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  1. #1
    T Senkle's Avatar
    T Senkle Guest

    Default flashing, weep holes, rotting floors, Am I right?

    I live in Frisco TX. We had some crazy storms in May and upon moving a couple of corner shelves a while later, I noticed that the wood floor was warped and separating. The baseboards were pushing up and off of the floor and wall.

    I pulled up one baseboard and one piece of the flooring and discovered lots of water damage, black mold and almost completely rusted through nails.

    Insurance came out, they said it wasn't the roof, contact the builder. I contacted the builder, they said contact the roofer. The roofer came out and said the same thing the insurance inspector said, this is not the roof, the problem is in the wall.

    I have brick veneer exterior on this house. After talking to my dad (former city building inspector) and a friend (current inspector) and reading every bit of code that I could find, I went and did some exploring around the house. Am I right in thinking that what I found are problems?

    Weep holes are 39 inches apart on center.

    Weep holes are full of all kinds of mortar droppings and I cannot get a measurement from the front of the brick to the back of the weep hole that is more than 2 inches deep.

    Where the brick meets the concrete slab, there is nothing more than what appears to be a sheet of visquene between the brick and concrete. At the back of the house where we've had problems with the concrete cracking and falling off in slabs, I checked again. No steel anywhere, just the visquene. In the garage, above where the large chunks are falling off of the concrete, we now have a giant crack running across the wall/ceiling joint.

    Brick windowsills have no weepholes under the ledge, everything is mortared shut.

    Front wall is partially covered and has a brick porch. There are no weep holes in the covered part of the wall and the porch now has a giant fault running through it.

    Water put into one weep hole doesn't come out of any of the others. On some of them, it doesn't even come back out of the hole it was poured into. I did put the water in as far as I could with aquarium tubing, so I know it was getting into the space.

    Am I wrong in thinking that the builder has a problem to address here? This house was built in 04. Any suggestions as to my next step?

    Thanks much in advance

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: flashing, weep holes, rotting floors, Am I right?

    Quote Originally Posted by T Senkle View Post
    I live in Frisco TX. We had some crazy storms in May and upon moving a couple of corner shelves a while later, I noticed that the wood floor was warped and separating. The baseboards were pushing up and off of the floor and wall.

    I pulled up one baseboard and one piece of the flooring and discovered lots of water damage, black mold and almost completely rusted through nails.

    Insurance came out, they said it wasn't the roof, contact the builder. I contacted the builder, they said contact the roofer. The roofer came out and said the same thing the insurance inspector said, this is not the roof, the problem is in the wall.

    I have brick veneer exterior on this house. After talking to my dad (former city building inspector) and a friend (current inspector) and reading every bit of code that I could find, I went and did some exploring around the house. Am I right in thinking that what I found are problems?

    Weep holes are 39 inches apart on center.

    Weep holes are full of all kinds of mortar droppings and I cannot get a measurement from the front of the brick to the back of the weep hole that is more than 2 inches deep.

    Where the brick meets the concrete slab, there is nothing more than what appears to be a sheet of visquene between the brick and concrete. At the back of the house where we've had problems with the concrete cracking and falling off in slabs, I checked again. No steel anywhere, just the visquene. In the garage, above where the large chunks are falling off of the concrete, we now have a giant crack running across the wall/ceiling joint.

    Brick windowsills have no weepholes under the ledge, everything is mortared shut.

    Front wall is partially covered and has a brick porch. There are no weep holes in the covered part of the wall and the porch now has a giant fault running through it.

    Water put into one weep hole doesn't come out of any of the others. On some of them, it doesn't even come back out of the hole it was poured into. I did put the water in as far as I could with aquarium tubing, so I know it was getting into the space.

    Am I wrong in thinking that the builder has a problem to address here? This house was built in 04. Any suggestions as to my next step?

    Thanks much in advance
    Sounds like water is flowing in through the weep holes and into the house. This could have caused the problems you found. What you found could have been caused by several things.

    How far above the ground are the weep holes?

    Does the grade(ground) slope away or towards the home?

