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Raymond Fries
05-31-2015, 4:29 PM
I removed the PTAC unit in our greenhouse after we installed a mini split last year. The project was to just replace the paneling with the PTAC cutout with new wood to hide the hole. I pulled off the trim pieces and started on the paneling and this is what I found.

314744314745314746

The water stain runs the length of the 14 wall and it appears that the leak has been going on for some time now. There is no trace of water stain on the cedar trim piece that ran along the floor. I plan to remove the trim pieces on the other two walls to see if the stains are on the other two walls as well. The concrete and bottom of the paneling is currently wet. The room was added on 4 years ago. Can anyone offer suggestions on how this is leaking? Can anyone offer advice on how this can be fixed?

We did have a problem with icy windows last winter with the dehumidifier problems but I doubt that this problem accounts for all of this water stain.

I am so glad this got discovered now.

Phil Thien
05-31-2015, 4:35 PM
Well if the base isn't wet/stained, the water must be getting wicked up from outside, no?

How about an outside pic or two?

Raymond Fries
05-31-2015, 4:54 PM
Good thought Phil.

Here are the outside pictures.
314754314755314756

Where the siding overlaps by the leaf on the plant is the right side of the PTAC hole. The PTAC was centered over the plant. I cannot see where water would wick by looking at what I have here.

Any ideas?

Phil Thien
05-31-2015, 5:17 PM
How far below the top of the slab is the bottom of the last course of siding? Water (from rain, snow melt, or watering vegetation) would be wrapping around that bottom edge and finding its way in.

I'd probably zip that bottom course of siding's bottom edge off and take a look behind there. You may find yourself installing some drip edge there.

Phil Thien
05-31-2015, 5:20 PM
BTW, are you sure the cedar base isn't wet? Cedar doesn't always stain the same way as pine/plywood do, and someone may be using an abundance of water to mop that floor, too.

Raymond Fries
05-31-2015, 5:31 PM
I can feel concrete about an inch above the bottom edge of the last course of siding. The concrete might be higher but my finger stops. Is there a standard distance that the siding should drop below the concrete?

Phil Thien
05-31-2015, 6:36 PM
Well I don't think the water is travelling up over an inch, not in that volume?

What about the possibility someone is mopping the floor with too lots of water?

How do things look behind the plywood, can you remove a piece and does the staining extend further into the wall?

Raymond Fries
05-31-2015, 11:07 PM
Mop water is a good thought but it cannot be that. There is a little water staining on the back side of the baseboard piece. I pulled the baseboard off on the other side ofthe room and there is water stain along the entire length of the room as well. I am going to pull the. baseboard on the back wall tomorrow to look at that as well. I called the contractor that built the room and he is going to come in a couple of days to look at it. I sure hope this is an easy fix.

Pulling the plywood is a good idea and I might do that after the contractor comes.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Neil Gaskin
06-01-2015, 10:19 PM
Water leaks can often be difficult to find. From the pictures you posted there is no obvious problem. Can you take a wider picture of the side of the house from the exterior. If you cannot find an obvious sign directly above it may be runing along the floor after it enters the house from another point. Keep opening up until you find the source or until you run out of wet plate. It may have nothing to do with the removed ptac unit. Ill stop short of promising your problem isnt with the siding overhang but its highly unlikely. If you recently had a really bad driving rain, like sideways, then maybe, but not probable. Your clearance above grade looks good.

Raymond Fries
06-02-2015, 10:23 AM
Neil,

Here are a couple pictures.
In Leak6, the paneling has water stain the full length of the room.
In Leak7, there is also water stain on the paneling the full length of the room. I pulled the baseboard loose on the back wall on the right end of the room in the picture (left inside of the room) and there is water stain in the corner. So based on your comments, I wonder if there is a leak at both corners up by the roof and the water is working its way down and traveling along the plate.



Thoughts please.314890314889

Neil Gaskin
06-02-2015, 10:35 AM
At any place where you see the water stain along the base does it travel up the wall? I hate trying to find water leaks. Based on what I could see from the pictures there are no obvious deficiencies in the exterior. If you have soft spots, areas of rot, or failed sealant on the exterior I would start there. The best suggestion I can give you now is water test it with a hose at "normal" pressure, you do not want to use pressure higher than what you would expect rain to deliver. This will take some time to do properly and ideally takes 2 people. You start at the base level and slowly work your way around the structure moving from bottom up spraying it down with water. You want move in about 1' increments moving upward soaking each area for several minutes at a time. It may take time for the water in a slow leak to work its way through the structure. Keep going until you start to see water on the inside and then stop and figure out how it's getting in. Also, the first spot you find may not be the only spot. With out putting eyes on it personally I can't see anything glaring out as the problem. Wish I had a silver bullet.


