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Overlooked Leaks


Overlooked Leaks

Leaks can occur in many different areas on your home.  These same leaks may also have a variety of causes.   This article will cover some of the more overlooked causes.  Please see our other topics about leak diagnosis for some of the more common causes of leaks into your home.  Lets start with humidity inside your home especially in the winter months.  Many times homeowners will seek to increase the humidity of the air inside there homes as the cooler months set in with dryer air.  This well intentioned increase in humidity can have some undesirable affect if left unchecked. 

        Our staff once received a call for help diagnosing a water leak in the upper hall bathroom ceiling of a home.  This call seemed rather unusually since it had not rained in over a week but the caller indicated it was currently leaking water into the ceiling.  We arrived at the home and immediately had indications of the problem before leaving our trucks.  From the driveway we could see interior condensation on the lower parts of most front windows. When the homeowner opened the door we were greeted by what could only be described as a tropical paradise minus the palm trees.  The home owner informed us that they preferred a more summer like environment and as such they had disconnected the dryer vent and were shooting the warm moist air directly into the home.  Not only was this unsafe in our opinion it had the effect of adding a tremendous amount of water vapor to the homes interior.  The homeowner showed us the water stain in the bathroom ceiling near the bath fan.  We informed the homeowner that the reason they were seeing a water stain in this location was due to the excessive humidity in the home traveling up the cold bath fan pipe which had no insulation around it.  This metal pipe was running trough a very cold attic.  When the humid air traveled up the pipe it was condensing and running back into the bathroom ceiling.  We advised them to properly reconnect the dryer vent immediately and lower the humidity level in the house to a more reasonable level.  They were also advised to insulated the bath fan vent pipe along with checking the flapper valve in the bath fan to make sure it was closing when the fan was not being used.  If you see condensation on your windows you may want to check the humidity level in your home.

         Town homes can add a little complication to leaks since you may need your neighbors help in finding and correcting the source of some leaks. Many town homes use the siding on a neighbors home to cover the roof flashing on the unit that they actually reside in. If your unit sets forward or backwards from your neighbors unit chances are you have roof jumps on your roof.  Roof jumps are where an adjacent roof either steps up or down from the current roof.  These roof jumps usually create a small wall that can be covered by siding that runs up the roof line.  Quite often you will find the siding on your neighbors unit is cover the roof step flashing on your unit.  This is why if you have a roof leak in your upper floor it may not always be due to something on your town home.  Many times we see the siding on these jump walls above the roof lines work loose on town homes.  Once this occurs if the siding is not covering the roof flashing water can leak in. When you see your neighbors siding begin to work loose it may be a good idea to inform them of the situation.  This may save both you and your neighbors the grief of a leak into your homes.

         One final leak area we want to cover is that of leaking vents such as ridge vent, stagnate vents and other various vents.  For the most part theses vents are very water tight and don’t present any problems but occasionally someone may experience a leak in one of these vents.  The most common leak on ridge vents we find is water from driven rain blowing up under these vent.  This can occurs when the vent itself lifts slightly for various reasons or when you have the roof sheath dip slightly.  This can be corrected by your roofing professional by resealing and securing the ridge vent.  If you have a section come loose and is damaged it may be best to just replace that one section.  Your roofing professional can advise you if this applies to your home.  As far as all the other types of vents it is best to have your professional roofer inspect any vents located near a leak area just to eliminate them as a possible cause of your leak.  Maryland Shingle is a full service roofing and siding company.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any roofing and siding needs.

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