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leak in my bedroom PLEASE HELP!

I don't know if you'll be able to help with this, but I have a problem with water seeping into my house. I live outside of Denver, and it has snowed a lot here. I noticed last night that there are a couple spots in my bedroom where the carpet is wet. Before I bought my house, my bedroom was remodeled from an old one car garage, and it against the most outside wall. My house is also an a-frame house, and the most run-off from the melting snow is on that side of the house. It isn't along the whole wall, just some parts of it. My guess is that there just isn't enough weather proofing along that wall on the outside or inside of the house. What can I do to make sure that stops happening? Thank you so much!

Re: leak in my bedroom PLEASE HELP!

Darn those leaks always happen in winter...

Without seeing it it's hard to recommend.

From my experience, spots like you describle sometimes need better flashing and tar. If the roof is old, it might be the right time to think about roof replacement.

Get the opinions of experienced roofers.

This past October I delt with a nagging roof leak in a trouble spot in a rental house. After 'fixing' it multiple times in the last 3 seasons (and we get very little rain) I re-roofed the entire house with dimentional shingles (it was a 24 year old 3 tab roof).

Re: leak in my bedroom PLEASE HELP!

This condition is often caused in areas that get a lot of snow and freezing rain by what's known as roof ICE DAMS.

In turn, ice dams are caused by a combination of factors, all of which have the effect of allowing the snow melt that accumulates on the roof to freeze at the lower 3' to 5' of the lower part of the roof near the eaves, often because there is too much heat inside the attic due to lack of joist and/or rafter insulation----this causes warmth from the heated part of the house to drift into the attic, warm the upper portions of the roof deck, causing snow melt, which then runs down the shingles to the lower 3' of the outer roof & freezes there, since there is less heat at the outer lower edges of the roof.

Another reason for ice dams is that there is no air ventilation (soffit vents) at the roof soffits (at the lower base of the roof), which are often missing altogether, or blocked with ice/insulation/dirt; often a ridge vent is missing as well.

What effect all this has is to prevent the attic from STAYING COLD, so that a melt-freeze cycle causes ice at the lower parts of the roof (large icicles at the edge/base of the roof are a tell-tale sign of ice dams); once ice forms at the lower portion of the roof, the subsequent snow melt water is forced to back up under the shingles and seeps thru the roof deck/rafters & works its way into the ceiling & outer walls of the living space, often following the walls down to the interior carpet.

Local building codes now mandate in almost all snow areas that a "snow shield" membrane of synthetic rubber roofing material be put down for at least the lower 6' of roof deck before the shingles are installed to minimize ice dam leakage; roofs with a lower pitch of 4" or so need even more "snow shield" coverage.

As a quick fix, some homeowners take a rubber mallet & try to break up the ice dams by going up on a ladder, so that the ice melt can get flowing again----it's hazardous to climb on a ladder in snowy/icy/slippery weather & letting a roofing contractor do it is a better idea---also, the shingles are very brittle in cold weather (especially if they're old) so it's easy to damage the roof this way.

Another quick fix attempt is to fill an old leg of panty hose with calcium chloride snow melt & bridge the ice dam as a way to try & get the snow melt flowing again into the gutters.

Other homeowners try to have elec heating cables installed at the eaves of the roof, as this is a relatively low cost attempt to solve the problem until the snow period is over; this may or may not work, but other things have to be done as well; by all means check the roof for any missing or torn shingles and make repairs as the weather/snow pack allows.

A secondary measure is to greatly increase the amount of insulation in the attic joists in order to get the attic as cold as possible during the winter snow period; in conjunction with this is to increase the attic ventilation by installing soffit vents & ridge vents to increase cold air circulation for a colder attic; adding vents on both gables is an alternative method.

Attic insulation, either blown in cellulose or blankets you install yourself is surprisingly low cost, and is a solid investment that will pay off handsomely for many years in saved heating & cooling bills, as well as helping to eliminate ice dams.


Re: leak in my bedroom PLEASE HELP!

I appreciate both of your replies.

I don't think that the water is coming from the roof, I think it is coming from the ground outside. There was no water on the cieling or floor, and that is why I am sure it is coming from outside. There is a lot to read about waterproofing basments, but I need to know how to waterproof the outside wall of that room. Again, that bedroom was converted from a one car garage (more like a car port). I think there might just be a crack or something in the waterproofing that was done when the garage was converted into a bedroom. There is no water in the basement, it is under the house, and not under the garage.

What can I do to fix that problem?

Re: leak in my bedroom PLEASE HELP!

The first task is to verify the source of the leak----don't rule out roof ice dams yet---check for any ice dams on the lower roof shingles; such leakage has a tendency to show up at the weirdest locations after following any vertical wall down to the carpet.

On the other hand, check any windows/doors in the vicinity of the water leak---there is an exterior horizontal aluminum or plastic flashing piece (drip cap flashing) that spans the exterior width of the upper portion of the window/door that is designed to keep out rain or melt water coming down the exterior siding of the house.

Even a partially rotted or cracked wood or plastic sill at the exterior bottom of the window is a possibility.

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