Neil,

Here are a couple pictures.
In Leak6, the paneling has water stain the full length of the room.
In Leak7, there is also water stain on the paneling the full length of the room. I pulled the baseboard loose on the back wall on the right end of the room in the picture (left inside of the room) and there is water stain in the corner. So based on your comments, I wonder if there is a leak at both corners up by the roof and the water is working its way down and traveling along the plate.



Thoughts please.314890314889

Raymond Fries
06-02-2015, 10:54 AM
Everywhere there is staining, the water travels up. The concrete below the PTAC unit is still wet today. Luckily there is no soft wood yet but there are some really dark stains so this has been leaking probably since the room was built in 2011. Good thing that this this got discovered now.

What is going to be hard is trying to see the concrete. I laid the tile after the room was built. The paneling was installed to touch the concrete floor. The tile is spaced between 1/8" and about 1/2" away from the paneling. The tile is about 3/8" thick and with the grout the gap is about 1/2" deep. Hopefully the contractor will have the silver bullet. The warranty on the room was for one year but this looks like something got missed so not I am not sure how any repair costs will go.

Neil Gaskin
06-02-2015, 1:35 PM
Does the water travel up the wall the same amount in all places or is there a place where it looks like it may be coming from above?

Bryan Rocker
06-02-2015, 1:44 PM
One thought is that you don't have enough drainage away from the slab. If your concrete is wet it might be the source. When you built the addition did you put drain tile around the perimeter and give the water a place to flow?

Raymond Fries
06-02-2015, 2:15 PM
Neil - Where there is staining it seems to be close to a uniform height across the room except on the back wall right at the corner there is a tall and then it drops really low.

Brian - Do not know if they installed a drain tile. The concrete is wet on the top next to the plate and dry outside on the vertical surface.

Neil Gaskin
06-02-2015, 8:14 PM
You may have success with the original builder/remodeler if they are reputable. If this was one of our projects I would want to come by and take to determine the cause. If the cause was removal of the ptac unit, I may not cover the cost, but if the cause is something that is a result of something we did incorrectly or that failed prematurely we would likely take care of it.

Raymond Fries
06-02-2015, 11:08 PM
I was hoping I could figure this out but it looks like I will have to get the contractor to help. He was rated highly on Angie's List and will take care of it if it was something that was not done exactly right when installed. I am just so happy that this got discovered now before it turned to rotten wood. I would hate to see what to would take to repair the bottom of walls.

Thanks to everyone for the tips and help. I will post what wqs found and the fix.

Raymond Fries
06-04-2015, 5:43 PM
Here is an update...

The contractor that built the room came today to help identify the problem. He could see nothing wrong with his work but we did discover a potential culprit. When the dehumidifier was installed, they never sealed the hole where the drain line exited the wall as seen here:315042
I can insert my index finger all the way in that hole. Water would have been coming in there for over a year. Do you think that enough water could come in there to travel around the room? Notice the channel created by the heat tape that spirals around the PVC.

Thoughts please.

Rich Engelhardt
06-04-2015, 6:24 PM
Depends on which way it faces & what direction you get most of your weather from.

If you get your weather from the W/SW and that's where it's located then, yeah - it could easily allow that much in.

OTOH - if it faces North, then it's not likely.

Phil Thien
06-04-2015, 6:55 PM
A hole like that would allow quite a bit of water in, but I'd think the staining near the hole would be darker/higher. That is, if the hole was the source of the problem, I think it would be fairly evident on the inside.

But I could be wrong and often am.

Edit to add: Any chance the problem is condensation? Warm/moist air hitting the freezing outer edges of the slab in winter? If the staining is truly even around the enter perimeter, I think it might be possible.

Chris Padilla
06-04-2015, 6:57 PM
Maybe this is a crazy idea but take a hose to the area and simulate some rain...see what happens...where the water goes.

Scott Hearn
06-04-2015, 6:58 PM
If that siding gets enough rain it sure looks like it to me. It's right under the lap of the piece above. Water will come off that lap and follow that heat tape right in.

Raymond Fries
06-04-2015, 8:46 PM
This wall faces N/NW and we really had some hard rain the end if last week. The rain does hit that wall when it rains hard. I asked the contractor about condensation and he said he doubted it because of the way the Anderson windows are constructed that it would be extremely difficult for that small amount of moisture to travel inside. We did flood the wall with water for about 20 minutes and could not see it inside next to the PTAC opening which is about 15' from the drain hole.

I used duct tape to close the hole tonight as it might rain tomorrow. This weekend I plan to move the dehumidifier, replace the siding, plug the hole, and remove the baseboard on the back wall. That will show if there is more staining in that area than the others. Hopefully that hole is the culprit and I can move on.

I hope it stays dry or I will be doing the hose test that someone earlier in this tread recommended.

Thanks all...

Neil Gaskin
06-04-2015, 10:18 PM
A hole that size could certainly allow enough water in. If nothing else its a good place to start and good to seal for a variety of reasons.

