Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
WATER ENTRY IN BUILDINGS
AGE of MOLD - Old is the Mold?
BASEMENT CEILING VAPOR BARRIER
BASEMENT MOLD WATER IMPACT
BRICK WALL DRAINAGE WEEP HOLES
BUCKLED FOUNDATIONS due to INSULATION?
BUILDING DAMAGE ASSESSMENT & REPAIR
CONDENSATION on WINDOWS & SKYLIGHTS
DEW POINT TABLE - CONDENSATION POINT GUIDE
EFFLORESCENCE, Salts & White / Brown Deposits
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOOD DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS
FLOOD VENTS & FLOOD PORTS
FLOODS IN BUILDINGS-mold
FLOOR DAMAGE DIAGNOSIS
FOOTING & FOUNDATION DRAINS
FOUNDATION BULGE or LEAN MEASUREMENTS
FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE
FREEZE-PROOF A BUILDING
FROST HEAVES, FOUNDATION, SLAB
HUMIDITY LEVEL TARGET
ICE DAM PREVENTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD INFORMATION CENTER
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS & SMELLS DIAGNOSIS & CURE
SEWAGE BACKUP, WHAT TO DO
SEWAGE BACKUP TEST & CLEANUP
SEWAGE BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWAGE PUMP CLOG DAMAGE
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
SWEATING (CONDENSATION) on PIPES, TANKS
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
TRAPS on PLUMBING FIXTURES
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Building siding, window or wall leak detection, diagnosis & repair procedures: this article describes the discovery of both active and prior leaks through a building's walls or windows and the steps that were taken to evaluate the impact of the leaks on the structure, to track down the leak sources, and to fix the problem both in stop-gap mode (due to weather and time constraints) and as final repairs were made to stop future leaks.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Moisture & Leak Mystery: procedures for tracking down uncertain sources of leaks through a building's exterior siding, trim, walls or windows
Initial Comments on floor leak stain report
When investigating building window or wall leaks or leak stains on building floors along the exterior wall/floor juncture, before tearing the building apart we inspect the building exterior for likely water entry point candidates, and we inspect the interior for evidence of the extent and history of water leaks as well as to assess the risk of water-related rot or insect damage that might require further repairs.
Inside there was not evidence of significant damage to the carpet nor to the subfloor, but we suspected there had been more than one leak event. A report of a prior owner leaving windows open was considered but comparing the location and extent of leak stains on the floor with that story, we doubted that all of the home's windows had been left open repeatedly. Here was our initial reply to New Owner:
Follow-up remarks from New
Next Reply to New:
While we now had some good candidates for possible explanation of the leak stains found inside, it was time for some more invasive inspecting both to assess the extent of leaks and to be sure we understood the leak source(s).
In the first pass at invasive interior inspection steps (photo at above left) drywall was removed along the floor in the areas of staining. At below left you can see that water was certainly entering the floor from the bottom of the wall sill plate; you will also notice that a plastic vapor barrier had been installed behind the drywall - a step that permits water to run inside the wall cavity all the way to the floor without making an earlier appearance through the wall surface or in wallpaper stains.
The pair of photos above begin to point to a leak at a window side or sill. At left just above that protruding nail you can see a wet sill plate immediately below an insulated gap between a set of wall stud and jack studs found along side and below typical window framing. At above right is that same location with the insulation and debris removed.
Incidentally, when we see leak stains on subflooring, it's appropriate to remove all of the nearby baseboard trim to check for hidden rot, mold, or other leak stains.
Next Reply from New:
Probing & inspection of the building exterior window trim & wall siding to diagnose window or wall leaks
These photographs illustrate probing for leak and rot damage at the suspect windows.
We observed soft rotted vertical brick-mold window trim (photos above).
At below left you can see that the aluminum window sill wrap was not sealed to the building and that someone has already probed in this location; further probing confirmed that the sill and siding were soft and rotted here, and we pose that perhaps the window king stud will also be found to be leak stained and perhaps even rotted as well.
[Pending weather changes]
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about procedures for finding & fixing leaks around building windows or through building exterior walls, siding & trim
Questions & answers or comments about procedures for finding & fixing leaks around building windows or through building exterior walls, siding & trim.
Ask a Question or Enter Search Terms in the InspectApedia search box just below.
Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.