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Water leaking from the ceiling

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: Mar 20 2003

We have a foam roof that is now in need of re-coating (the 5yr mark). Over the last couple of years we have found some spots on the ceiling inside and some areas outside were condensation seems to be coming through the ceiling boards after it rains. It seems to be mostly in the areas were the down spouts are. After all the rain this week it's happening again inside (leaking in the second bathroom and one bedroom right next to the bath). We have been told our roof is not leaking, but rather condensation from heat raising in the house and the moisture that has built up between the ceiling boards and the foam roof due to the rain. We just had the house painted last spring and now we will need to repaint some areas under the over hang again because they get these 'rusty looking spots" from were the water is dripping.

Has anyone ever heard of this or experienced it? Right now I have a bowl in both rooms to catch the drips coming through the ceiling boards. As one roofer told us "Eichler roofs are a science experiment". Not liking my house very much right now!!!

Joined: Apr 2 2003


You've been in your home a few years now, how long ago did you notice the leaking?

Did you have more than roofing company look at the problem?

I have to say I'm highly suspicious of "condensation" that just happens to be around where downspouts penetrate the foam. I'd take a look myself and consider using some exterior grade caulking where pipes intersect the foam--anything that looks suspicious. Obviously, you'll also want to make sure the downspouts are clear of debris. (I'm guessing you have the wire mesh inserts--these unroll for easier cleaning. Then just roll them back up and reinsert.)

Good luck.

eichfan at rawbw dot com

Joined: Mar 22 2003

Hi Dana:

Is your roof under warranty? Was it the installation roofing company that told you that your roof was 'not leaking?'

I agree with Jake. Having to put down bowls to catch condensation is ridiculous and I seriously doubt that this is the cause. If it were so, then why don't most, if not all Eichlers or similar flat-roof homes have this problem? If it were so, just how long would it be before roofing companies would be out of business or refusing Eichler work, due to interior property damage insurance claims?

We had something similar on our 2 year old foam roof (this was several years back) during the worst of the el nino storms. Ours was in a corner of the bathroom and we suspected the leak was where the flashing met the roof. We called the roofing company, since it was and still is under warranty. They came out immediately and successfully patched it (though it took two tries) and we have not had a problem since.

In discussing leak issues with the roofers I interviewed for a roofing article last year, virtually all of them indicated that "you do the absolute best installation job you can, but until the heavy storms come, you just cannot be 100% sure that they are leak free." In a situation like yours, my guess would be that it is not terribly uncommon and that the repair department of your roofing company should be able to fix it. It may take some time, as leak detection can be challenging at times, but they should be able to make it happen, and you should absolutely insist that they do.

Please keep us posted on your progress. This is stacking up to be a very wet winter and we'd like to see you get those bowls off the floor!


Joined: Mar 20 2003

Hi Dana,

Sounds like typical leaks to me, not condensation. The 'rust' is from water seeping down through the roof. You likely have a 20 year or so warranty on your roof (and a foam recoating due?), have your roofer fix it asap. /Gloria

Joined: Mar 20 2003

Thanks everyone for the feedback. The guy who did the last re-coating is coming out on Friday to take a look. He said he told us last year at the 5yr mark it was time to re-coat and there is a good reason for that. Anyway besides the re-coating he is also going to check out the downspouts and we also want him to check out the flashing. It seems like all the rust spots and leaks are in the same area as the downspouts. He didn't put on the original roof which he said was not a great job (last homeowner hired those people), but he did the last re-coating (also hired by the last owner). Anyway he really seems to know his roofs so hopefully we can get this fixed before anymore damage is done to the carpet and wall.

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