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Leak Above Window but below roofline

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:29 pm
by coach_lowe
Hi everyone. I'm new to the forum and need some serious help.

Recently I noticed that water was leaking from the boards inside my windows at the top, between the panes of glass. I thought that maybe water was coming in from the top of my window from the outside, but when I pulled the siding I noticed that the wood between the window and my shingled roof was rotted out. What should my next step be to determine where the leak is actually coming from? This is also happening on the opposite window. I'm not anywhere near being a handyman, so I'm starting to really get worried. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!


RE: Leak Above Window but below roofline

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 5:41 pm
by JD
Hi Scott and welcome to the forum.

the first place I would look is at the edge or the roof. As you look sideways at a mobile home shingle roof near the edge, you will usually see the shingle courses coming down pretty straight, and then when you look at the edge shingles (first course of the roof), you will see a bit of a dip and sometimes the edge of that first shingle will actually flip up just a little bit. This happens with age and is actually caused by the metal drip rail sticking or pointing at a slight up angle in most cases. This can cause a couple of different problems.

1. Rain water can blow under the first course of shingles pretty easily.

2. There is enough of a flip to the shingles where it causes water to run sideways before coming off of the roof.

If the shingles are less than 10 years old and are in good condition, i.e. not brittle, the edges of the shingle show no wear and you do not see the fiberglass scrim layer feathering out from the edge of the shingles, you can remove the bottom 4 course or so and install an 18" wide strip of Ice & Water Shield onto the sheathing, reset the drip rail if needed and reinstall those shingles. This is best done DIY because a contractor's labor in this will greatly increase your cost per foot charge. If a contractor is going to be used, it is better to install a new roof, using the Ice & Water Shield.

There are cheaper techniques out there. Some will try to slather a Blackjack type product under the shingles, but you have to get it up there pretty high. There are also sealants that are advertised that you can put on top of the shingles to try to seal them. I have not found either method to work very good.

Roof ldge leaks are pretty common on mobile home asphalt shingle roofs due to it's low pitch.

This is just the most common edge leak problem I have seen. Without looking at your roof myself, this may not even be your problem. Sorry my suggestion for correcting this type of problem is not cheap or easy. Hopefully someone else might have some ideas.


RE: Leak Above Window but below roofline

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:48 pm
by coach_lowe
Thanks JD.

I'll look at it and let you know what I see.

RE: Leak Above Window but below roofline

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:07 pm
by gman
JD explained this exactly to what I just went through this week and I just had fixed on my doublewide shingle roof. It is a combination of poor pitch and cheap shingles on new manufactured homes.

My home is only ten years old but I knew long time ago by the granules debris in my gutters and on the ground this roof was not going to last long.

What did not know until now is the one foot over hang has been slowly rotting just like JD explains in his response. I found this only because part of my gutter came loose and I went up to fix this and that’s when I notice the shingles had sunk down right above this spot.

I lifted the shingles and found a hole rotted about one foot long. I then did some more investigating and found three more places where this has been happing over the years. At the front and back overhang.

I never had any signs inside or around windows that this was occurring. I would if I were you do a full check of your roof and see what you find. JD is the only one I know who knew what this is caused from.

I had a contractor come and fix my decking and replace my shingles with new thirty year shingles. I contacted my insurance company first to see if they would help. They came out walked around on my roof told me it looks like a design flaw or wear and tear and will not pay for any damage repairs.

JD I read the forum often but rarely post and wanted you to know how important and helpful your advice on this forum is.

RE: Leak Above Window but below roofline

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:28 pm
by JD
Thank you very much gman. I appreciate it. And while the insurance company is wrong in their assessment, they still wouldn't pay on this claim. They are looking for sudden and accidental. Anytime they see dry rot, they have the basis to deny the claim. When times are good and the coffers are full, they will pay out on it anyways, sometimes.

This is a very common problem on 2.5 and 3 in12 sloped roofs. One day the industry will have a "duh" moment and know to install the ice & water shield. They don't have to cover the entire roof. This specific problem can be fixed with just an 18" strip along both eaves. I say 18" because the ice & water shield comes in 3' widths. Just split it down the middle and get twice as much per roll. Covering the whole roof would be a great idea, but the roof edge leaks are so common and blatant, that they are begging for a law suit like the polybutylene pipe thing. Knowing there is a problem and a cure, but trying to save $100 a home by ignoring it, is how Shell lost vs Cox.


RE: Leak Above Window but below roofline

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:38 pm
by JD
I also want to say that I know some mobile home manufacturers have tried to fix this problem. I have seen homes where the factory made custom drip edge that went up the roof higher and bent the metal to the 2.5 / 12 slope to match the roof. Standard drip edge is bent at a 90 degree angle. Often when it is installed, it leave that slight hump. On a newer roof, you won't see a dip or any problem. But as the roof ages, the shingles start to conform to that hump in the metal. Then it just keeps bending until it becomes a water dam.

there may be some manufacturers that use the ice & water shield or does a different design to fix the problem. I have just never seen it. I don't want to slam all manufacturers, because I have not seen all makes of homes.


Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:37 am
by gemini5618
I had the same sort of leak in my 1999 Southern Energy home, but the problem wasn't the roof at all, it was the "trim" piece at the tip of the vinyl siding. There's no overhang on the side of the house where the leak was and the water ran down onto this piece of trim that merely channeled the water behind the siding. It didn't happen down the entire length of the siding, just where the trim joints and the siding joints were close together.