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bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks

4 edits

Walkout basement doorway leaking

Click for full size
walkout basement door
Click for full size
Masonry rock
House was completed July 2012. Since the first rain, water has been seeping into door frame. Some storms make intrusion worse than others. Finally got builder to pay attention (house supposedly under warranty until July 2013).

The problem:

(1.) The prehung steel door with prefab brick molding was installed into frame with no flashing, no caulking. All that butted up to brick molding was Tyvek.

(2.) Then masonry rock was installed on wall around walkout basement door. Nobody caulked the top of door brick mold along rock edge in order to at least try to seal the door. This was not attempted until AFTER the first report of leaking. Anyhow masonry rock edge does not allow for very good caulking seal. After the fact just recently, builder quietly admitted that he should have made sure somebody put in a "grout line" between brick mold of door and masonry rock edge to have a better surface for caulking the perimeter. But of course this was not done.

(3.) Water started coming in between where rock meets top brick molding of door...rain right in and over the door and apparently down the frame and flanking to each side of door along entryway wall. Wet stain on basement floor at door threshold and along front wall.

(4.) Discovered Tyvek (house wrap) terminates inside just over door. Discovered insulation just over doorway was wet and had to be pulled out.

The builder wants to try to clean off existing exterior caulking at top of door (which was added after the leak showed up) and try caulking exterior again. Yes, we're talking about good quality caulking BUT STILL...come on!

Does it make sense to try to seal door from exterior by caulking along masonry rock perimeter and door brick mold? What about Tyvek that is dangling into interior over door. Maybe, possibly ? you might seal sufficiently to keep water out from surface run off or driving rain to exterior...maybe. But what happens if somehow water makes its way down Tyvek OR behind Tyvek & felt backing for rock from above somewhere and runs right into interior cavity just above door? It doesn't sound right to simply caulk perimeter of door from exterior and what's worst---against masonry rock edge!

Plus....all that caulk against rock edge up and down exterior brick mold slathered on like peanut butter looks horrible.

Please help.


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks
Well I proposed to the builder this morning that he pull off top layer of rock to get behind there and maybe install a drip cap so house wrap doesn't terminate into interior. He insisted he could stop leak sufficiently from exterior by calking and stormed out of the house.
Man is he defensive! I never raised my voice. So anyway, I may have to compromise and ask him to keep door under extended warranty and let him caulk from exterior.


gaforces
United We Stand, Divided We Fall

join:2002-04-07
Santa Cruz, CA

1 edit
reply to bcool
Check that box above the door, looks like they cut the tyvek for the opening but they didn't flash it, cant tell if its caulked.
Technically the wrap is a flashing and is up to code. Usually around here we use a self adhesive backed flashing tape around all openings and caulk to the flashing cause the wrap isn't waterproof.
To fix it right you would have to remove all the masonry around the door, and the box above the door and redo it.
Cha ching, it will cost a lot to do that. Lath, plaster, mason, carpenter and a painter. + demo and cleanup costs, construction zone for 1-2 months with porta potty.
If its not fixed now, the mold will grow and rot the wood. Caulking might fix it. Or not ...
--
Let them eat FIBER!


mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3
reply to bcool
said by bcool:

Man is he defensive! I never raised my voice. So anyway, I may have to compromise and ask him to keep door under extended warranty and let him caulk from exterior.

No, you don't compromise, you sue him. I'm far from an expert, but I can tell you that setup is no where near correct.


VioletVenom
Lets go Gators
Premium
join:2002-01-02
Gainesville, FL
reply to bcool
The door should have been flashed before masonry was installed. To rely upon caulk after the fact is lazy and just plain wrong. As you said there is nothing to prevent moisture running down the house wrap, behind the brick mould and into the door cavity. The fact that it has leaked from day one is a testament it was done incorrectly from the start. Despite his defensiveness I'd ride him to fix it correctly, NOT just throwing caulk at it. Sounds like he might want to kick the can down the road until the warranty runs out.


nunya
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reply to bcool
The pictures clearly shows the problem. The door and windows are not flashed properly, or at all for that matter. Is it possible they added something else after the picture was taken?

Caulking is not the solution for improper flashing. Caulking will last 5-10 years (if that). Proper flashing, 100 years.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:3
reply to bcool
I brought this up when the OP was building the house, no flashing on the windows/doors with the stone siding ..


