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I've been noticing some ceiling stains


koolzero
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My house is 13 years old with a shake roof. Several months ago I noticed a stain on the ceiling of one of my bedrooms and today I have a new one in the master bath.

My dad says I can go up into the attic and try and find the leak and patch it with some tar or some sort of roof patch sealant...

Is this possible? I told him I should call a professional to look at it but he told me not to do that.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Kevin

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You may try to find it yourself, but unless you have vast experience in this area I wouldn't recommend it.

Shake roofs (and others) can be leaking at one point but actually show up at another. I think you'd be very lucky to find it on the first go. Have a professional roofer with experience on shake roofs come out and find it. If he starts telling you the roof is shot, or this or that is shot, call some one else and get second opinions before believing (and paying) anyone.

Donald

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What Lawson said.

That said.......

Finding roof leaks is not easy. In my experience, roofing rarely leaks out in the "field" shakes. They usually leak @ angles, vertices, penetrations, flashings, etc. Look all those areas over first.

If you are lucky enough to find where the water is coming in, DON'T PATCH IT W/ROOF SEALANT; take two aspirin, get a good nights sleep, & come back here w/ a photo or very good description of what you found. Then, a decent fix can be discussed.

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Originally posted by kurt

If you are lucky enough to find where the water is coming in, DON'T PATCH IT W/ROOF SEALANT; take two aspirin, get a good nights sleep, & come back here w/ a photo or very good description of what you found. Then, a decent fix can be discussed.

Thanks for the help. Can you explain to me why I shouldn't patch it so that I can tell my dad. My dad has experience with asphalt shingles but I don't think he does with shake. Is trying to patch it because it's a shake roof the reason it's a bad idea or are there other reasons?

Thank you very much [:-jump2].

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I agree with everything Donald & Kurt told you. However I'll add that, while shake roofs are most likely to leak at plane changes & penetrations (like any other roof covering), they're more likely to leak in the field than any other roofing material. This makes them even harder to troubleshoot.

I also cannot stress enough the importance of avoiding the use of mastic, silicone or, indeed, any material that comes in a tube or pot.

On this board, you have access to some very bright people who evaluate shake roofs every day. Take some pictures and post them here. Take one of the entire house, one or more from the attic showing the underside of the roof and, if you're up to it, a couple of close-up shots of the shakes themselves (taken from a ladder), preferably on the side that gets the most weather.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by koolzero

Originally posted by kurt

If you are lucky enough to find where the water is coming in, DON'T PATCH IT W/ROOF SEALANT; take two aspirin, get a good nights sleep, & come back here w/ a photo or very good description of what you found. Then, a decent fix can be discussed.

Thanks for the help. Can you explain to me why I shouldn't patch it so that I can tell my dad. My dad has experience with asphalt shingles but I don't think he does with shake. Is trying to patch it because it's a shake roof the reason it's a bad idea or are there other reasons?

Thank you very much [:-jump2].

If an asphalt shingle roof leaks, it's because it was installed wrong or because it's been damaged. In either case, the proper fix is to re-install it properly or to restore the damaged section. Black goop patches are a poor idea for four reasons: they hide the problem; they make proper repairs more difficult; they don't last long; and they look terrible.

They're wrong on a shake roof for all the same reasons. Shake roofs are made of wood, felt, metal flashing and nails -- nothing else. Adding mastic to the equation will only bring you sorrow.

Tell your dad that we spend our days shaking our heads and clucking our tongues at good people with good intentions who do bad things with black goop.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Hi,

You describe it as a 13 year old shake roof, but you don't state what kind of periodic maintenance the roof has had. Shake roofs need to be kept clean and free of organic debris that will promote rot. That means a good shake guy needs to get on that roof about every two years and tune it up by refastening loose shakes, replacing rotten and missing ones and then oiling the roof to preserve it.

Above all, shake roofs should not be pressure washed with high pressure. It's okay to allow a professional roof cleaning company to use a pressure washer on the roof, if they are treating the roof with a chemical to kill any algae and then are cleaning it with a high volume of water at low pressure. However, if you have had the roof recently pressure washed by some buckethead using high pressure, you've probably got a bunch of holes in the field just below the butts and in the keyways between shakes, in which case you could be looking at replacement, depending on how much of the roof has been damaged.

Tell us more, post some pictures and stay the hell away from goop.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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