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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am pulling what little hair I have left out trying to find and fix a leak.

Please, someone help!

The house is a strange Octagonal design with a large steel pole in the middle to which all the support beams attach. It has a living floor up and a finished basement below. A deck goes all the way around the four front sections. The leak appears to be coming from the deck and through the foundation along one of the lower support beams. It drips right at the lowest point of one support and had trashed the sheet rock ceiling.

Some history. The deck is old and the owner had a guy come in this summer and he install new PT lumber and rails over the existing old deck. Very poorly done and pitching toward the house. I was called in because this guy has vanished.

I can see where rain water comes off the roof and on to the deck from the gutters but gutters will not answer the full problem. Snow melting on the deck also pools in this one spot and I can see water run along the bottom of the beams but I cannot see where it is getting through and in to the inside of the home.

From what I know about leaks and chasing them many times in the past this leak could be coming from the roof or anywhere else and just appearing at the lowest point.

I am stuck between a rock and a hard place because I can't just start tearing walls apart and with this new deck on top of the old deck I can't see down where I need to see.

The home owner will be tearing off the new and old deck this summer because it does not meet code and no permit was issued. Not my issue and not my job this summer. He wants a temporary leak repair to get him through this winter.

Here is what I have tried so far. I used Ice Shield attached to the siding and to the deck and used a heat gun to get the glue warm so it would stick. It is winter here now. That seems to be holding but I still have the leak inside.

Is there some kind of a spray sealant I could use in 30-40 degrees that I might be able to direct up into spots where I can't get to with roofing tar?

Any other good ideas on how to find such a leak?

I am normally out ice fishing this time of year but I want to help this customer out if I can. Buckets under the leak and inside the home are not cutting it.

Thanks

Gary L
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Get (buy/borrow/rent) a thermal infrared camera.

Also dont rule out the possibility of a plumbing leak.
All the plumbing is in the center and it has forced hot air heat. Water comes from outside in but with a deck over a deck and no visibility from the inside hole in the ceiling I just can't see the breech. These freaking leaks follow a path of least resistance and end up at the low point.

Gary L
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nail something to the bottom of the beams where the water is running so it drips off instead. How about some pics?
Not a bad idea at all! Thank you.

I will try to get some pics posted when I get over there in the next few days. Fair warning though, this is about the most ridiculous home design I have ever had the displeasure of working in. All the main support beams are slanted from the center, out and up. Picture the frame work of an Umbrella. Is there any wonder that water found a way in?

Gary L
 

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You know first thing I thought was leak seal from that tv comercial, lol, but really am curios if that stuff acually works, dont know if I d trust it on a house let alone a boat
 

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Not perfect, But I'd be inclined to foam everything I can, and then seal over that.

A thermal imager can be a big help, but it isn't fool proof. A drill and inspection camera may be a good choice f you can start inside and backtrack to the source - I'd plan on doing this to confirm what you see on the thermal image.
 

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Have you tried to replicate the leak when it is not raining?
Try the general area you think might be the cause. Don't go too fast.
Did you look at how the ledger is attached if you have access from underneath?
 
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