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Trials and tribulations of owning a house

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Jarhead0331:
So I have a very strange problem that I simply cannot figure out involving my roof or chimney. We have this very large chimney in our great room that is white stucco. Over the last couple of years, I noticed streaks coming down from where the chimney meets the ceiling. After a while, some ripples or bubbling started to appear on the chimney. I never see active water or any wet spots. Just very light streaks...but the bubbling is getting worse.

Iíve had my roofer over at least 3 times to check the roof and flashing in the area. Iíve had the chimney resealed and installed a new cap. The problem still seems to be there.

Any ideas as to what the hell could be causing the problem? The roof is only about 5 years old.

Myrmidon:
A GC I have been working with for about 10 years now was telling me about a similar issue.  The problem was spotty over a period of about a year, and he had his roofer by to check it several times as well. 

Finally, he had one of his workers stand on the roof with a hose sprayer and concentrate the spray on different areas around the chimney for about an hour or 2, while another guy was in the attic.  They finally found the leak. It was the smallest of gaps in the flashing that would only be a problem if the rain was blowing in just the right direction. 

It's a real PiTA to find, but in the Trades, there's a saying that "water doesn't lie".  If it's there, it's got to be getting there somehow, so it will be simply a matter of persistence to find it.  You may have to wait for the right kind of day to have someone get up there and do some testing. 

Not sure if you're dealing with snow in your neck of the woods, as that can pose problems that normal rain water doesn't.

Jarhead0331:
Yup. We have rain and snow. In fact, we just had about a foot and a half of snow.

The problem is, there is no attic in the area where the chimney is. Itís just roof and chimney, so we wouldnít be able to find it that way. Ugh.

Gusington:
Do you have a good general contractor - besides the roofer? A good one will have a way to diagnose the issue.

GDS_Starfury:
if its just brick and stucco then it sounds like those materials are just saturated with moisture, much like Gus's groin.
its that moisture thats slowly leeching through and into and onto the surface.  best bet is your going to have to wait for a long dry spell and then have it resealed.

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