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Thread: Water damage?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    3

    Question Water damage?

    Hi everybody,

    I started working on my kitchen re-tiling project, and after taking off the old tile I ran into something very questionable that looks like moisture damage to me, especially around the threshold under the exterior door. The house is your typical late 90s wood frame on concrete slab with stucco siding.

    Pics:
    #1 - https://www.dropbox.com/s/cilbnbkkpn...2011.31.58.jpg
    #2 - https://www.dropbox.com/s/ddf9ny1pj3...2011.32.08.jpg

    I'm not sure how old or fresh those stains are, it's been about a year since I moved in, the original inspection didn't find anything pertaining to this kind of damage (obviously it was not visible at all). The lot is graded properly so the water is diverted away from the foundation and there are good 5 inches of clearance between the stone patio and entry so I'm not sure how the water got in there in the first place. There are no water or sewer pipes in that wall, at least to the best of my knowledge. There were no tell-tale musty smells from the power outlets (I sniffed every outlet in the house, my inspector probably thought I'm crazy)

    Now I'm a little bit lost (and intimidated by the whole ordeal) and not sure what to do next. I can't just go ahead and start laying the new tile like nothing happened (although many people would do exactly that).
    How do I proceed regarding establishing the scope of the damage, or maybe I'm just over-thinking? The obvious solution of removing the entire wall and replacing whatever is inside doesn't seem cost-effective to me
    My original thought was to poke a few holes in the drywall and take a look inside, but I'm not sure.
    Any advice or encouragement will be appreciated!

    V.V.

    PS: This is my first post, I've been lurking around for quite some time so I would like to use this opportunity to thank this forum for all the knowledge that' has accumulated here so life is much easier for us DIYers!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Water damage?

    Could have been caused by dog or cat urinating near the door.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Water damage?

    Looks like water seeped under the threshold. A very common place and due to it being improperly installed from the beginning. But, I would expect to see a great deal more if it was a actively leaking on a home built in the 90's.

    You could pull that baseboard off and see what the bottom plate looks like and if it is wet then you have a problem... Might need to invest in a moisture meter. You can buy low cost ($30-$50)one at the big box stores

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Water damage?

    I would pull off the baseboard trim and get a good look at the drywall behind it. Drywall that has been wet will be crumbly. Normal, it will be fine powder. You'll want the trim off for tiling, anyway.

    Pull the nails out of the trim from the back with a pair of nippers or linesman pliers. Saves the good side.

    If you had a moisture meter, you could then take some readings, assuming this is your wet season. A home inspector might come by for a one hour inspection of just that spot.

    Does the outer wall get wet there?

    Hello, Scott.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Water damage?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I would pull off the baseboard trim and get a good look at the drywall behind it. Drywall that has been wet will be crumbly. Normal, it will be fine powder. You'll want the trim off for tiling, anyway.
    Interestingly enough, the tile was laid after the baseboards were installed and that's the way the house was sold to the first owner. I always thought it's supposed to be the other way. Go figure!
    I am going to invest in a moisture meter and take a look under the baseboard - I want to keep it as non-invasive as possible for now and I'll post the updates in this thread.
    It is indeed rain season in Southern Cali right now (well - "rain season" applies very loosely here, when ~3 inches of rain a month is as rainy as it gets). That side of the house does get wet, but not much - most of the rains are straight with no wind. I took a look a the threshold and it looks fairly solid - to me it seems the only way any water could have made it inside is if someone pressure-washed around the threshold, and done it multiple times.

    Thank you for your help guys!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Water damage?

    What Scott said, the water looks like it ran along the floor from the doorway. Water can get in around the top of the door frame if that area is not well flashed and sealed - check for gaps.

    If the sellers pressure washed the stucco, you bet water can get in around the door.

    Probe the sill below the trim with a sharp slot type screwdriver. That will tell you if there is a chronic leak that has lead to rotting of the sill. Hard wood, your problem is likely a minor leak around the door.

    In a pinch, the bare hand is a moisture meter, and it is always handy.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Water damage?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    What Scott said, the water looks like it ran along the floor from the doorway. Water can get in around the top of the door frame if that area is not well flashed and sealed - check for gaps.
    That was it!!! After the move-in I went around and re-caulked the gaps around the doorways (they were pretty substantial), and completely forgot about it.
    Looks like everything is fine now.
    Thank you guys, appreciate your help!


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