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Leak in garage ceiling?


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#1 cdmurphy

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 07:39 AM

During yesterday afternoon's rain, I noticed drops of water beading up along a seam of drywall tape in my garage ceiling. The weird part is that it's in the dead center of the garage, between one of the light bulbs and the garage door opener - nowhere near the door itself. There doesn't seem to be anything leaking upstairs in the bathroom or laundry room - and the fact that it started after it had been raining all day leads me to believe that water's getting in from outside somehow. Has anyone else ever had something like this (especially Centex Fulton owners)? I'll be calling HawkeyeNative's handyman guy as soon as it's a decent hour - he fixed our basement door leak last fall. I just thought I'd see if anyone else has seen this and if it was easily fixable.



#2 Lee j

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 08:01 AM

Water can travel a good distance from where it enters before it is visible or leaking inside.

Hard to say what the exact problem is from cyberspace, but sounds like your handyman will come to the rescue :)

I don't know the design of your home, but if you have a roof directly above part of your garage not a second floor then it is possible it could be the flashing where the roof meets the second floor walls where the water is entering. Which is very common. Then again it can be a million other things even a plumbing leak that just showed up during the rain although highly unlikely but not impossible. Even window leaks can travel from the window to where it shows up inside. Even the flashing around the plumbing stacks flashing around the pipes that penetrate the roof can leak on occasion. Again extremely hard to tell without seeing the situation. My guess it is some kind of flashing leak.

Hey does anyone else here want to take bets on what it is ????? :D You will be unqualified to play if you go to her home and visibly check it out. :)



#3 JuniorMints

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 08:16 AM

During yesterday afternoon's rain, I noticed drops of water beading up along a seam of drywall tape in my garage ceiling. The weird part is that it's in the dead center of the garage, between one of the light bulbs and the garage door opener - nowhere near the door itself. There doesn't seem to be anything leaking upstairs in the bathroom or laundry room - and the fact that it started after it had been raining all day leads me to believe that water's getting in from outside somehow. Has anyone else ever had something like this (especially Centex Fulton owners)? I'll be calling HawkeyeNative's handyman guy as soon as it's a decent hour - he fixed our basement door leak last fall. I just thought I'd see if anyone else has seen this and if it was easily fixable.


I agree with LeeJ

Leaks can be very odd to diagnose sometimes. I once had a chimney flashing leak. The leak was dripping down onto a wire in an attic, and then essentially wicking down that wire where it was flowing out of the switch plate down the wall. It was so small, if it hadn't found its way to the switch I may have never even known about it. Granted, this is an extremely rare case.

What's above the garage? Any bathrooms? I also had a trap on the bottom of a tub that was over a garage leak. Of course, in that case I believe the water in the trap froze, expanded and broke the trap. Hasn't gotten cold enough yet for something like that...

#4 Kimchee

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 08:18 AM

I wonder if the water is coming in from a bad seal or something around the windows that are above the garage. Maybe since there isn't a ton of rain coming in, it's easier for it to sort of pool and hang onto the drywall until there's enough weight for it to finally stop dropping. My logic could be completely off though because I usually have no idea what I'm talking about.
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#5 cdmurphy

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 08:21 AM

Yeah, that's why I threw it out there. We tend to have the same problems in this neighborhood - Centex Phase I owners have complaints about the upstairs HVAC and fireplaces... Miller & Smith Phase I owners have problems with exterior trim and bird access to the exterior garage... etc. There are bedrooms above the garage. Oddly enough, it's not dripping now, despite the rain.

ETA: There is also a bathroom above the garage. Maybe it's something there.

Sounds totally plausible to me, Kimchee! :D

Edited by cdmurphy, 15 October 2009 - 08:23 AM.


#6 JuniorMints

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 08:48 AM

ETA: There is also a bathroom above the garage. Maybe it's something there.

Sounds totally plausible to me, Kimchee! :D


In the bathroom above the garage, do you use it frequently? I'd start by checking the traps, look around the shut off valves for the supply lines to sinks and toilets for leaks. Do you use a tub/shower? Check around there too. Of course, if it is a trap under a tub, that could be harder to find.

Luckily, it's in the garage. Best thing to do is probably just cut an access hole in the ceiling, and peek around.

Personally, we haven't had enough driving rain to cause a leak you wouldn't normally see. Of course, the weather did get colder, so it is possible a seam of caulk shrank enough to start leaking...

#7 zxz942#@saq

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 09:49 AM

We had a minor leak, due to flashing issues. Interestingly, leak showed up quite a distance from flashing problem. Like the roofer guy stated, water takes path of least resistance, so where you're seeing water may not be vicinity of leak.
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#8 cdmurphy

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 10:08 AM

In the bathroom above the garage, do you use it frequently? I'd start by checking the traps, look around the shut off valves for the supply lines to sinks and toilets for leaks.

DING DING DING! WE HAVE A WINNER!

I finally got the chance to go investigate upstairs. The toilet shut-off valve was almost completely unscrewed - the handle fell off when I touched it. There was a puddle of water behind the toilet, and the drywall is damp (a couple of inches high). Everything was fine on Tuesday morning when I was tidying before the maids came on Tuesday afternoon - maybe it was loose and they hit it when they were cleaning. No one's really been in there since then, except for brushing the kids' teeth and washing up in the sink. I screwed the handle back on, drained the tank, wiped up all the water, then turned it back on and let the tank refill, then flushed, etc. I've got some containers set up to see if anything drips. (I've already replaced the ballcock assembly in this toilet once; it's given us trouble off and on.) Lee j was right - the rain seems to be a red herring.