    The plastic that you found between the brick and the slab is the through the wall flashing. It is suppose to be that way. Metal is seldom if ever used for this on residental homes.

    Post some pictures that might help.

    With a home built 7 years ago, your builder is most likely off the hook for anything with that home.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    T Senkle's Avatar
    T Senkle Guest

    Default Re: flashing, weep holes, rotting floors, Am I right?

    The weep holes are a good 6 inches above the ground.The grade slopes away from the house, no standing water problems anywhere on the lot.

    I've taken a lot of pictures, let me edit some to a reasonable size and I will post them.

    Thanks!


  4. #4
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    Mar 2008
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    Charlotte NC
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    Default Re: flashing, weep holes, rotting floors, Am I right?

    Reading your OP it sounds like you have a wood floor on a concrete slab. Is the wood floor on sleepers? Is there a vapor barrier on top of the slab? Have you checked to make sure there is not a pipe leaking water under the slab? Is the house on the down hill side of the main water and sewer lines?

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  5. #5
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    Lake Barrington, IL
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    Default Re: flashing, weep holes, rotting floors, Am I right?

    The contractors are pointing pointing fingers at each other? I can't fathom such a possibility.

    As a rule of thumb, commercial buildings get the better qualified workers. Residential get the leftovers/wannabes. Of course this doesn't help you now but it may prepare you for the inevitable - the repairs will likely come out of your pocket. Sorry.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  6. #6
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    Plano, Texas
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    Default Re: flashing, weep holes, rotting floors, Am I right?

    Are there any windows or other points of water entry in the wall above the area of the warped wood?
    Typically the lack of weep holes do not cause an issue in our area due to the forgiving nature of our climate since the walls usually dry out between rains. The lack of proper flashing and water repellent barrier behind the brick is a more likely culprit.

    Another possibility that I have encountered is the lack of a proper vapor barrier under the slab. Tape clear plastic sheeting directly to the concrete over a large area in the suspect area. If you get water condensing under the plastic, you have water moving from the soil through the concrete.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  7. #7
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    Feb 2008
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    New York
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    Default Re: flashing, weep holes, rotting floors, Am I right?

    Sounds like you've got a mess on your hands... and expensive one to fix properly. Don't believe anyone that tells you to drill in weep holes.

    Anyway,

    The flashing should me metal and continous. Any joints in the flashing should be sealed, not simply overlapped.

    Although the IRC states weepholes should be maximum 33' on center, the brick Industry of America calls for 24" on center.

    Weepholes shold be located at the 1st course above grade, and any voids beneath the flashing should be filled in. (personally I don't have a problem if it's a little higher)

    Weep holes should be located at the bottoms of all starts, and above and breaks in the drainage gap (windows,doors, etc). All lintels, brick shelves, etc. should be flashed.

    Ventilation slots (same as weep holes) should be at top of walls and below any breaks in the drainage gap (windows, etc).

    Also, you have to be careful not to impede (clog) the weep holes, and care should be taken that the mason does not drop anything (like mortar) into the drainage gap.

    Did I mention air barrier (moisture barrier), there should be one of those too.

    Remember the 3 D's

    DEFLECT... DRAIN... DRYOUT

    Last edited by Steven Turetsky; 09-09-2011 at 03:18 PM. Reason: splelling
    Steven Turetsky, UID #16000002314
    homeinspectionsnewyork.com
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: flashing, weep holes, rotting floors, Am I right?

    I don't believe you had nails rust through from rains in May. If the moisture is coming from above you should be having other problems, such as mold growing everywhere, stains, etc. I think your problem is coming up through the slab and it has been doing it for a long time. First confirm or discount water migration up through the concrete. The plastic test mentioned is a good easy way to tell.

    Don't leave us hanging, let us know what you find.

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: flashing, weep holes, rotting floors, Am I right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Are there any windows or other points of water entry in the wall above the area of the warped wood?
    Typically the lack of weep holes do not cause an issue in our area due to the forgiving nature of our climate since the walls usually dry out between rains. The lack of proper flashing and water repellent barrier behind the brick is a more likely culprit.

