my drilling caused a leak in my house but can't find why.

spencer_electricianMarch 28, 2010

On a project at my own house, installing wiring for an alarm system. I've caused a problem. Even though I am a licensed Electrician, apparently I'm a very bad alarm installer ): I came into the family room tonight to see a trail of wrinkled paint from the motion detector almost to the floor. This is in a ranch style house. The drilled hole is in a top corner where wall meets ceiling. This corner is under a roof ridge. Back when I installed the detector, I drilled 2 different 1/4" holes thinking the 1st did not go through. Upon inspecting tonight, I stuck wire through both and they both wind up in the attic. A third hole is where I attempted to drill upward (not all the way through) before thinking about how tight the roof is. In this hole, even a tiny wire does not go anywhere but the depth is close to making it through the entire 2x4. (My roof has plywood underneath which sits on 1x4s strapped across the 2x4 framing. This could be right underneath the metallic material that acts as a gutter for rain in between different roof sections. No matter how I push a test wire through, it does not wind up outdoors.

Is it possible I just drilled into a part of the wood that already has a path for water? Perhaps drilled into the metallic divider? Are there any repairs I can do without removing shingles? Tomorrow I will be able to see the outside better, went up in the dark tonight. Thanks for any ideas.

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Found it. A 1/4" hole popped through the metal flashing (gutter drain) between the 2 slopes of roof. Basically I diverted a highway of water to the family room wall corner. Filed it with spray foam. Any suggestions on this repair/ longevity of using foam for this repair are appreciated. The path of this hole is: The metal flashing, a 2x4, finished sheet rock (no attic space in between). When the room was re-done in the past, the ceiling was taken direct to the 2x4 roof framing on that slope.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 11:42AM
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Use some Lexel sealant, or equivalent up on the flashing (I think you're talking about a valley flashing.)
Lexel is a polyurethane that stays pliable, sticks to everything.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 2:23PM
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working from the outside, get a 5/16" x 1/4" pan head sheet metal screw. Apply a liberal amount of silicone sealant to the underside of the head, then screw it down tight into the flashing.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 1:29PM
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Thanks for the tip. Sheet metal screw does sound like a good idea to hold in the repair.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 10:52PM
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