Todd Burch
06-04-2015, 10:49 PM
I'm going to bet condensation from the slab. Was 6mil plastic used under the slab? Does the inside of the structure go through temperature extremes quickly? Is yours a humid climate?

Todd

Jim Matthews
06-05-2015, 6:44 AM
Do you think that enough water could come in there to travel around the room? Notice the channel created by the heat tape that spirals around the PVC.

Thoughts please.

Yep. Bet the dehumidifier leaks, too.

Jim Matthews
06-05-2015, 6:47 AM
I'm going to bet condensation from the slab. Was 6mil plastic used under the slab? Does the inside of the structure go through temperature extremes quickly? Is yours a humid climate?

Todd

+1 on this.

Concrete acts like a sponge, drawing water from high concentrations and
dispensing it on the dry side. My basement shows signs of "efflorescence"
when hydrostatic pressure was great.

http://www.concreteconstruction.net/Concrete/what-causes-efflorescence-and-how-do-you-remove-it.aspx

Raymond Fries
06-05-2015, 4:02 PM
Bingo - Found a problem that I think is replicted around the entire room. The concrete inside was dry before I started. On the outside, there are gaps where the horizontal siding above the windows meets the vertical siding that was installedbetweenthe windows. You can see this in thepictures earlier inthisthread. I used a watering wand and sprayed water on the gap atthe top of the board where there was vertical staining on the paneling inside. After about 5 minutes, there was a pool of water on the concrete inside. There gaps are around the entire room.

I called the contractor and told him what I discovered. He said he would come next week an seal all of the gaps with paintable silicone.

I am really disturbed that this leaks like this. Is his solution a good one? I plan on taping everything off to keep clean lines. Should the gaps between the windows be sealed as well? When he was here to look at it, he told me there was some kind of taps to seal the windows. Now I am not sure if there was shortcuts in his work. I just want to ensure thisis fixed correctly and permanantly.

What is the best paintble silicone to use?

Thanks for any advice.

Phil Thien
06-05-2015, 5:03 PM
Don't let him just show up and caulk things.

I'd want to pull the casing around the windows and look at the flashing.

Raymond Fries
06-05-2015, 5:20 PM
Don't let him just show up and caulk things.

I'd want to pull the casing around the windows and look at the flashing.

Does this mean that if the flashing around the room was not properly installed, it would account for the leaks in the gaps on the trim boards?

The wood is cedar and will be destroyed to pull it off. In addition, the downspouts will have to be removed to get to the trim boards at the end of the room.

Here are construction pictures of the room with the windows installed on the back wall.315096315097

Does this look right?

Chris Padilla
06-05-2015, 5:25 PM
Fix it right...caulk is not fixing it right IMO. Caulk will need to be replaced every couple of years.

Todd Burch
06-05-2015, 5:40 PM
I would put metal flashing both above and below the windows. I would bevel cut all the intersections of the top rail, all stiles and the bottom rail @ 15 degrees to shed water as well.

Also, those nail holes in the cedar trim need to be caulked and painted.

Shame on him.

Phil Thien
06-05-2015, 8:16 PM
I'm no pro, I'll defer to Todd.

Is all that casing just butt-jointed?

Brian Elfert
06-05-2015, 9:59 PM
If caulking I would use something like an OSI Quad caulk. I'll let someone else answer if caulk is really the answer or not.

On further review of the photos it appears no flashing was used above the windows. I am pretty sure that is a big no-no. So what if the contractor has to tear off the cedar to fix it right? If it is still under warranty it is up to him to fix it properly. I wouldn't do a quick and dirty fix to avoid removing some wood to do it right.

Raymond Fries
06-05-2015, 10:58 PM
This discovery today has left me feeling sick, frustrated, and extremely disappointed. This contractor had excellent reviews on Angie's list. I have spent hours now trying to find the problem that should not be there. The room leaks like crazy every time it rains.

Yes just butt joints on the cedar. I will post some closeup pictures tomorrow. I really need help to understand how this can be fixed so I do not get sold some shortcut easy fix.

How do I tell if there is flashing above the windows? If this a requirement or option?

The room was built 4 years ago and when the contractor was here looking at the problem, he was adamant that something had changed in the room because he said where the staining would be completely rotten if it had been leaking all this time. I do not agree with this. I think the windows were not sealed correctly when installed and it has been leaking all this time.

I got out the proposal to look for warranty info. All it says that can pertain to this problem is the following: "All material is guaranteed to be as specified. All work to be completed in a workmanlike manner according to standard practices."
It seems to me that if it leaks like crazy that it was not completed to standard practices. Correct?

I paid a lot of money for that room for my wife and I want it fixed correctly and not a quick and easy fix. Can the windows be sealed from the outside with flashing and silicone after the cedar is removed? She will be sick if she loses all of her plants again because of contractors.

Phil Thien
06-06-2015, 12:12 AM
So the water is getting behind the vertical trim around the windows, right?

