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Question DetailsAsked on 9/5/2015

Mysterious leak in interior bathroom door frame

The leak is in the door frame of the water closet in my downstairs master's bathroom. It is a 2 strory house. If there is a hard rain for a prolonged duration, water begins to seep in from the bottom of the door frame on both sides (left and right). There also looks like there is some water damage on the bottom of the door frame leading to the master bedroom. There are no water stains on the ceiling or along the top to bottom of the door frame. There is an exterior door in the bathroom that shows signs of water damage. I really am perplexed to what the possible source could be. The home has a new roof that was put on in March 2015. Could it still be the roof? A vent pipe or flashing on the roof? Or the exterior door in the bathroom? I don't know who to call about this because it makes no sense.

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1 Answer


Sounds like a roof leak coming down into the wall, hitting the header above the door and pooling and draining off both sides down into the wall, where it finally comes out when it hits the bottom wall plate and can't go down any more, so it leaks out under the door framing. Because there appears to be water damage at the bedroom and exterior bathroom door frames too, sounds to me like an attic leak getting onto the ceiling vapor barrier (which lies above the drywall) and because of the vapor barrier, is running across it without staining the ceiling as commonly happens in these cases, then going into the wall(s) where there is an overlap or splice of the vapor barrier.

Got to be a leak (one or more) in the roofing somewhere - or a leak at flashing. I would look fist if these leak locations line up under a roof valley, indicating valley flashing failure. Otherwise, look in the attic for wetness or staining on the underside of the roof or around penetrations, wet insulation, water or staining on the top of the vapor barrier/drywall that forms the upstairs ceilings.

It is possible it is an upstairs window leak going down the wall to the downstairs, but I would not count on that - usually that shows up as wet carpet/flooring upstairs, stained wall below the window, and/or stained downstairs ceiling.

I seriously doubt it is the exterior door in the bathroom because you would expect to see or feel (especially if carpeted or tiled) water on/in the floor between the outside door and the interior doors.

I expect you will find it is a leak into the attic, and that your house was build with vapor barrier under all the drywall (nothing wrong with that), so the only place the water can escape is at the base of the wall downstairs.

If you cannot find the source yourself, Roofer is who I would call - presumably the one who redid your roof if you have a warranty still in effect. Talk to him - probably needs to come out during or immediately after a rain, but might be able to track it by staining anytime - depends. Or if he has a thermal IR camera, should be able to track it by that if it has rained in last week or two.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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