mysterious water in the floor

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Lou wrote:

Yep...
Is this a floor on grade? If so, I'd suspect the water is coming from underneath, not above.
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On Jun 26, 10:13 am, snipped-for-privacy@cyberspace.org (Graven Water) wrote:

Ok, your on a start. 10-15' is nothing for water to travel unnoticed, also perpendicular to the floor boards makes sense looking at the picture, thats the way the water is traveling. A plate, a platter, baking sheet, anything with edges to keep water from running will work as a make-shift level but it needs to cover more than 1 or 2 floor boards. The plastic storm, as long as all 4 corners touch will work. Pour water in the center slowly and watch what direction it goes. The sewage vent pipe that you sealed, did you seal 360 degrees around, or did you leave the bottom open for water to run off? Lou
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Lou wrote: ...

Why an exterior wall? There's no plumbing in the kitchen going through that floor? As someone else noted, any plumbing source is a potential culprit, w/ the kitchen nearby things like the icemaker supply, dishwasher supply, etc., etc., are prime candidates as well as the normal sink, etc., supply lines. It could, of course, also be a drain from any of those or other sources.

Never say "only" in a situation like this...I think you're prejudging too much (that it is external, for example).
...

OK, it's not a slab then...that was one possibility that surely came to mind when combined w/ the seasonable thing.
Whatever this is, from the looks of the floor it's been going on quite some time.
It is possible it's external source, but I'd surely be for eliminating the internal sources from consideration.
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You may be right there's a leak, but I haven't been able to find it. I pulled off the trim on the interior wall that's next to the darkened spots. The floorboards end short of the wall and I can see the subflooring, which is dry (except for one tiny spot which might be damp, I can't tell, but can't be the source of all that water).
So that eliminates the water heater vent as a source of the water.
There's a layer between the floorboards and the subflooring, so that explains why no water is showing up in the subflooring. Water could travel for a long ways under the floor.
Just to the left of the area in the picture there's a pergo kitchen floor. Water could be traveling under that floor and I'd never know it. It would have to be coming down an exterior wall.
That's the *only* path under the floor that water could be traveling, to reach the darkened places. There's a doorway to the right of the area in the picture, but the flooring to the right of that area doesn't have any darkened spots, and it's actually lower than the rest of the floor, there's a slightly sagging area of floor there.
Otherwise, the wood floor isn't covered and there aren't any other areas with darkened spots.
I looked at the underside of the subflooring under the kitchen floor, hoping to see some wetness near the walls, but I didn't.
I went up into the attic and looked at the underside of the roof over the kitchen and I didn't see any leaking. There might be some, I have a low-pitched roof and there's stuff like clumped up insulation and ventilation baffles cluttering things up between a lot of the rafters near the walls. So far as I could peer with a flashlight, without doing a lot of work to pull out clumped-up insulation and tear out ventilation baffles, everything is dry.
There's a rain gutter going down the side of a kitchen wall (not close to the darkened area). But I checked to see whether that might be leaking and the wall and everything look dry.
My eaves are about 2' wide and it isn't possible that a significant amount of rain would be getting into the wall from the side. It hasn't been windy.
The floor area that's getting darkened is about 15" above ground level, so I don't see how water could be coming up from the ground.
What I was thinking is that water could have been trapped for months under the floor, between the flooring and that layer right under the floorboards - and it's always wicking up, only it's not visible when the humidity is lower, because it's wicking up slowly and when it's drier, the water evaporates well enough as it wicks up so that it can't be seen. The reason that might be right is that the areas that get dark are pretty much right under where I park my bicycle. It does look a lot like rain is getting in somehow, though.
One other possibility - there's a sewage vent pipe going up inside an exterior wall. That's the only roof vent over the kitchen - well, there's a roof ventilation vent, but that's quite accessible and I didn't see any sign of leaking around it.
The sewage vent pipe goes up to the roof behind kitchen cabinets so I can't check around that area. I sealed around this vent really well with tar ~ a month ago - perhaps I missed something though. When the roof dries out I can go up there and take pictures and maybe someone can tell me if it looks like it could be leaking there. Once you've eliminated all the likely explanations, the one that remains, however unlikely, must (?) be the truth :) Water would have to travel 10-15 feet under the pergo floor to get to the place where the darkened spots are, though. Perpendicular to the way the floorboards are laid.
I don't know if the floor is sloping, no level and nothing metal (hydrophilic) to try to fill with water. Only a plastic spare storm window which is not helpful.
yep, mysterious floor leak!
Laura
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A thermal camera may be able to identify the path of the water.
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Graven Water wrote:

the roof in good lighting, esp. when it is raining for a while. A relatively small hole can let in a lot of water and it can run down rafters or braces until it appears sometimes far laterally from where it comes in.

below, which you said is garage ceiling.