That is caulked now, right? Do you have a close-up pic or two of the vertical trim to the window transition?

I don't think the heads of your windows were flashed correctly, BTW. The house wrap should have been lifted during the window install, and then taped down over the top of flashing (the flashing at the head should be attached directly to the sheathing). That way water that gets behind the wrap above the window will come out on top of the flashing.

And no, z-flashing (at the head) isn't a requirement. It would be nice, though.

Neil Gaskin
06-06-2015, 1:31 AM
Caulk is your first last line of defence, not your last or only. Phil was correct above with the house wrap detailing though Id say z bar is necessary and less than five bucks per 10 foot is pretty cheap. There should also be a sealing tape applied to the window flanges.

Post some pictures tomorrow, but I will summerize how we install windows to avoid such issues

Frame walls, wrap with house wrap, wrap house wrap into opening on sides and bottom and roll up the top, install the window, put caulking behind the nailing fin, tape the nailing fin with sealant tape starting with the two sides then the top, the top tape goes over the house wrap that you just pulled down and across the two the side pieces. Install the head trim with z bar, then the two sides, then bottom, we install flashing above the head trim board and tape it to the ouse wrap, then isntall siding. we also put slip flashing between butt seams in the siding.

In short, you should be able to hit the wall with water after you install the house wrap and window and have the window sealed and be water tight. Not to say you can leave it exposed and expect it to last, but it should be sealed at that point.

If youre leaking now, caulking is a band aid and will eventyally fail, beyond that paintable silicone isnt tbe best option here anyway.

Phil Thien
06-06-2015, 9:45 AM
Just to be clear, I'm just saying z-channel isn't a code requirement unless the manufacturer of a window requires it.

I will defer to the pros here.

Phil Thien
06-06-2015, 9:49 AM
I would put metal flashing both above and below the windows. I would bevel cut all the intersections of the top rail, all stiles and the bottom rail @ 15 degrees to shed water as well.

Also, those nail holes in the cedar trim need to be caulked and painted.

Shame on him.

How about removing the trim above and between the windows, and running a continuous Z all the way across, above the windows?

Furthermore, how about adding short pieces of drip edge at the bottom of the vertical trim between the windows?

Kent Adams
06-06-2015, 10:20 AM
Neil,

Here are a couple pictures.
In Leak6, the paneling has water stain the full length of the room.
In Leak7, there is also water stain on the paneling the full length of the room. I pulled the baseboard loose on the back wall on the right end of the room in the picture (left inside of the room) and there is water stain in the corner. So based on your comments, I wonder if there is a leak at both corners up by the roof and the water is working its way down and traveling along the plate.



Thoughts please.314890314889

I kept shaking my head when you called it a greenhouse and were worried about the water leakage. I couldn't understand the pictures as part of a green house and then worrying over water? I own a Lord and Burnam green house and water is just part and parcel in a green house. What you have is a sunroom, not a green house, huge difference. Your space is cooled too much during the summer which causes condensation to form on the wall. What you need is a vapor barrier. This is a classic problem with sunrooms. Either shut off the A/C in that room, put in ceiling fans to cool or create a monster vapor barrier. I think the simplest solution would be to cut off the A/C to that room, put in a couple of ceiling fans as well as an exhaust fan near the top of the gable that is controlled by a thermometer (i.e. it will kick on at a certain temp.). Never ever condition the air space on a sunroom with a south facing wall. You're inviting all kinds of problems with that, including a huge mold production "plant".

If you've done all this already, then the problem is a leakage, but I suspect you have that room getting A/C based on the length of the water stains.

EDIT: I took another look at those stains. Now I'm thinking it could be the opposite. Perhaps you don't have an A/C problem, but its still condensation I believe. If the room is hot, but the ground is damp/wet, condensation will collect where the floor meets the ground, ruling out a bad slope as a possible cause. The ground would be cooler than the inside air, causing condensation to build up where the floor with the warmer air meets the damp ground. In this case, pulling up the floor and putting in a vapor barrier would help.

Phil Thien
06-06-2015, 11:03 AM
If you've done all this already, then the problem is a leakage, but I suspect you have that room getting A/C based on the length of the water stains.

Read post #28, the water is coming in from outside.

Kent Adams
06-06-2015, 12:02 PM
Read post #28, the water is coming in from outside.

Am I reading this wrong? Your post is number 14. Where is #28?

Kent Adams
06-06-2015, 12:08 PM
I had to switch to "linear display" to see the comment. Thanks for the heads up.

Neil Gaskin
06-06-2015, 12:47 PM
Phil,

I wasnt try to be rude, hope I didnt come across that way. This does appear to either be a flashing or barrier problem.

Neil

Phil Thien
06-06-2015, 1:22 PM
Phil,

I wasnt try to be rude, hope I didnt come across that way. This does appear to either be a flashing or barrier problem.

Neil

I didn't read your response as rude at all.

