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Sticky brown colored leak--what is this?


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Can anyone distinguish what this is?

And who do we call to fix it? We are told it is not plumbing related, but I don't know what forum to post this on. It is brownish in color and sticky like honey.

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What does it taste like?

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It could be roof tar, if someone used roof patch material to seal the plumbing vent and the summer heat is melting it.

That'd be my first guess as well.

Is the material soluble in water?

Roof mastic won't be - and it will have a distinctive smell.

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What about rainwater getting past a decaying rubber boot on the roof deck, leaving streaks on vertical runs of vent pipe and eventually dripping off at a 90.

I've seen those streaks before but all I can remember is that the cause was too insignificant to mention.

Marc

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What about rainwater getting past a decaying rubber boot on the roof deck, leaving streaks on vertical runs of vent pipe and eventually dripping off at a 90.

I've seen those streaks before but all I can remember is that the cause was too insignificant to mention.

Marc

Looks too dark. I would have said it could be stain from staining hardwood flooring, but it would not be sticky.

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The mess is only at the bottom of this pipe, not anywhere else on it.

My best guess is that something spilled on the floor nearby. It soaked under the wall plate and ran down the pipe. Someone cleaned up the visible portion on the floor.

Perhaps use a bamboo skewer to probe under the baseboard to either side of this pipe -- I'll bet you find some residue.

Personally, I'd taste it. That's often the quickest way to identify stuff like this.

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Tell us more about the house. I see the floor joists are trusses, so it is newer, maybe a Modular home?

1) Mid-summer, I am picturing your air conditioner is dripping water into a dirty pan and that moisture is dripping on the floor near that pipe. Check the base of your Air Conditioner.

2) No AC? Could there be a water leak? Water might be picking up crud from the walls and floor before finding its way out thru that hole. I think you will need to access the flooring beside that pipe. Call a competent handyman. If the builder of the home is available he could have some idea of where water could be coming in from.

3) A Modular home would have a seam right down the middle that could leak.. How's is the weather? Hailstorms, wind , rain?

4) Jim sees a dark stain below where the trim line is. We sees it too. That drywall should be cut away and replaced after the leaking is fixed. Call a Handyman.

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Wait, wait, wait.....don't move so fast. I wanna have someone taste it before you start getting all technical....[:-dev3]

Seriously, yes, open up the wall. Guessing about what's in a wall is silly; open it all up and find out. You're talking $5 worth of material and an hour to open and close it.

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  • 5 years later...

the brown sticky gook:  water soluble.  washes away with ammonia.  it is rat or mouse pee. the order is musk like almost similar to tar like (bitumen like smell).  the water in the urine has evaporated leaving behind the salts and acids of a rodent pee.... it shows up commonly on warm pipes,  warm tanks, such as water heaters, etc... the warm pipes evaporate the water quickly and the rodents like the warmth................get some rat traps!

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