Trouble with unknown wall leak? any idea

Wondering if anyone had come across this before. The house almost looks like it is bleeding, a dark colored dry trail is what remains. I checked the attic no smell from dead rodents or obvious signs of water, no duct work or register vents (thought ir might be rust, but dont think so).
Really kind of stumped, the roof is in great shape walked the entire surface. Even sprayed the hose on the roof for some time before looking in attic.
I’ve seen dirty water trails from water leaks but never this dark and strange isolated place.
Any ideas would be helpful.
Jeff G

Any signs of localized condensation in attic?

Could be result of wind driven rain leakage when the wind blows only from a certain direction and above a certain wind speed.

“this inspector is incapable of reciting previous events or predicting future events” i’m even worse at this on the mb :mrgreen:

  1. wag, someone spilled something in attic (cola?) and removed the evidence

  2. how’d it smell or taste

  3. Tannin is a natural extractive of Cedar, Redwood and most other dark woods. It migrates to the surface of the wood when water is present and leaves an ink-like, coffee colored stain or overall darkness on the wood after the water evaporates. Tannin bleeding is unsightly, but not damaging to wood or any coating on the surface. It can be removed with WOLMAN Cedar & Redwood Deck & Fence Brightener or All Exterior Wood Deck & Fence Brightener.

  4. DEFINITION: Tannin (or Extractive) Bleeding: Redwood, Cedar and Douglas Fir are examples of wood species that contain naturally occurring, water soluble chemicals that tend to migrate to the surface with exposure to extracting agents such as water. After rain or heavy dew, coffee or tea-colored stains may appear on the wood surface. If the wood is coated, discoloration of the coating may occur when tannin extractives are dissolved into the coating solution by water, reach the surface and remain as dark, coffee-brown stains after the water evaporates. This reddish-brown bleeding is unsightly, but not damaging to the coating.

It could be rodent urine from a squrrel or racoon or even a mouse. A vent leak from condensation.

Maybe the owner killed some sort of animal up there and it bled out before removing it.

anyone see the wife and kids :twisted:

That’s one big mouse!!

So far the natural bleeding like cedar is a very likely source. About 10yrs ago the roof was raised and the new lumber could be a dark wood.
Here is a picture of a bunch of dark spotting on the wood which is not moisture related.
Wonder if this confirms the cark wood theory.

What is that device on the wall in the second picture.

That dark staining appears to have been mechanical in nature. Some very straight lines. Ive seen ink stains on diminsional lumber before from dribbled or spilled ink from the marking machines. Once the lumber is finished at the mill it runs through a machine that marks it (type, manufacturer, etc.) and it uses an ink /dye. As to the cause, I don’t have any idea. Ive seen some stains similar caused by an insect (bees) infestation but not to this degree. It does not look to be an ongoing issue. Could be a stain from an old roof leak. Is the roof covering a newer install? We see stains sometimes that are a one time leak and once the roof was repaired the problem ceased to exist.

Is that rodent munching activity there?

I remember seeing stains (not that bad tho) from carpenter bees. Had to re-do part of a wall and ceiling with drywall. When the old stuff came out, there was the staining on the attic side of the ceiling.

There were no signs of pest or reodent infestations.
No odors. Its actually located above the master bedroom.

Time for some laboratory testing, find a good lab that does Microscopical Particle Analysis with experience in forensic testing and chemical microscopy. Should be no problem for a good microscopist. If you can not find a lab of your preference, let me know and we might be able to help.

I have done this type of microscopy for 20 plus years.

Flag Pole Mounting Bracket?

I thought it might be a heating oil fill tube (don’t see them around here). My thought was that some oil was being blown out an improperly terminated vent pipe.