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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    2

    Default Leak from a first-floor ceiling?

    Hi,

    First time poster, so apologies if this is the wrong forum... This morning, I came downstairs to find a small puddle of water below an in-ceiling speaker. I pulled out the speaker, and found that the sheetrock was damp, and that one of the adjacent joists had some moist spots on it. I couldn't get my hand in all the way, but it looked like some of the moisture started towards the exterior of the house, though one of the spots was in the middle of the joist.

    I dried up the wet sheetrock with some rags, but now I'm trying to figure out where this water came from! It seems like an ice dam type of situation, but it's a first-floor ceiling, and there's no roofing or flashing near where the joist meets the outside wall.

    I looked in the attic, but didn't see any signs of moisture leaking down the framing towards a joist, and (knock on wood) I haven't seen any other puddles anywhere in the house (even in the bedroom directly above the in-ceiling speaker).

    Any thoughts on what's going on? We've had a ton of snow, and have huge, melting icicles hanging off the gutters and window casings, so I really am convinced there's some sort of ice dam here. Is it possible that I'd see the effect as seepage into a first-floor ceiling joist?

    Many thanks in advance for your thoughts!

    --Jacob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Needham, MA
    Posts
    559

    Default Re: Leak from a first-floor ceiling?

    these are tough things to figure out. a leak showing up 10'-15' from where is started is much more common than you might think. not your issue, but a for instance....a leak coming coming in around the chimney in the center of a house can run 10' down a roof rafter then start dripping onto the attic floor and soak the ceiling in a bedroom. the way i would handle it is to find the closest possible entry point above the level of the water you found. possibly around a second floor window or where something vents nearby like a bath fan or stove hood.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Leak from a first-floor ceiling?

    Quote Originally Posted by mobykoby View Post
    Hi,

    First time poster, so apologies if this is the wrong forum... This morning, I came downstairs to find a small puddle of water below an in-ceiling speaker. I pulled out the speaker, and found that the sheetrock was damp, and that one of the adjacent joists had some moist spots on it. I couldn't get my hand in all the way, but it looked like some of the moisture started towards the exterior of the house, though one of the spots was in the middle of the joist.

    I dried up the wet sheetrock with some rags, but now I'm trying to figure out where this water came from! It seems like an ice dam type of situation, but it's a first-floor ceiling, and there's no roofing or flashing near where the joist meets the outside wall.

    I looked in the attic, but didn't see any signs of moisture leaking down the framing towards a joist, and (knock on wood) I haven't seen any other puddles anywhere in the house (even in the bedroom directly above the in-ceiling speaker).

    Any thoughts on what's going on? We've had a ton of snow, and have huge, melting icicles hanging off the gutters and window casings, so I really am convinced there's some sort of ice dam here. Is it possible that I'd see the effect as seepage into a first-floor ceiling joist?

    Many thanks in advance for your thoughts!

    --Jacob
    From what you provided I don't see there's an issue from the roof.
    Sounds like water coming in through a wall or perhaps a window. By chance is there a window in the room above on the outside wall that's close to the joist that was wet?
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Leak from a first-floor ceiling?

    Thanks. Yeah, Looking at it more, I think the water seeped in through the siding on the exterior wall. The house is a center-hall colonial and the first floor room is a dining room, with a bedroom directly above. Each has two windows. We've had a lot of snow and ice, with large icicles dripping down the side of the house. I'm guessing that when the icicles melted some of the water seeped through the siding and into the joist.

    I guess I'll leave the hole in the ceiling open for a bit, to let things dry out fully. Then, once all the snow and ice melts, take a look at the siding to see if anything needs patching/caulking.

    Thanks for the tips!

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