Raymond Fries
06-06-2015, 2:35 PM
OK here is the story. Get a coffee, tea, water, or pop ( oh yeah maybe a beer) for the long haul...

Hopefully these pictures will tell the story.

There were taken on 04/26/2011 showing the window openings.
315149315148

On 4/27/2011 all of the windows were installed.

315150315151315152315153315154

On 04/28/2011 all of the trim was installed.

315155

From these pictures, can you tell if flashing was installed? Is flashing a part of standard practices or is this an option? Does it look like there were installed according to manufacturing instructions?


Will have to finish with next post as I ran out of pictures.

Raymond Fries
06-06-2015, 2:38 PM
Continued...

Here are the rest of the pictures I took today. NOtice in the last one you can see the tape that was used to seal the window. Is this right?
315156315157315158315159

Today I used a watering wand to test where the water started coming in the windows. All of my testing has been on the 4 windows by where the PTAC was removed. After about 2 minutes of spraying close to the top of the window, it started leaking inside at the place where the ” paneling butts together. That means the sides are not sealed as well. When I first discovered it, the wand was above the window.

If this is sub-standard workmanship, do I have recourse if the contractor says he will not fix this because it is 4 years old? I agree with the feedback that this should not be caulked and to fix it right. What is right? Can these windows be sealed from the outside without removing the windows? I know nothing about how this should be fixed and do not want to be handed a shortcut because it is easy for someone else.

It now appears that the mini-split will have to be disconnected to get one of the trim boards off. The hole here keeps getting deeper and deeper. That will be expensive and should not be charged to me.

Thanks for all of the help here.

Phil Thien
06-06-2015, 6:06 PM
Hard to be sure from the pics but it looks like there is no pan flashing on the openings. Pan flashing is the formed or rubber covering over the bottom of the opening, it protects the wood there because all the water that gets in is going to end up there, on its way elsewhere.

The window units are flush with the exterior trim, which doesn't offer a lot of possibilities for effective caulking. So who designed that addition? Did the builder do the design, or did you work with an architect? If the windows were held back even 1/2", you'd have a nice line you could caulk.

At this point, I'd be opening an interior wall around a window and seeing how soaked the opening is getting. If there is indeed no pan flashing, I'd remove and reinstall the windows, properly flashing everything. I'd also be adjusting the position of the windows in the openings, to better accommodate some caulk beads.

You might want to sign-up at the Fine Homebuilding forum and see if they can be some help.

I'm not a pro.

Todd Burch
06-07-2015, 6:59 AM
I'm not a pro either, but I have installed a house full of windows before. I've been thinking about this more.

For a window, its rough opening, the water barrier, adhesive sealing tape, and the trim, there are multiple aspects working together to shed and prevent water from entering the wall and the building around the window, and other than the rough opening, they all come with instructions for how they are to be installed and applied.

Primarily, there is the window itself. The window needs to be installed (new construction) directly against the wood of the rough opening. Do haven't specified (or it you did, I missed it) what type of windows you have. I'll guess vinyl. The frame of a vinyl window is excellent at being impervious to water. The seams are welded together, and the installation fins on the window are placed in manner as to provide the proper exterior reveal (be that 5/8", 3/4", etc).

The windows that I am familiar with require sealant to be applied between the fin and the framing members. I used a liberal bead when I did mine. Then, I used screws to hold the window into the opening. A lot of installers will only use a few nails, or they use staples. Again, the instructions that came with the windows dictate the proper method for using sealant and fasteners. At this stage, water should not be able to penetrate the rough opening. Period.

After the windows are in, the wall's water barrier is applied. This could be tar paper (or building felt, depending on your locale - same thing) or a house-wrap type product. For either method, there is a proper amount of overlap between horizontal layers. At the windows, the water barrier should be (carefully) cut to cover the terminate in the windows trough. See picture.

315219

Then, you tape around the window. The tape ensures water that does get inside the wall (and it shouldn't) past the siding and window trim, stays in the trough and is allowed to flow around the window in the trough and run out the bottom and down the wall between the siding and water barrier. From your pictures, it appears the windows were taped properly, from an overlap perspective (bottom first, then sides, then top). I can't see inside the trough though. The tape should adhere to the window fin, covering all nails/screws and extra holes not used in the fin for fasteners. Some manufactures of flashing tape say don't install the bottom piece.

So far, you have exterior grade sealant between the window fins and RO framing, you have a house wrap overlapping the fins, and then you have flashing tape, tying the house wrap to the window fin inside the trough. At this point, it should be air proof!

It will be interesting to learn where in the process something failed for your situation.

Brian Elfert
06-07-2015, 10:21 AM
From the photos the windows look properly installed. I think even without flashing there shouldn't be leaks around the windows. Do you know where the water is actually coming in?

Phil Thien
06-07-2015, 10:37 AM
Properly flashing a window.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaKXqFtHAss

There is no sill flashing that I can see.

