Possible causes of leak in ceiling?

Old 01-29-17, 07:39 AM
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Possible causes of leak in ceiling?

Hi folks,

After heavy rains recently, we noticed that the ceiling in the upstairs bathroom has a tiny leak.

The small crack (attached image) has been there earlier, just never paid attention to it.

The leak was tiny, a very slow drip-drip that later stopped, but I have no idea whether this is a small or big problem. What are the possible reasons for this to happen? Does it necessarily mean a leak in the roof above, or could it be something else?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Thanks a lot in advance,
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Old 01-29-17, 07:47 AM
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If the leak only occurs when it rains, yeah it is pretty obviously a roof leak.

We would need a picture of the roof, with the area above the leak circled or otherwise identified. Some areas can be obvious sources of leaks, others not so obvious. But with no information we can't help you. Since you say it is a bathroom, the first thing I would suspect is the roof boot from the vent pipe.
Old 02-22-17, 01:29 PM
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Where the leak comes into a room, and where it come through the roof can be two different spots. We had such a case with our first house. Only way to find it was to go in the attic during rain and look around. Rain can run under shingles before coming through the wood.

If your shingles are near the end of their life then (try to) bite the bullet and get them replaced. if they are fairly new, try to find the spot and try roofing cement (a tar like compound).

In our case we discovered the shingles were in horrible conditions, much much worse than what the house inspector told us. So I used a lot of roofing cement and then had the shingles replaced shortly afterwards.
Old 02-22-17, 01:51 PM
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Check the plumbing vent boots on your roof, very common for these to fail over the years and need replacement. You can go into the attic and look from below with no lights on. If you see daylight, that is the cause of your problem.
Old 02-22-17, 02:25 PM
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Other common leak locations are roof/attic vents and vents for bath fans.
Old 02-22-17, 03:39 PM
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If you have attic access you should be able to see water stains that will pinpoint the origin of the leaky area.

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