DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Roofing and Siding > Possible water coming through siding




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Old 06-28-2014, 01:27 PM  
Kid-A
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Default Possible water coming through siding

I recently discovered that I have moisture in my walls, and I think it might be coming though the aluminum siding, but I can't figure out where.

Here is a picture showing where the moisture was found on the interior. It was picked up with a moisture meter.
ImageUploadedByHome Repair1403983386.879948.jpg

And here's a close up of the siding. Is it possible that water is coming in through this small gap where the pieces overlap?
ImageUploadedByHome Repair1403983518.582734.jpg
Any guidance here would be greatly appreciated. I have a smell throughout the house that I believe is mold from this issue.

Also, I don't think it's a roof leak because there wasn't much moisture on the upper level.


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Old 06-28-2014, 01:53 PM  
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I would be more suspect of brick and window. Poor installation of the windows above could be a problem.
Brick will absorb moister and transport it to the inside, there should be a gap between the brick and structure so water can run down and get out thru weep hole left betwen some bricks at the bottom of the wall and over doors and windows.
Can't tell from the photo but if the window trim has been covered with metal, that might be a problem.
Water can travel great distence before it shows up in a house, so nothing is off the plate.



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Old 06-28-2014, 08:39 PM  
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Looks like a combination of a poor installation of the window and the flashing. The flashing, if any, not being under the primary moisture barrier (if any) over the sheathing and water getting behind the brick.

Aluminum siding is not waterproof, but only sheds some rain with no wind or pressure/suction. The brick is much better, but still not waterproof.

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Old 06-28-2014, 09:12 PM  
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I really appreciate the feedback.

Regarding window installation, what am I looking for? I didn't notice any gaps where water would get in, but I'll have to take a closer look.

As for the aluminum siding, should I consider replacing with vinyl and getting a proper moisture barrier in there? The house was built in 1940, so that's probably the age of the siding. The windows were replaced by the previous owner, probably cheaply since he was renting the house out.

Also, here's a pic looking inside one of the air ducts. This is directly below the upstairs window, so directly behind the siding. It's currently dry, but obviously doesn't look good.
ImageUploadedByHome Repair1404011295.141166.jpg



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Old 06-28-2014, 09:17 PM  
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Also, why is it a concern if the window trim is covered in metal? The windows all have an aluminum frame around them I believe.


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Old 06-29-2014, 02:21 PM  
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It is not leaking through the window trim and aluminum, but behind them. there should be flashing under the primary moisture barrier, so the water is directed down until there is a barrier of some sort.
whether aluminum or vinyl, they are just flat pieces of materials that will shed water from rains, but the vertical joints and channels cannot be relied on if there is wind. The lapped vertical joints are there because the siding is not stable and must be allowed to move.

Since it is 1940's construction, I assume you do not have a functioning moisture barrier, so moisture can enter and collect because of the lack of active ventilation. It is possible you also have some minor mold if you look inside the walls.

The headers over the windows could stop the moisture from getting down lower, so it collects there.

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Old 06-29-2014, 03:52 PM  
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Ok, I'm learning a lot here, thank you. So, here's what my "flashing" looks like above the windows. The first has concrete filled in and the second is right up against the brick so there's no gap.
ImageUploadedByHome Repair1404078208.066184.jpg
ImageUploadedByHome Repair1404078226.283864.jpg
I see now that any drainage that might occur is being blocked. What do I need to do to fix this? I did some research online and I'm thinking maybe I could drill some weeping holes, at least as a temporary improvement?

As for the lower "flashing", it is caulked above the brick. Should it not be?
ImageUploadedByHome Repair1404078478.577754.jpg


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Old 06-29-2014, 11:54 PM  
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Quote:
The house was built in 1940, so that's probably the age of the siding.
Not much of a chance that they used AL siding in 1940.....most AL was about to be used by the aircraft makers of WWII

I also see what looks like rust on the strip of metal between the brick and the window frame, so that is not AL. There is a gap above that plate; it isn't big, but it's big enough. That is probably solved with silicone, but prime that metal first.
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:14 AM  
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I don't think I've ever seen screws through the brick at the bottom of the window before.

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Old 06-30-2014, 12:42 AM  
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All siding will let water in in one way or the other. You haven't said weather this is a brick house or wood construction with brick on the face.
What really stops the water from getting in the house is the house wrap or tar paper behind the siding. Both Al and vinyl are good because they are loose and allow airflow. Better or morexpensive siding like hardy or cedar is now installed with spacers to keep it away from the house to allow the airflow. Brick over wood as alway been installed with that gap but there has to be a way for water to get out either at the bottom or above windows and doors.

WINDOWS have always been a problem and every few years they change how they should be installed.
The biggest problem with windows isn't that the water can leak in. It can't get out when it gets there. The old single pain glass may have had a "R" value but it wouldn't be much so the thay had lots of condensation when warm inside air came into contact with the cold window in the winter.
Lots of old house had no problem with windows as the winter heat in the house was not great and the house leaked so much air the water could evaporate and walls would dy out.
Over the years most old houses have been updated with new furnaces walls have been improved and made tighter. As these improvements have been done and the windows still looked good people just ignored them until one day they find a problem like they are rotten.

The problem with contractors that sell window upgrades is.
They quote a price and talk fast but don't worry about what caused the problems. They remove just enough of the old to get a new window to fit in the hole and hide the old framing or wood trim with a metal flashing. What most people don't get is that the best window with double glass is still only about a "R" 5 and the problem of condensation is still there and made worse by the metal trapping the moisture in the woodwork.

When we change windows we don't quote the job there for we only get calls for that after someone else has changed windows and the job has failed.

I think you should pick one window that might be a problem and see if you can remove the metal flashing just to see what they have behind it

It should come down in order top sides and then bottom.



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