A few days ago I was down in my basement and noticed a bit of water dripping from pretty high up the wall. I have a few vertical cracks in my poured concrete foundation that will leak a bit when it’s pouring outside, but this was different, it’s not raining, it’s not warm enough to cause enough of a melt and this was in a different place, it was much higher up.
Upon closer inspection I noticed that it was coming from above the foundation. I just assumed there was snow against the outside wall. I went outside and found not only no snow anywhere near the house, but a little bit of water dripping down from under the siding (the siding goes past the top of the foundation as you would expect).
I went back down to the basement to get a better look. I put my hand up on the sill plate and found it not just wet but a bit rotten. Not to the point that it needs to be replaced, but it’s clear this has been going on for a while, it’s just the first time I’ve noticed it and/or the first time it’s happened to the point where the water has dripped down the wall. My guess at this point was that water is entering the roof, coming down between the siding at wall, over the sill and into the basement.
Today I finally got a chance to get into the attic. The first thing I did was to walk outside and see what I could see. Snow was melting around the bathroom fan vent.
Went into the attic and sure enough, in that general area it’s clear there’s been water penetration. I can see black stains, I can see some in another section as well, I’m not sure if that’s another problem or part of the same issue though (could go either way). The vent is very very close to the eve, far closer then I’m able to finagle myself into without getting hurt so I couldn’t get a good look at it. I’m sort of hoping that maybe it’s just disconnected. If that’s the case, it could just be steam from the shower condensing on the underside of the roof, wouldn’t that be an easy fix. If that’s all it is, I’ll find a way to get in there and fix it myself. I think my next step is to take a long hot shower (or just fill up the bath with hot water) without running the fan on a cold day and then turn it on and go outside. I should be able to see steam pouring out the vent. I’m guessing, however, that the vent is just fine as I only saw the problem in that one area. If it wasn’t connected I’d imagine I would have seen signs of the water damage/mold all the way up to the peak. Also, the snow was pretty evenly melted all the way around the vent outside. I don’t think that would happen if it wasn’t connected.
Anyways, if I am having damming issues, is that something I would need to replace the roof to deal with? I know the roof is about 15 years old and it wasn’t done that well to begin with. Also there’s a skylight that needs to be replaced as well so it’s not the end of the world. It would also mean, if a tearoff (or partial tearoff) is done the couple of pieces of sheathing that have mildew on them can be replaced right away as well. I know you don’t have to do a tearoff if you only have one set of shingles, but I figure if I have the money now, might as well do it now, rather then having to tearoff 3 roofs when I don’t have the money (of course, by then it might be someone else’s problem)
I was >< this close to having my Line of Credit paid off. Seriously. A month or two, a tax refund, maybe another month or two and the LOC would be gone. I guess it’s better that I found this out now, I’d rather owe on the LOC for another year then have to save up for a year to get a leaky roof fixed. Remember leaks get bigger not smaller.