Apologies if dupe...

water-stained ceiling tiles above kitchen cabinet

Once or twice a year, in driving rain conditions, I get a ceiling drip on the northeast side of the house. Photo attached showing the damage. (Yes, kitchen. Yes, that is a stock of what used to be called Grade C maple syrup. Yes, the black thing is an electric bug trap -- low voltage, luckily, and hasn't yet been dripped on directly.)

It's a fairly slow drip when it happens, and I've been procrastinating for a decade on trying to fix it or get it fixed. "My cabin never leaks when it doesn't rain...", as the song has it. There is probably some water coming in without actual dripping, though, given the stain's slow growth and the warping of ceiling tiles.

This is happening at or near the junction between the original 2-storey house and the 1-storey extension. It's possible that some of the water is sneaking around the end of the lower roof. I haven't gone out in one of those storms to find out...

Any tips on how to find where the water is getting in, or things to try "on spec" to dissuade it from doing so?

  • 1
    water garden hose, on the roof, spraying in spot by spot area, observing where it goes and does it drip
    – Traveler
    Feb 28, 2023 at 5:28
  • 2
    So you re-roofed and did not investigate then? Any issue should have been spotted.
    – Solar Mike
    Feb 28, 2023 at 9:52
  • 2
    If you want to force yourself to fix it, pull down the offending ceiling (you’ll have to anyway, right?) and watch for water. Feb 28, 2023 at 12:49
  • 1
    Also note that if your roof is sloping, the location where the water is penetrating the roofing layers may be further up than the location where the ceiling is staining.
    – Huesmann
    Feb 28, 2023 at 14:04
  • 1
    Bummer, but you have to take the ceiling tiles down and put your head up there, while someone is spraying with a hose mimicking the driven rain. If you know what direction the rain is driven in it will give you a better idea what to look for. During Hurricane Ian some of the condo units here had leaks that they never had before or since. Most were driven rain into the attic vents high up on the gable ends of buildings.
    – RMDman
    Feb 28, 2023 at 14:10

1 Answer 1


Given it's

happening at or near the junction between the original 2-storey house and the 1-storey extension.

And susvived past re-roofing, I'll suspect the flashing between the wall and the lower roof, which was probably left alone in the re-roof, since you didn't mention the issue to the roofers.

Could also be flashing around any windows that may be on that wall.

  • Certainly possible; I don't remember observing that part of the job, though they flashed the vent pipe and the bay window nicely.
    – keshlam
    Feb 28, 2023 at 18:30

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