So do you guys think I should do anything about the damp drywall in the bathroom and the garage? Should I be worried about mold? I know that the valve has only been leaking for a day and a half.

#9 JuniorMints

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 11:48 AM

DING DING DING! WE HAVE A WINNER!

I finally got the chance to go investigate upstairs. The toilet shut-off valve was almost completely unscrewed - the handle fell off when I touched it. There was a puddle of water behind the toilet, and the drywall is damp (a couple of inches high). Everything was fine on Tuesday morning when I was tidying before the maids came on Tuesday afternoon - maybe it was loose and they hit it when they were cleaning. No one's really been in there since then, except for brushing the kids' teeth and washing up in the sink. I screwed the handle back on, drained the tank, wiped up all the water, then turned it back on and let the tank refill, then flushed, etc. I've got some containers set up to see if anything drips. (I've already replaced the ballcock assembly in this toilet once; it's given us trouble off and on.) Lee j was right - the rain seems to be a red herring.

So do you guys think I should do anything about the damp drywall in the bathroom and the garage? Should I be worried about mold? I know that the valve has only been leaking for a day and a half.


If it hasn't been very long, you likely should be ok. You can always spray a mild bleach solution to inhibit any further growth on those areas that are damp, not that it will get into all the nooks and crannies, but you caught it early enough that it shouldn't be much of a problem. As long as the drywall doesn't disintegrate when you touch it, I would leave it for now.

If your maids area anything like ours, it's like having a hurricane pass through. I am not surprised if they bumped it or exacerbated the issue. Then again, I could not clean my entire house like 2 people do in 3-4 hours!!!

#10 boopieman

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 12:25 PM

DING DING DING! WE HAVE A WINNER!

I finally got the chance to go investigate upstairs. The toilet shut-off valve was almost completely unscrewed - the handle fell off when I touched it. There was a puddle of water behind the toilet, and the drywall is damp (a couple of inches high). Everything was fine on Tuesday morning when I was tidying before the maids came on Tuesday afternoon - maybe it was loose and they hit it when they were cleaning. No one's really been in there since then, except for brushing the kids' teeth and washing up in the sink. I screwed the handle back on, drained the tank, wiped up all the water, then turned it back on and let the tank refill, then flushed, etc. I've got some containers set up to see if anything drips. (I've already replaced the ballcock assembly in this toilet once; it's given us trouble off and on.) Lee j was right - the rain seems to be a red herring.

So do you guys think I should do anything about the damp drywall in the bathroom and the garage? Should I be worried about mold? I know that the valve has only been leaking for a day and a half.


She said "ballcock". he he he he he he he.
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#11 JuniorMints

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 01:16 PM

She said "ballcock". he he he he he he he.


Cut it out buttmunch

#12 maeve

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 04:38 PM

DING DING DING! WE HAVE A WINNER!

I finally got the chance to go investigate upstairs. The toilet shut-off valve was almost completely unscrewed - the handle fell off when I touched it. There was a puddle of water behind the toilet, and the drywall is damp (a couple of inches high). Everything was fine on Tuesday morning when I was tidying before the maids came on Tuesday afternoon - maybe it was loose and they hit it when they were cleaning. No one's really been in there since then, except for brushing the kids' teeth and washing up in the sink. I screwed the handle back on, drained the tank, wiped up all the water, then turned it back on and let the tank refill, then flushed, etc. I've got some containers set up to see if anything drips. (I've already replaced the ballcock assembly in this toilet once; it's given us trouble off and on.) Lee j was right - the rain seems to be a red herring.

So do you guys think I should do anything about the damp drywall in the bathroom and the garage? Should I be worried about mold? I know that the valve has only been leaking for a day and a half.


This happened to us in our powder room. I noticed that the floor looked damp near the sink and touched and it was wet. I had a leak behind the pedestal sink; it was one of the supply lines to the sink that was loose.
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#13 Heather Gosman

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 07:51 PM

DING DING DING! WE HAVE A WINNER!

I finally got the chance to go investigate upstairs. The toilet shut-off valve was almost completely unscrewed - the handle fell off when I touched it. There was a puddle of water behind the toilet, and the drywall is damp (a couple of inches high). Everything was fine on Tuesday morning when I was tidying before the maids came on Tuesday afternoon - maybe it was loose and they hit it when they were cleaning. No one's really been in there since then, except for brushing the kids' teeth and washing up in the sink. I screwed the handle back on, drained the tank, wiped up all the water, then turned it back on and let the tank refill, then flushed, etc. I've got some containers set up to see if anything drips. (I've already replaced the ballcock assembly in this toilet once; it's given us trouble off and on.) Lee j was right - the rain seems to be a red herring.

So do you guys think I should do anything about the damp drywall in the bathroom and the garage? Should I be worried about mold? I know that the valve has only been leaking for a day and a half.


Bring in the fans! You need to get that dried pronto.
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#14 irpete

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 08:56 PM

We had the same leak in our Centex Thorsen but ours turned out to be the builder forgot to add the Tyvek wrap under the siding above the garage. If you have enough leaking to soak through the drywall upstairs and down through the drywall in the garage it may be too late to attempt to dry it out. The main problem would be the insulation in the wall as well as above the garage. Once wet it can become a breading ground for mold. We had to replace the drywall and the insulation.




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