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Question DetailsAsked on 5/15/2014

I just discovered a leak in a closet upstairs. It's about 2 ft from a shower. Do I call a roofer or plumber or ??

The leak is in the ceiling of the closet where the ceiling and wall meets. It maybe be an older (?) leak as the drywall appears slightly damp in the middle and is growing some mold where the ceiling and wall meets but it's not dripping water, nor ever has (apparent by items stored on top shelf near the leak). There is a shower on the other side of the wall but about 2-3 feet away. We've lived in the house 2 years now and this was never there before. We don't know who the builder is and now don't know where we should start with addressing this issue. My husband is NOT handy so it's not even an option of him going into the attic or troubleshooting this ourselves. We need a professional! Who should I call?

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2 Answers


I believe what you are saying is the both ceilings are on the same level below the attic. It sounds more like either a roof leak from a bad flashing on a plumbing vent or possibly from the hood on a bathroom fan. It is possible that a supply pipe was run across the ceiling to the shower but kind of unlikely as it is not a good practice due to the possiblility of freezing. It sounds like a roofing problem. If your husband has any way of getting in the attic and safely getting to where the leak is it should be easy to see a wet spot on the insulation. But if there is no plywood walkway it may not be a good idea.


Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


Your husband might not be house handy, but no reason you cannot be. I would take a utility knife and cut about a 1/2 foot hole in the wall at the wet/stained spot and look inside - it might be a leak from the shower pipe or surge absorbing standpipe above it, or where the shower arm (the chromed pipe the showerhead screws onto and goes into the wall) threads into the female elbow bracket on the pipe, that the shower arm threads into inside the wall.

Could also be a roof leak - but once you have it opened up, take a strong flashlight and a hand mirror and look around in the wall - will show whether water is coming from shower or further up above, and also if you have significant rot going on.

Then you should know whether you need a roofer or a plumber. Being 2-3 feet away fromthe shower head, that would imply there is a stud between your wet area and the showerhead, so I would favor the probability it is coming from the attic.

Could be a roof leak, could be water from frost condensation on the underside of the roof in the winter, now thawed out and wetting the drywall.

If you really don't want to investigate this yourself, I would get a handyman to check the attic first - both for roof sheathing wetness indiccating a roof leak, and for water in the insulation possibly indicating frost buildup due to gaps around penetrations of pipes and ductys into the attic. Then if nothing found there, have him cut the hold in the drywall to check for sources there.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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