i may be wrong.

3. Not really sure what to look for there.

4. Bathroom is vented outside, opposite side of the roof, since a year ago. Not near.

5. It started months ago, and is slowly but progressively getting worse.


If it is condensation, Im wondering if me moving the insulation in the attic made it worse.

6. We had sniwfall but this goes back months if nit a year+.

Hope that sheds some light.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
A few thoughts:
1. A roof leak is not limited to winter, more a factor of rain.
2. Nails are a first place where condensation will form and often show a stain around them and I think I'm seeing that.
3. Difficult to see, but I don't see a ventilation path from soffit into the attic.
4. Do you have bath exhaust fans and are they vented to the outside and where?
5. Has this been happening every year?
6. Have you had any snow accumulation with ice?

Bud
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:16 PM   #4
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Re: Roof leak or condensation buildup?


Can you post pictures of the outside of the roof?
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:24 PM   #5
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Not sure if these are good enough:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/3UzdRcr1xi6SWW1Z8


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Can you post pictures of the outside of the roof?
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:50 PM   #6
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Re: Roof leak or condensation buildup?


Looks like a newer roof, and with nothing in that corner I doubt it's leaking,unless there's something I can't see.
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:19 PM   #7
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Re: Roof leak or condensation buildup?


whats going on with that cluster on the neighbors house? Is that some combo of solar panels and skylights?
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:21 PM   #8
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Re: Roof leak or condensation buildup?


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Looks like a newer roof, and with nothing in that corner I doubt it's leaking,unless there's something I can't see.
I tend to agree...my only but is..... that seems like some serious condensation isolated to a small area.
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:39 PM   #9
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Yup roof has been done 4 years ago.

Thats my question too...its only there. I had a roofer come in and he look only on the inside and said its condensation. He mentioned if uts not propetly insulated in that area, condensation will build up in that spot.

Does my idea of checking moisture with a meter on both sides make sense? If itll show moist on the inside and dry on the other side, is ot safe to assume its condensation?

Btw...no idea whats up with the neighbour, definitely solar panels.
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Old 12-03-2018, 03:55 PM   #10
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Re: Roof leak or condensation buildup?


I'm not sure what a moisture meter will tell you about the source.
But I did residential roofing fro about 28 years and every once in a while I found some very odd sources of leaks. Leaks that often showed up inside a long way from the outside.
Twice in my 28 years the source of a leak was a bullet.
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:02 PM   #11
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Re: Roof leak or condensation buildup?


an odd ball for instance....a very slim chance but not impossible.
That vent up at the top...
Somehow water gets in at that vent, runs to the hip rafter then rolls down the hip rafter till it hits something that pushes it down off the rafter on to the drywall.
THAT IS NOT A SUGGESTION....just a hypothetical example of the occasional bizarre things that can happen.
The only thing that says condensation is its a new roof and an odd spot.
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:06 PM   #12
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Re: Roof leak or condensation buildup?


Quote:
Originally Posted by craig11152 View Post
I'm not sure what a moisture meter will tell you about the source.

Twice in my 28 years the source of a leak was a bullet.
Toronto is a bit of a war zone these days, high probability.
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:16 PM   #13
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Re: Roof leak or condensation buildup?


Attics tend to be warmer than outside year round due to solar heat. Only during the colder months would the attic temp drop low enough to expect condensations. Those nails extend to the outside just under the shingles so they are often the coldest spot and condense first. Often look like little snowballs. If you are experiencing any moisture issues during warm weather it is not from condensation.

Conversely, if you experience moisture issues when it isn't or hasn't rained for awhile it is unlikely a leak. Correlating the presence of the moisture with the weather and season is important.


IMO, the moisture meter isn't going to tell you a lot. An infrared inspection would be the best and cameras can be rented or home owner inexpensive cameras are available.

Bud
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:30 PM   #14
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Re: Roof leak or condensation buildup?


Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeD View Post
I had a roofer come in and he look only on the inside and said its condensation. He mentioned if its not properly insulated in that area, condensation will build up in that spot.

Seems to make sense. What are we looking at in the attic photos? --- is that just the topside of the drywall?


In the inside corner like that you will have a minimum amount of airflow, so if the drywall is cold, you can get condensation. But it would be cold enough for condensation perhaps from early November to perhaps mid April, depending on the humidity in your house.
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:42 PM   #15
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Re: Roof leak or condensation buildup?


As craig11152 said, it could be lots of things, some of them bizarre. But if the drywall seems solid, I would be more inclined to think condensation. If it is soft, or expanded, I would be more inclined to think leak.
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