Sam V

04:01PM | 10/06/03
Member Since: 10/05/03
6 lifetime posts
Apologies if a question like this has been already asked/answered.

Just bought a house and during the bidding process, the seller disclosed to me that the roof leaks, near the front door, when it rains very hard and is windy. Building inspection could find no obvious reasons for a leak and he suggested it was the result of ice damming due to inadequate soffit vents. But, that didn't explain the leak during heavy rains/winds.

I finally closed and Sunday, I spent soaking the roof with a hose. I did it in three zones: eaves to mid roof, mid roof, and mid roof to peak.

The upstairs is unfinished so, after soaking and waiting for half an hour, I could go check out what was going on up there.

I never saw a drop of water, EXCEPT when I shot the ridge vents with water, sideways, to simulate a wind-blown rain.

From the inside, I could see water on the undersides of the ridge vents and I found one bay that has mold and rusty/staples in it that correspond to the water damage observed near the entrance of the house.

So, I think I've diagnosed the problem as being ridge vents that don't withstand the sideways rain.

Anyone have any recommendations for fixes?

I may be on my own cuz local contractors are essentially booked until January.

Thanks all.


06:21PM | 10/06/03
Member Since: 01/21/03
66 lifetime posts
Hi Sam,

There are three types of ridge vents that I'm familiar with: "foam-like" like Coravent, Rigid plastic, or aluminum form. Which one is yours?

Secondly, what is the slope of your roof? If it is "walkable" it is probably below 6:12. We generally avoid using ridge vents on lower-slope roofs as the shallow pitch does not help keep wind-blown water out.

So the fix depends on the specifics of the situation that you have. Post the info (slope, type of vent), and we'll try a solution.



Sam V

04:35AM | 10/07/03
Member Since: 10/05/03
6 lifetime posts
Hi, Paul!
Thanks for your response and questions.

The ridge vents are made out of molded plastic. I don't know the slope of the roof. This is a weekend place in the adirondacks, so, I can measure it this weekend.

I am a rock climbing guide part time and I am scared to death while climbing the roof, if it were a little bit steeper, I would feel the need to rope up to climb it!!

If it is at all helpful, a photo of the house can be seen here.
in the Roaring Brook Lodge folder (I tried to give a specific link but I couldn't make it work)

Thanks again for your insight,

[This message has been edited by Sam V (edited October 07, 2003).]


04:37AM | 10/08/03
Member Since: 01/21/03
66 lifetime posts
I've looked at the pictures of your lodge and the slope is about 8:12 so that's not the problem. The rigid plastic vents generally work well, so the problem may be: a) improper installation or b) some roof feature which is directing the wind and rain into that part of the vent. The real question is why is that specific part of the ridge vent letting in water while everywhere else it is working fine. Is it possible to get a better view of the ridge around where the vent is leaking? The lodge pictures don't show it, but is there any obstruction on the roof that may be redirecting the wind and water into the vent?

One other possibility to consider - if you've tried the water test on the ridge vents elsewhere and only in that one location you have a problem, then it may be that the baffles inside the ridge vent (which normally deflect incoming water) are damaged. If so, all you need to do is replace this section.

Let us know what you find.

Regards and good luck,



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