Leaky walls & dorm­ers

The Family Handyman - - DIY ESSENTIALS -

Wa­ter doesn’t al­ways come in at the shin­gled sur­face. Of­ten, wind-driven rain comes in from above the roof, es­pe­cially around win­dows, be­tween cor­ner boards and sid­ing, and through cracks and knot­holes in sid­ing. Dormer walls pro­vide lots of spots where wa­ter can drib­ble down and en­ter the roof. Caulk can be old, cracked or even miss­ing be­tween the cor­ner boards and be­tween win­dow edges and sid­ing. Wa­ter pen­e­trates th­ese cracks and works its way be­hind the flash­ing and into the house.

Even caulk that looks in­tact may not be seal­ing against the ad­join­ing sur­faces. Dig around with a putty knife to see if the area is sealed. Dig out any sus­pect caulk and re­place it with a sil­i­conized la­tex caulk. Also check the sid­ing above the step flash­ing. Re­place any cracked, rot­ted or miss­ing sid­ing, mak­ing sure the new piece over­laps the step flash­ing by at least 2 in. If you still have a leak, pull the cor­ner boards free and check the over­lap­ping flash­ing at the cor­ner. Of­ten, there’s old, hard­ened caulk where the two pieces over­lap at the in­side cor­ner.

SO­LU­TION: Re­caulk the cor­ner flash­ing. Lift the over­lap­ping sec­tion, clean it thor­oughly and add a gen­er­ous bead of fresh caulk un­der­neath. Make sure the gap at the cor­ner is filled with caulk.

PROB­LEM: Wa­ter that sneaks be­hind walls and dorm­ers drib­bles down into your house just like a roof leak.

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