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wet spot on ceiling under inaccessible attic

I have an old house, built in several steps. The crawl spaces between the ceiling and roof are connected by only by narrow air vent. There are two wet spots on the ceiling; there is no obvious damage on the shingle roof above and no way to get access to the crawl space above the wet spots. Any ideas or experience would be welcome.

Re: wet spot on ceiling under inaccessible attic

I wouldn't initially suspect the area above the spots. The damage may be higher up and that's where the water finally settles to drip through.

You said that there's an air vent in there. Is this duct work? condensation can come from duct work and drip.

I would really get in there through your ceiling and find the culprit.

Best of luck.

Re: wet spot on ceiling under inaccessible attic

Does the "narrow air vent" lead to a ridge vent where the ventilation is supposed to exit? If so, inspect that from the roof side for any areas where water may be getting in. (exposed nail heads, etc). At least it is something to check before having to cut an access to the attic.

As Debbie said the source of the water is probably higher than where it shows up on the ceiling.

A. Spruce
Re: wet spot on ceiling under inaccessible attic

Yup, very rarely are leaks actually located where drips or moisture damage occur. Look higher up the roof line. I fully understand the inaccessible attic situation. Still, get where you can access and inspect the underside of the roof from ridge to soffit. Look for any discoloration or water staining, even if it's just a hint, then inspect the surface wherever you find telltale signs from underneath.

Re: wet spot on ceiling under inaccessible attic

This is similar to a situation that we are having in our bathroom. We had a nasty rainstorm last night (we got about 3 inches)and this morning found a water mark on the ceiling in the bathroom. It's about 18inches long and conical shaped. I punctured the mark with a small screwdriver and while the ceiling felt softer in that area than the areas outside of the mark, no water came from the puncture mark. The access to the attic is in the ceiling above the stairs leading down to the basement, and is difficult to get to. Should I be worried?

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