hello all! i have a big problem with a starter house i purchased a few
years ago and figured i'd come here for some sage advice.
the problem is simple: water is seeping into the northeast corner of
the bedroom whenever we have a heavy rain. i purchased a dehumidifier
last summer to help remedy the situation, but as i'm sure you've
figured out by now the problem has gotten out of control. the carpet
permanently smells like mildew in that corner and i'm sure once i
tear-down the wallpaper, the drywall will be rotted.
from what i understand, the room was an addition and it's obvious from
just giving it a once over that it was poorly constructed. i have no
idea what foundation they laid. the house does not have a basement and
the crawlspace does not extend underneath that room. i'm assuming it
must be concrete slab.
does anyone have any advice on how i should tackle this problem short
of hiring a contractor? or can you perhaps point me to any books/videos
that may address problems like this?
thanks in advance for listening and if you need any other info, please
ask and i'll gladly oblige it.
It sure sounds like you need a contractor. Likely there is a leak
somewhere along the line where the new construction meets the old, likely a
poor or missing flashing. Maybe on the roof. Since we can't see it, nor do
we know much about the specific construction I don't think we are going to
be able to offer much specific advice.
Is there an attic area over the room with the leak? If so go up there
and see if you can find the source of the leak. Don't look just were you
saw moisture coming into the room. These things tend to flow around from
place to place.
don't have the training or experience to diagnose it on your own, you need a
site survey by a pro. (Hey, everybody has to start learning somewhere.) Just
off the top of my head, if this is an addition, I'd suspect where the new
roof and old roof meet up. Another common place is improper or missing
flashing around windows. If gutter and fascia board are done wrong, it can
direct water back to wall above soffit, and leak in that way. Can you get in
attic? If no water trails show in attic, it is probably windows. Poke around
outside with an icepick- if you find soft wood outside where it is leaking,
go up and see where the soft part starts. That can be a hint where the leak
is. Can I assume the outside edge of the slab is above grade level? If the
siding or whatever is touching dirt, and if it puddles up there, water can
wick in that way. If it has been damp for a long time, it ain't gonna be
cheap to fix. You may be able to save a few bucks by going the Home
Handyman route, if you can find one you trust, and who will let you do some
of the work yourself. Get an expert to fix the hole in the shell of the
house, and you can buy a DIY book to guide you through the demo and fixing
There is only one way to find the cause. If your interested in finding the
Rip out the carpet and see where that leads. Ripping out wall drywall is
messy but not a big deal. Before you tackle the ceiling best have lots of
plastic and a fair wet dry vacuum, like 20 gallons or bigger. If you get
over your head call someone.
Guessing over the internet is ............
I bought a fixer upper. Had water in the small bedroom. I ripped up the
carpet found a corner that it was coming from. A 2 foot square hole and it
was fixed. The condensate drain from the roof had separated, god only knows
how long ago.
Sure can't diagnose your problem from here. But I had one like this in a
rented house with a slab floored addition. Regrading due to landscaping
permitted storm water to run against the side or the house. Water then
topped the footing, seeping under and through the framing and soaking the
carpet whenever it rained.
hey guys! thanks so much for all of the advice. i know that the water
isn't coming from the roof since there is another bedroom directly
above it with no leakage problems. i feel my problem is exactly what
SJF experienced. my house is located on a downgrade from the east end
of my lot and i think due to years of regrading, the landscape is now
about even with the foundation of that room. SJF... can i ask what you
did to remedy the problem?
Re-grade so the ground slopes away from the foundation for at least
10-15 feet in all directions. Make sure the run off from the room (gutters)
is sent away from the house.
I might suggest that while your observation about the other bedroom
reduces the likelihood of a roof problem, it does not rule it out. Water can
be funny. However I would do the re-grading anyway.
It was a temporary rental while I was shopping for a new house after a job
relocation. Took a year to find one and I moved out without complaining or
repairing when I found a place to buy.
If I had owned the place, I would have regraded the yard to divert the
normal water flow away from the house. This may, or may not, be easy and
the way you do it depends on local conditions.
thanks for the advice. unfortunately, the situation is far worse than i
had anticipated... on several levels. i ripped up the carpet in that
corner this morning, and as i expected the sub floor was rotted out.
what i didn't expect was that there was no slab... no foundation... no
vapor barrier.... nada. just sub-flooring on top of dirt. what were
they thinking? i'm most definitely over my head here. looks like it's
time to call a contractor.
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