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  1. #1
    Patrick McCaffery's Avatar
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    Default Can anyone identify damage

    While doing an inspection of the interior rooms of a cape cod house, deterioration to the plaster was found on the exterior walls by the windows.
    Background:
    1. Cape Cod house built in 1941
    2. Location: Rochester, NY
    3. Temperature at the time of the inspection 27 degrees F.
    4. Extensive ice daming on both sides of the house.
    5. Four layers of roof, including the original shake shingles.
    6. Oil heat, by the original 1941 furnace
    7. Three bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor, which have not been used in twenty years.
    8. House temperature kept at 65 degrees F. in the winter, no A/C
    9. No dehumidifier.
    10. Plaster walls

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    Not sure what your question is??????????
    It sounds like you have already identified damage.

    No photos, so impossible for us that don't have psychic abilities to identify damage.


  3. #3
    Patrick McCaffery's Avatar
    Patrick McCaffery Guest

    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    101_9324.jpg

    101_9325.jpg

    Thank for the reponse, sorry about no pictures.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    If it was present at that location only, looks like water entry at the window opening.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    If it was present at that location only, looks like water entry at the window opening.
    Agreed.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    "deterioration to the plaster was found on the exterior walls by the windows"

    Water is getting in. It could be at the window sills, but it could be entering above the windows and flowing around the window frames.
    "Extensive ice-damming". Three layers of asphalt roofing over most likely rotten shakes at the eaves. Sounds like a place to start would be the roof.

    Is this the true Cape Cod design with no roof overhang on the sides? Check for leaking all along there.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  7. #7
    Patrick McCaffery's Avatar
    Patrick McCaffery Guest

    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    Thanks for the replys. At the time of the inspection it was dry and the sills and framing around the windows showed no signs of moisture. There are basically no over hangs and I am begining to believe that everyone is right that it is moisture from the ice damning. Again thanks for the comments.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    Heck, given the condition of the wall, tear it open and you'll know for sure where it's coming from. It's not like you need to save the plaster, it's already effed up.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  9. #9
    Bill Hammons's Avatar
    Bill Hammons Guest

    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    "deterioration to the plaster was found on the exterior walls by the windows"

    Water is getting in. It could be at the window sills, but it could be entering above the windows and flowing around the window frames.
    "Extensive ice-damming". Three layers of asphalt roofing over most likely rotten shakes at the eaves. Sounds like a place to start would be the roof.

    Is this the true Cape Cod design with no roof overhang on the sides? Check for leaking all along there.

    "Extensive ice-damming". Three layers of asphalt roofing over most likely rotten shakes at the eaves. Sounds like a place to start would be the roof


  10. #10
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    I poked (lightly) at some old cracked plaster in a home in Florida that did not look as near as bad as that. The wall (yea, the whole wall) of plaster fell off the wall along with some small crown molding and a small amount of the ceiling abutting the wall. It was quite the show with the home owner, buyer and buyers agent standing there. I never saw a Realtor move that fast before that The seller said he has not used or been in the room in years and the vent was closed off. That and a bit of water (quite a bit) over time and....down comes the wall by touching it with the finger. Huge cloud of dust along with it. Quite comical actually.

    The buyers says "well, I guess I gotta fix that, huh?" I guess it could have gone really bad at that point.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McCaffery View Post
    1. Cape Cod house built in 1941
    2. Location: Rochester, NY
    I'm still trying to figure the above out ... ... I thought Cape Cod houses were, ... well, ... in Cape Cod.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McCaffery View Post
    There are basically no over hangs
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I'm still trying to figure the above out ... ... I thought Cape Cod houses were, ... well, ... in Cape Cod.
    I am picturing a "Cape Cod" roof with no overhangs, one of the dumbest designs around, IMO.
    The one with a long shed roof on one side is a "Cape Cod Saltbox". They are rare here on the wet coast, because they melt away in the rain.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I'm still trying to figure the above out ... ... I thought Cape Cod houses were, ... well, ... in Cape Cod.
    Jerry..... are you with the group looking at the "chads".......

    They dug up the house, sand, plants, shells, etc. and brought it with them when they moved......


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    It would be nice to have pics above the window and next to.. if the stains are mainly at windows and stains mainly show just to the lower sides and below it is often from old window a/cs..


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Goeken View Post
    Jerry..... are you with the group looking at the "chads".......
    Look at how well hung Chad is? NOT ME, *I* ain't going there.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    Patrick, you did not specify which wall the pictures show - first floor or second floor rooms?
    Those old homes built just before and during WWII usually did not have much insulation in the attic and zero ventilation. The 2nd floor rooms may have been finished off after initial construction, possibly in the 50's or 60's. I assume there are small attic spaces behind the knee walls (at front and rear sides of house on 2nd floor) that you may or may not have access to. I would almost guarantee there is NO ventilation in those knee wall attic spaces (possibly used for short closet spaces or storage areas). And there would be no venting of the 2x4 insulation cavities in the ceiling above the 2nd floor rooms. Might be ice dams, but either way, also probably a lot of condensation from frost forming in the winter on the underside of the wood slat roof sheathing. Probably some mildew, mold and maybe some degree of wood rot going on. The old wood shingle roofing would be great for holding that extra moisture. Here is a picture of a similar house taken from inside the knee wall attic cavity looking up at the ceiling over the 2nd floor rooms.

    Would have to start ripping out some walls and ceiling to see how bad it is. Oh, and of course you now have to follow all the lead paint rules and watch for vermiculite.

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  17. #17
    Patrick McCaffery's Avatar
    Patrick McCaffery Guest

    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    Hi Terry,

    The damage was on the first floor. I did investigate behind the knee walls and there was no ventilation or insulation. One of my recommendations was for insulating behind the knee walls. At the time of the inspection I did not see frost on the shake shingle roof, but there are three layers of asphalt over the wood shake shingles. There is significant Ice on the gutters, due to no ventilation.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McCaffery View Post
    but there are three layers of asphalt over the wood shake shingles.

    There's the solution ... 'While removing the 4 layers of roof covering (only 2 layers are allowed maximum), removing down to the roof sheathing, remove some of the roof sheathing to allow for insulation of the attic and installing proper ventilation of the attic.'



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  19. #19
    Terry Griffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    Patrick,
    I am not familiar at all with weather conditions in Rochester, However, it appears to me that all of your questions are your answer. Have a safe and prosperous New Year.


  20. #20
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone identify damage

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McCaffery View Post
    Hi Terry,

    The damage was on the first floor. I did investigate behind the knee walls and there was no ventilation or insulation. One of my recommendations was for insulating behind the knee walls. At the time of the inspection I did not see frost on the shake shingle roof, but there are three layers of asphalt over the wood shake shingles. There is significant Ice on the gutters, due to no ventilation.
    My personal opinion is to not put even one layer over wood shingles. Some say it is fine I say bull. Wood shingles were never meant to have asphalt shingles on them, never mind 3 layers.

    No insulation, no ventilation, three layers of shingles on wood shingles etc etc etc etc The home needs a rehab to get everything right. I am sure there is no insulation or proper moisture barrier in the walls as well.

    Like I said....time for a rehab.


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