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ps Perhaps the sewage vent pipe, which goes up an exterior wall behind the kitchen cabinets, is leaking inside the wall... It would have to have junctions inside the wall and they could leak.
Laura
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I had the best home inspector I know of over to look at it, and he was very puzzled, and he ended up saying, his best guess is that it's water stored under the floor from my bicycle in the winter. I shudder to think what the floor might be like underneath, SLIMY and MOLDY, but if so it might be why i've been so sick from allergies for months.
He checked the roof vents, inside the attic, everything is OK, he said. He checked with his moisture meter in various places. The only thing at all suspicious he found was that on the wall where the kitchen sewage vent is, there was moisture. But on the other side of the window from that wall, and at another spot along the wall, it was equally moist. There is other plumbing there, a copper line to an outdoors faucet at the bottom of the wall, he was testing at the top of the wall. *Possibly* this means something, but he didn't seem to think so (he could be wrong, he was very puzzled). The humidity is 80% right now and it was raining earlier, he kind of said, maybe the walls are just damp from that.
He told me the barrier between the floor and subfloor, where the darkened spots are, is *impermeable*. It's felt with tar in it. He said that's unusual, but yes it could hold water.
When I was letting snow melt off my offroad tires indoors (they would collect a lot of snow), it did not go through the subflooring right below that area. It went sideways a few feet and a little bit would trickle out below. So yes, there's an impermeable barrier under my floor which could collect water. If the flooring were rotten, maybe it could hold a lot of water. That's what I was thinking, rotten wood holds a lot of water ...
He suggested I pry out a section of floor or two, both to help it dry out and to see how bad it is underneath, and maybe to get a clue about what's going on. He wasn't *sure* it's stored water from the winter. I asked about getting a dehumidifier and running it in that area all the time, he said that would help a little but it has to be opened up and dried out.
Strange but - possibly - true.
God what a slimy mess it might be under there! If you have tarpaper under your floor, spills are bad news! Such terrible design. If I were building a floor I wouldn't put a barrier under it, why would one? You'd want anything spilled to go through the floor.
Laura
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Graven Water wrote: ...

Well, you poured buckets of water on the floor and wonder why it's wet...DOH! :(

Think????
It's to prevent moisture from the outside in. You're not _supposed_ to be pouring water on your floor and just letting it sit...
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dpb wrote:

I believe the OP said that the room with problem floor is above the garage where the bike is parked. The conversation is getting pretty flaky, I must admit.
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Norminn wrote: ...

If that's not saying the subflooring below this wasn't wet after the snow melted on the flooring above, I have no clue what it is intended to say. To top it off, she then _complains_ that the vapor barrier is there so "spills don't leak through" so wouldn't have to clean up after them.
And, the picture of the damage was surely consonant w/ such...this person needs a barn, not a house. :(
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I can see why they would have an impermeable barrier under the floor. Because it's over the garage and you don't want exhaust from a car coming through the floor.
Laura
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On Jun 26, 5:37 pm, snipped-for-privacy@cyberspace.org (Graven Water) wrote:

Goodness, I hate home inspectors. I have yet to meet one that knows what he is talking about. Watch one video and call yourself a home inspector. Laura, it really sounds like your talking yourself into what ever the easiest explanation will be. That said, you have a leak, water only comes in when it rains, so it's not from plumbing, it's not from last February's snow fall, it's not even from last weekends party. Water doesn't sit there for six months and decide to come out only during a rain storm. You have a leak. Let us know when you want to find it. Lou
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Lou, I do not think it is that weird that water could collect under the floor and stay there, with an impermeable barrier under the flooring. In Jan and Feb it was fairly dry indoors, but not after that. The home inspector was similarly dismissive of the water stored in the floor for months idea, but when he saw the impermeable barrier, he changed his mind. I think it could be a soggy mess under there, even months later. Water after all, does like to go down. It doesn't like to go up, which is the only way it can go to get out of the floor. Only slowly would it wick up. The water coming up might only be visible when it's very humid, because it's coming out slowly. On days that are less humid, the water coming out might evaporate into the air so I don't see dark-stained wood.
Laura
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Graven Water wrote:

of the water that is causing you a problem then take it to your local water district, explain your problem, and ask that they test for the presence of fluoride salts.
Most domestic potable water is fluoridated today. If the fluoride concentration in your sample is about the same as your water utility distributes then it's a good guess that the source is ultimately potable water. If the level is zero, or very different from the water utility's typical level then rain, condensation, or ground water are likely the culprit. Water utilities make these determinations at least once a day, sometimes more often.
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moisture had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-mysterious-water-in-the-floor-315940-.htm : Send me pictures (or post them) of the inside room where you notice the leak (wide view of entire wall) and send me a picture of the entire exterior outside, where the wall is wet. Only 2 picture necessary. Don't have to have any close ups. I'll tell you where it is leaking and how to fix it.
Good luck, moisture
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moisture had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Re-mysterious-water-in-the-floor-315940-.htm : Send me pictures (or post them) of the inside room where you notice the leak (wide view of entire wall) and send me a picture of the entire exterior outside, where the wall is wet. Only 2 picture necessary. Don't have to have any close ups. I'll tell you where it is leaking and how to fix it.
Good luck, moisture
------------------------------------- Boden wrote:

##-----------------------------------------------## Delivered via http://www.thestuccocompany.com/ Building Construction and Maintenance Forum Web and RSS access to your favorite newsgroup - alt.home.repair - 301724 messages and counting! ##-----------------------------------------------##
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