Those are really flashed improperly. A lot of guys do it that way, but it doesn't make it proper.

I realize this is a commercial for DuPont building materials, but the concepts are the same no matter what vendor is used. And seeing as most products are knock-offs of DuPont's system, the DuPont instructions really set the standard.

Phil Thien
06-07-2015, 10:47 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycdgjUZf0H0

The 2nd video, the very first thing he says, the most important step, is getting the house wrap folded up and out of the way.

Brian Elfert
06-07-2015, 11:42 AM
Isn't the Protectowrap in the photos the sill flashing in this case? In one of the photos it appears the housewrap was folded up above the windows. It appears this stuff was done right, but obviously something is wrong.

Thanks for the videos as I am just about to install a door and windows in my garage. I already viewed some videos last night, but the second one is great.

Raymond Fries
06-07-2015, 12:08 PM
From the photos the windows look properly installed. I think even without flashing there shouldn't be leaks around the windows. Do you know where the water is actually coming in?

On the windows I tested, the water started coming in just below the rail on one of the four windows. So on one of these sets, the water is coming in along the side somewhere up top.

Good suggestion on manufacturing directions Todd. I found an Anderson PDF online. I plan to call anderson tomorrow and go through. the instructions with them as. I saw a drip cap and not sure of that pertains to my windows as I do not have one. for the leak I found it would not matter as it is on the stile somewhere.

I am wondering if they just did not get the flashing tape pressed down enough.

Good installation videos Phil. That flexwrap looks real nice.

Neil Gaskin
06-07-2015, 5:11 PM
From the looks of the pictures the house wrap and window install looks mostly proper. I would prefer to see a piece of z-bar flashing going across the head of the windows. The hosue wrap was installed properly going on before the windows, at least according to every isntall manual and tech spec I've read. I've not seen a manufacturer recommend installing the windows and then wrap around them as mentioned above.

For what it's worth we stopped using Protecto Wrap a few years ago because it did not stick very well and looses adhesion.

Phil Thien
06-07-2015, 7:32 PM
From the looks of the pictures the house wrap and window install looks mostly proper. I would prefer to see a piece of z-bar flashing going across the head of the windows. The hosue wrap was installed properly going on before the windows, at least according to every isntall manual and tech spec I've read. I've not seen a manufacturer recommend installing the windows and then wrap around them as mentioned above.

For what it's worth we stopped using Protecto Wrap a few years ago because it did not stick very well and looses adhesion.

The method described above for lifting the wrap and putting it over the flashing at the top of the window is in the documentation for the flashing system from DuPont (as well as others). The house wrap installation instructions refer you there when you get to windows, but only if you're using their flashing system.

I think the reality is, if you use a nice big bead of sealant around the sides and top of the window flange, laying it down right in line with the nail holes, you're going to prevent about 99.9% of the opportunities for leaking.

That is usually how I see it done around here.

I've seen construction where there is no flashing whatsoever, but they caulk under the flange in line with the nail holes, and then they caulk again making sure the flange to window is sealed well (I would not like to be the guy replacing the windows in 20+ years).

If you aren't going to caulk, I think you need to follow the instructions in one of the flashing system to a "t."

I'm curious what went wrong in this instance.

Raymond Fries
06-08-2015, 1:38 PM
From the looks of the pictures the house wrap and window install looks mostly proper. I would prefer to see a piece of z-bar flashing going across the head of the windows. The hosue wrap was installed properly going on before the windows, at least according to every isntall manual and tech spec I've read. I've not seen a manufacturer recommend installing the windows and then wrap around them as mentioned above.

For what it's worth we stopped using Protecto Wrap a few years ago because it did not stick very well and looses adhesion.


Well maybe that is what happened here. I proved that the water is coming in on a stile close to the top rail. I cannot imagine that the installer did not press it down enough to stick. If the tape is defective, the contractor should be able to get the Protectowrap people to pay for it. I will take this back to the contractor.

Neil, have you ever had a claim for tape that lost adhesion? How did you determine that it lost adhesion? What brand do you use now?

What a mess!

Thanks again to all for all of the help here.

Neil Gaskin
06-08-2015, 6:38 PM
I don't believe we've ever had a warranty claim that we determined was a result of tape failure, but we also caulk behind nailing fin.

I'll have to look, I can picture the case and the roll, but I can't remember the name of the tape we use off hand.

We had most problems with the tape in cooler/cold months than warm for what ever that is worth.

Raymond Fries
06-08-2015, 7:07 PM
Colder weather makes sense for problems. Hopefully, this can get resolved without removing windows but I am ready to accept whatever it takes to get it fixed right.

Neil Gaskin
06-08-2015, 11:45 PM
There shouldn't be a need to remove the windows. The trim likely needs to come off but this looks like it could be fixed with new sealant tape flashing and caulking.

