Weird brown stuff seeping through my clapboards

I have had this happen twice now months apart. All of a sudden this brown liquid starts seeping from under my clapboards on one wall of the house. I t is water soluble and washed right off with a spray from the hose and does not come back for months. Then it might happen again and same thing. Onc e I found it on the in side of the house on the same wall coming from under a light switch cover. Any clue what this could be? It has no odor.
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On 1/11/2015 1:08 PM, jtpr wrote:

Sounds like dirty water from condensation, or a leak. My concern is not the liquid, but what is happening in the wall. You could be rotting out some studs or headers.
I'd open the wall near that lightswitch to get a good look at what is happening before you have major structural damage.
I'd also check for things like a leak in the dryer vent or bathroom vent passing through the wall if they are nearby.
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On 1/11/2015 11:32 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Weather conditions when it happens? How brown is brown? Did it taste metallic?

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Wood will impart a brown color to water, some woods more than others. How much is there and what wood are the clapboards?
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dadiOH
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On Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 3:20:38 PM UTC-5, dadiOH wrote:

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On Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 12:09:00 PM UTC-6, jtpr wrote:

It is water soluble and washed right off with a spray from the hose and do es not come back for months. Then it might happen again and same thing. O nce I found it on the in side of the house on the same wall coming from und er a light switch cover. Any clue what this could be? It has no odor.
I stayed in a rental house for 8 months. Every time I took a shower, brown liquid would seep out of the wall paint. They had painted over a heavy ni cotine coated wall and moisture would cause it to flow thru the paint. Som e previous dude was a heavy smoker when sitting on the commode!!
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wrote:

sure about the weather the first time, but now it's ~25-35 degrees (S Nh).
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There might be a leak where that deck is attached to the roof line. Even splashback from the deck can get under shingles along the edge. Or maybe you have some flashing along there... It's hard to say without seeing it, but it does sound like a leak, and it will do structural damage if not repaired.
The other possibility is the room where this is attached to, is a kitchen or bathrm, and you are creating a lot of humidity, which is condensing in that wall. (Which mans your vapor barrier is bad).
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What is the room that the light switch leaked into? If there is plumbing i n that wall, it might possibly be from the plumbing. But, I would bet doll ars to doughnuts that you have a leak into the wall from someplace higher u p on the wall, as a few previous posters have suggested.
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On Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 1:09:00 PM UTC-5, jtpr wrote:

It is water soluble and washed right off with a spray from the hose and do es not come back for months. Then it might happen again and same thing. O nce I found it on the in side of the house on the same wall coming from und er a light switch cover. Any clue what this could be? It has no odor.
Here is a link to some pics:
https://drive.google.com/open?id y1xjMLEgPJyV2REdGF3ZzVKQ0U&authuser0
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On 01/12/2015 10:11 AM, jtpr wrote:

You've got a serious problem of either an internal/external leak or condensation or all of the above...
As another said, you need to open that wall up and discover what's going on.
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On 1/11/2015 12:08 PM, jtpr wrote:

Q&A – Siding Stains: Why Do Houses Cry? By Reuben Saltzman
I recently had a reader email this question, and thought it would make for a good blog post:
We get brown water stains on our siding over the winter, but they mostly go away over the summer. Will you perform an inspection for those stains only (not a whole-house inspection)?
While we’re happy to conduct single-item inspections to troubleshoot problems exactly like this, this particular situation is so common that it probably doesn’t need an inspection. The stains on the siding are the result of moisture; that much is for certain. When water runs through the wood and wall sheathing, it picks up tannins in the wood and leaves dark stains on the siding. If the home experiences ice dams and the stains start at the soffits and run down the siding, they’re probably the result of water leaking through the roof as a result of the ice dams. The illustration below from The Ice Dam Company shows the path of the water... (rest of article and photos at link below)
http://www.structuretech1.com/2014/11/qa-siding-stains-why-do-houses-cry/
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Hope it's not a carpenter ant infestation. Years ago, a friend of mine had an almost flat roof over his kitchen, which was added on to the original house. He had a serious water leak in that roof. I went to help him, and when he got on the roof, his foot went thru the roof, and knocked down a chunk of sheetrock inside. The fallen sheetrock and insulation was swarming with carpenter ants. We went inside and ripped down more sheetrock, and I have to admit I almost vomited. There were swarms of them everywhere. After calling an extrminator nad telling him to come immediately, we moved all his furnishings out of that kitchen.
The next several days were spent ripping off that entire roof. The decking, rafters adn all were all chewed up and/or rotted. But I remember seeing brown stuff oozing out under some of the aluminum siding on the rear wall, and we soon found that wall was also infested and rotted. At that point, we decided to remove all the rear siding and label each piece. Intending to save the window, but that too was on poor shape. Above the entrance door is was also bad, so we ripped that wall apart too, and by the time we were done removing bad wood, there was little left to that kitchen. A few section of wall could be saved, but we pretty much just salvaged the floor, and rebuilt all new walls, installed a new door w/frame, and in order to salvage the siding (which could not be matched with new), he got a custom window made to fit the old one.
After rebuilding the walls, and replacing the siding, we decided to build a gable roof, over it. Built that, and then had to completely replace all the interior stuff, including wiring, plumbing, cabinets, etc.
He did end up with a really nice kitchen, but what began as a simple roof repair turned into 2 months of work, thousands of dollars spent, and lots of sweat. It was pretty much a completely new room, minus the floor, which we ended up covering with underlayment and new linoleum anyhow.
But this problem did not stop here..... About a year later he called me and asked me if I know how to repair ceramic tile on the bathroom walls. I went there and found the tiles just falling off the wall. I told him we'd need to rip all the plaster off and get new tiles. Guess what, that room was also infested with carpenter ants. After removing one interior wall (by the shower), rebuilding half the exterior wall from the inside to avoid removing the siding, (calling the exterminator again), we were able to build a whole new bathroom on the inside, which prtty much meant re-doing wiring, plumbing, cabinets, etc.
The exterminator had to come regularly after that. And it was soon discovered that several neighbor's homes also were infested with the ants.
He had a nice house, but it smelled like insecticide all the time, his pets were getting sick and a few died, and his family were having health issues too. Thats when he sold that house at a big loss, and moved.
Carpenter ants infest wet and rotting wood, and they were literally eating that house. It probably started from that bad roof over the kitchen, which was severely rotten and actually had sags in the rubber roof that held puddles, then spread to the bathroom because of moisture and maybe leaking thru the tiles by the shower. It appears the rest of the house was not infested, and was dry, but who knows.... I know he said the exterminators told him that the whole neighborhood was infested, and he said he just wanted to move out of there, not to mention living around all those chemicals....
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