    Another possibility that I have encountered is the lack of a proper vapor barrier under the slab. Tape clear plastic sheeting directly to the concrete over a large area in the suspect area. If you get water condensing under the plastic, you have water moving from the soil through the concrete.
    Exactly what I was thinking.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

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

    Default Re: flashing, weep holes, rotting floors, Am I right?

    The plastic between the bottom brick course and the slab edge is normal around here and nothing wrong with it

    The lower course of brick is level with the interior slab. The top of the brick that is, so the water from the exterior is never going to flood the floor inside. There is a brick ledge that the brick sits on for that reason alone.

    As far as water coming up from the slab? at the edge of the room? Up throught the 3 feet of concrete below it? Doubtfull. Further toward the interior where the concret is much thinner then I agree that there may be moisture coming up thru the slab.

    As far as weep holes under the brick ledge at the windows? You will never find that. Now, at the lintel above you would see it but certainly not everywhere around here.

    You have water getting into the wall from above. It may even be a condensation drain loine intended to come out from the soffit which was never run all the way and connected.

    Not sure why no one can find it but it won't be the first time that a leak was not found until things are pulled apart a bit.

    Opening the drywall up above the area where the floor is swelling and the baseboard is lifting will be the course to find the concern. Now again, if the floor was lifting, not at the edge of the slab but in the middle or a couple feet away from the wall then it very well be a slab vapor barrier problem.

    Just some thoughts and ideas.

    A little edit here

    As far as the concrete coming off in slabs at the rear of the home? Slabs off of what? The edge of the foundation, I assume? As far as being metal close to the edge of the slab, is one of the problems from the past, older homes, with rebar. They always put the rebar too close to the edge of the slab? New homes do not have rebar an inch away from the edge of the slab. If the foundation is moving up and down to much from the soil swelling and then shrinking over and over again then the slab is continuously flexing up and down and the edge of the slab crack length wise and you will lose chunks from the side. If it is just in the corners as corner pops then most of the time or should I say almost all of the time, this is not structrural. Almost every home I inspect has at least one corner pop or more.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 09-09-2011 at 07:06 PM.

  11. #11
    T Senkle's Avatar
    T Senkle Guest

    Default Re: flashing, weep holes, rotting floors, Am I right?

    ok, y'all have given me a lot of work to do this weekend! Don't get me wrong, I do so appreciate it!

    I'll get more pictures taken with a tape measure in them for size reference. I know for a fact that the weep holes, while at the first course of bricks, are well over 33" apart. I was wondering if it was ok to cut a hole in the drywall where the mold and warping had started.

    Going to get stuff from Home Depot, another SD card and batteries for the camera and whatever other assorted goodies I need for this. Hopefully, I'll have a pile of new pictures and information by tomorrow afternoon.

    Thanks so much for all of the advice. This isn't the first problem with the builder in this neighborhood. I just like to go into something like this armed with everything I can get my hands on.

    Have a good evening!


  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Default Re: flashing, weep holes, rotting floors, Am I right?

    Quote Originally Posted by T Senkle View Post
    ok, y'all have given me a lot of work to do this weekend! Don't get me wrong, I do so appreciate it!

    I'll get more pictures taken with a tape measure in them for size reference. I know for a fact that the weep holes, while at the first course of bricks, are well over 33" apart. I was wondering if it was ok to cut a hole in the drywall where the mold and warping had started.

    Going to get stuff from Home Depot, another SD card and batteries for the camera and whatever other assorted goodies I need for this. Hopefully, I'll have a pile of new pictures and information by tomorrow afternoon.

    Thanks so much for all of the advice. This isn't the first problem with the builder in this neighborhood. I just like to go into something like this armed with everything I can get my hands on.

    Have a good evening!
    You might also consider hiring a professional home inspector with forensic inspection experience. Yes, locating the source is important but if you have any thoughts of going after the builder for damages you will need specific documentation of the problem. If litigation is not in the future then the inspector will still save you time and money with their knowledge and skills.

    You have some pretty good inspectors out in your area that could help you. Don't worry about what their fee will be as their fee will be a pittance to what this will end up costing you if you do it yourself.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

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