Raymond Fries
06-09-2015, 4:28 PM
It would be awesome if the repair could leave the windows in place. I had another scary thought today. What about the fiberglass insulation in the walls below the windows. It has been getting wet for a long time now. Think it is OK? Below the 3/8" fir paneling there is a layer of 1/4" plywood to build out the wall so the trim would be flush with the windows. This plywood is what you see all of the stain on. I hate to tear out everything all around the room just to check for mold.

I have found different opinions on wet fiberglass insulation and not sure where to go with this.

Any ideas anyone?

Todd Burch
06-09-2015, 4:41 PM
IMO, if the builder mans up and takes responsibility for this, who cares if he has to open the wall and replace wet/molding insulation?

Neil Gaskin
06-13-2015, 5:13 PM
If you had wet insulation I would want it replaced, which brings up an interesting set of circumstances. If it was only a little damp I wouldn't worry to much, but the wet fiberglass can hold moisture which can cause mold. Once it dries and stays dry it wouldn't be a problem. So the answer is, it depends on how wet it is/was.

Raymond Fries
06-14-2015, 2:43 PM
I decided to tearout the plywood over one cavity next to the PTAC opening and examine the insulation and go from there.

A contractor was here on Friday to give me an estimate. He said they would have to do a T&M job which is kind of scary. He did confirm that the water is leaking in around the window frames. After the second contractor comes next week, I plan on taking my case to the guy that built the room and go from there.

Update - I removed the plywood to expose the cavity and the insulation appears ok. The staples securing the plywood to the plate are rusty. When I first turned the bottom of the insulation over, I saw a bunch of black dots and I thought oh great here it comes...

.. But after pulling it up, there was the letter "B" printed in the same black dots. I have never seen printing on the fiberglass face. No way could this be mold as it is far to precise. I am assuming the rest of the room will be the same.

I still might tell the contractor that I want it pulled just to be safe. My goal is to identify the minimum that needs to be done as it is obvious that shortcuts have been taken.

Neil Gaskin
06-14-2015, 7:17 PM
I would start with the original contractor if hes willng to warrant the job, or at least cut you a break. Im not suggesting it shuoldnt be a warranty, just that I dont recall all the particulars at this time. From the pictures you took it doesnt really look like short cuts were taken so much as something failed. Ideally flashing would have been used above the windows but that may not be the acutal problem. the tape he used may have failed or the caulking.

I wouldnt worry to much about the staples, if the plywood is stable and solid you might want to use rink shank nails. We dont use staples around my area. Im not a fan of staples but some argue they hold better.

Raymond Fries
06-14-2015, 8:35 PM
I felt there was a shortcut because the Anderson installation instructions specify that a drip cap be installed as well as exterior backing cord and caulk. Maybe these steps are optional for the contractor.

Hopefully the contractor will just fix whatever is wrong.

Neil Gaskin
06-16-2015, 7:37 PM
The lack of caulk was definately a miss, that should have been done if the contractor was responsible for the painting. But even when we have homeowners paint their own projects we will do the caulking to try to avoid these type of issues. If the installation instructions were not followed you would have a claim against the contractor but the manufacturer warranty will be void.

Short cuts never work out in the long run.

Raymond Fries
06-16-2015, 9:32 PM
I have been told by at least one other contrctor that I should not need caulk if everything else is installed properly. If this is true, then caulking now is in fact band aid that will fail sometime. The contractor that came to give me an estimlate thought the windows were not taped correctly or the tape had failed.

Another contrctor is coming tomorrow to look at it.

Raymond Fries
06-19-2015, 5:50 PM
Looking at the room today I noticed water stain above the baseboard on the wall where the room ties into the house. Would someone look at these construction photographs and tell me if looks like the wall is sealed properly.

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The day after the picture with the windows installed, the siding went on. Looking closely, the outside looks the same as before the windows were installed. Looking at the interior picture, is that some sort of sealing tape sticking out in the corner. I am hoping I do not have a wall leak or if the water from the windows is traveling around the corner. Odd that the stain on the wall with the faucet is bigger than the stain on the wall with the windows.

Todd Burch
06-19-2015, 5:59 PM
I hope you have a water barrier behind that blue board insulation.

Raymond Fries
06-19-2015, 10:51 PM
Not sure Todd but I would asuume so. The house was built in 1987 and we moved here in 1992 and have never had a moisture problem with the house.

Raymond Fries
06-19-2015, 10:59 PM
Does anyone have a copy of the International Residential Code (R613.1)? It costs over $100 to buy a copy.

I found an article on finehomebuilding.com saying that this rule says that all windows must be installed according to manufacturer's installation instructions. Mine are not installed by those instructions.

Thanks if you can help with this.

Todd Burch
06-20-2015, 10:50 AM
I have a copy of the IRC 2000. That good enough?

