Your Place: Finding the elusive fix to a leak

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Q: We own a home that is 13 years old. It has vinyl windows and an asphalt shingle roof.

The finish on the home is stucco. Every heavy rain, we get water coming in from the top of the first-floor windows. We have had many contractors come out to do work. They have replaced some windows, replaced some roofing, and have caulked things nonstop.

This has been going on for years, and the builder is now out of the picture.

Every contractor tells me something different, and has a different take on what the problem is.

We are at our witís end, and donít know where else to go or what to do. The issue is still happening, after all the money we have spent.

Please let me know what this may be. I just want to move at this point, but I do not want to leave this issue with someone else.

A: With seller disclosure, it is highly unlikely that any buyer would be willing to take on such an issue.

A few years back, a colleague with an unidentifiable leak wrote about her success with a fellow who used sensors and sense to locate it. It cost her $425 to hire him to find the source of the trouble, but she had already spent $5,000 on failed contractor attempts to do so.

Hereís the link to her story: www.philly.com/leak

Reader Elizabeth Browdy shared her own experience after reading about a mystery new-roof problem here recently.

The roof had been totally replaced by the previous owner a year before she moved in but developed a foot-long line of water spots on the ceiling.

"Luckily, my brother got up on the roof and re-caulked all the vents, and chimney flashing, and thereís been no problem for two years."

The kicker is that the house Browdy had moved from had the same issue.

The buyer of her old house called to say there were water spots on the living room ceiling, even though she had had the roof replaced only a year before.

She had the new owner call the roofing company that did the roof work.

Same problem, same solution.