Raymond Fries
06-20-2015, 4:37 PM
Thanks Todd but I doubt it. My librarian wife found copies at our library. I went today and got a copy of the 2003 code. The section 613.1 referred to on www.finehomebuilding.com article said that waterproofing and flashing was not a part of the scope of that section. What I was looking for was not there. Sigh...
The codes are published every three years. Unless something was added in 2006 or 2009 that supports the statement in the article, it will not help my case.

It is OK as I still have the physical evidence that the room leaks through the windows. I was just hoping to see a code that said the windows must be installed according to manufacturers installation instructions as pointed out in the online article.

I got my Delmhorst moisture meter yesterday and got some baseline readings on two walls last light. Since it rained for a few days, I am pretty sure that some of the 20 percent readings along the walls at floor level are a result of leaking. Will wait a couple of days and see if they drop. Then, I plan on using the hose and document where the readings rise.

Getting a quote from a contractor the first of the week on what it will cost to pull and re-install the windows. Maybe by the end of next week I will have everything I need to call the builder and see how he wants to handle the fix. Hope he is willing to fix it and not just caulk it. At least it "will" get fixed.

Raymond Fries
06-20-2015, 5:15 PM
Well look at what we have here:

I found this online from the 2009 International Residential Code here: http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/icod/irc/2009/icod_irc_2009_6_sec012.htm

Looks like the builder needed to follow the manufacturer's installation instructions unless I am missing something here.

So even though I signed a contract where the builder said his work would be performed in a "workman like manner" the work should still be performed in accordance with the building code. Correct?

SECTION R612 EXTERIOR WINDOWS AND DOORS

R612.1 General. This section prescribes performance and construction requirements for exterior windows and doors installed in walls. Windows and doors shall be installed and flashed in accordance with the fenestration manufacturer's written installation instructions. Window and door openings shall be flashed in accordance with Section R703.8. Written installation instructions shall be provided by the fenestration manufacturer for each window or door.

R703.8 Flashing. Approved corrosion-resistant flashing shall be applied shingle-fashion in a manner to prevent entry of water into the wall cavity or penetration of water to the building structural framing components. Self-adhered membranes used as flashing shall comply with AAMA 711. The flashing shall extend to the surface of the exterior wall finish. Approved corrosion-resistant flashings shall be installed at all of the following locations:

1. Exterior window and door openings. Flashing at exterior window and door openings shall extend to the surface of the exterior wall finish or to the water-resistive barrier for subsequent drainage. 2. At the intersection of chimneys or other masonry construction with frame or stucco walls, with projecting lips on both sides under stucco copings. 3. Under and at the ends of masonry, wood or metal copings and sills. 4. Continuously above all projecting wood trim. 5. Where exterior porches, decks or stairs attach to a wall or floor assembly of wood-frame construction. 6. At wall and roof intersections. 7. At built-in gutters.

Raymond Fries
06-28-2015, 4:47 PM
Water testing today revealed that the exterior door leaks. :mad: All that is left is the roof walls, and skylights. Time for a wrecking ball? If I spray water along the left side of the door, the water runs inside within 5 minutes.. That gap gets it 1/4" wide and you can see the house wrap in there. Can anyone tell who makes this exterior door? The one of the left is the interior door. I would like to get the installation instructions and try to determine if it was installed according to code. Are there standard rules for installing all exterior doors? How can I tell if they were followed?

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Are there services available where I could get an inspector to come an look at the roof, connecting walls, and skylights to try to verify if they are installed correctly. I am wondering about all of it now. I want to ensure that I know "ALL" the problems before I talk to the contractor. This is going to be way beyond small claims court and if legal is necessary, I want to ensure I do it once.

Neil Gaskin
06-28-2015, 6:54 PM
No way to tell what kind of door it is by just looking at it. Do you know what building code you were under when the structure was built, was a permit pulled, was it inspected?

If the door was leaking between the weather stripping and door leaf this likely isnt an installation issue. If the door is leaking from the side of the jamb or trim it may be.

What has the original contractor said?

Raymond Fries
06-28-2015, 7:43 PM
Addition was under 2009 version of the code. The leak is from spraying water in the gap between the door trim and the siding. I have not contacted the builder yet. Yes a permit was issued but do not know if it was inspected. Will have to look into that. I may just have to ask the builder who made door if I cannot figure it out.

Neil Gaskin
06-29-2015, 9:40 AM
You should be able to call your local building department and have them look up your address and see if you have an open permit.

I think you should call the builder and see what there take is, you seem to be getting geared up for a battle and there is a good chance if they are a reputable builder they will help you out and take care of the problems. If your experience with construction was problematic you may be taking the right approach, but if it went well and the builder was good to deal with they may be willing to address these issues with you.

Raymond Fries
06-29-2015, 8:51 PM
I just want to make sure that I know how it should be done so I am not possibly handed a shortcut. There have been a few problems along the way and the builder has always fixed them. This is huge though. I am waiting for him to return my call.

Will keep posting progress. I really appreciate everyone's help with this. I have learned alot about construction and. building codes from this.