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks
reply to gaforces
manufactured stone embedded in mortar is mounted on wire /felt backing. The mortar around these light stone doesn't seem that thick. From an untrained perspective, seems to me while certainly a messy job and cleaning stone for reuse labor intensive.... it should NOT be a huge deal to cut out the necessary stones around target workspace above door. 1-2 months ought to be 1-2 days in my view and they can use my bathroom.


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks
reply to guppy_fish
said by guppy_fish:

I brought this up when the OP was building the house, no flashing on the windows/doors with the stone siding ..

What I know now, such a discussion means a whole lot more, of course. Though I confess that I don't remember the warning you gave concerning flashing around windows/doors OR if you did warn me, it didn't get through my thick noggin. Either way, such flashing must not be required by code because the house continued to pass at every interval which I suppose only means that it passed the minimum requirements.


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks
reply to mattmag
I think what sent the builder ballistic was when I, an obvious know-nothing earthling, dared to sit him down in front of my computer to show him this video:

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=naJwQRVlFsM


nunya
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reply to bcool
From the IRC, 2009 edition.

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.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.

Hahausuck
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reply to bcool
I don't know much but I think I have a handle on water related things......

It's gotta be torn all down, cleaned up and then put back together correctly.


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks

1 edit
reply to bcool
Thank you guys. I'm afraid this will likely get ugly unless the builder somehow legally defends how "Tyvek" qualifies as proper flashing around basement door.

Live and learn...


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to bcool
Whether or not it meets code is irrelevant. It leaks so obviously it has a problem that needs to be corrected. Relying on the inspections to prevent problems is a big mistake. It depends entirely on the proper code to be applied and for the inspector to be competent. Neither of these is always true.

You have problems because it was not done correctly in the 1st place. The builder needs to fix it. Either willingly or through a lawsuit.


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks

1 edit
Your logic is undeniable. Before the builder stormed out of my house (which I'm not sure how much was hurt feelings and how much was being a drama queen for intimidation), he kept insisting that he has been doing things this way for 30 years. What he failed to recognize and what you have stated succinctly: my door is leaking and leaking badly and leaking now for 9 months. I don't care what you have done for 30 years---there's a wet door and a wet basement floor because of it! Not to mention two (2) wet spots on my basement walls. Thanks.


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks

4 edits
reply to bcool
Once again another idea has emerged in an attempt to find an acceptable and permanent fix to leaking entryway in basement.
Home improvement guy thinks (if we are willing) that he could get to brick molding, remove it and work behind there to seal in such a way that it would effectively be "permanently" sealed. Then they would either reinstall existing brick mold to door or bring in new piece to replace the old one. This fix if successful could be done without removing masonry rock.

(I only mention this as an indication that I'm willing to remain open-minded just in case there is a viable alternative to dismantling the masonry rock around the door.)


Msradell
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join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
I understand the idea of removing the brick mold, but don't really think a permanent solution could be made that way. Flashing still wouldn't get behind the stone and wrap like it needs to be in order to prevent leaks. It's an interesting idea, but I really don't think it's acceptable in this case.

robbin
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join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
Actually if you remove the trim you may be able to work flashing behind the felt paper.


35245635

join:2013-03-04
North Reading, MA
reply to bcool
This happened on one of the doors on my new garage last year. All they had to do was work a piece of flashing up under the Tyvek and siding then put in a few finish nails. Granted that's not the 'proper' way to do it but after the siding is installed your options are limited.
--
"Everyone has his day and some days last longer than others." - Winston Churchill


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks

4 edits
And in my case, it's even a bit more challenging because we're up against masonry rock (not siding). I think I will let the guy come out to see if we can fix by removing brick mold piece in order to (hopefully) seal the door. But I'm only considering this option for the moment. If it can be done, builder still pays!

For the time being though, I did caulk the exterior trim (brick mold and adjacent rock to high heaven with good quality caulking. Then on the awning just above door, I caulked at points where it butts the rock fascia with Lexel caulking in order to impede water coming down from rock directly over the brick mold. We just had a big snow in the Ozarks and there has been some melting already with rain/snow later today. I have some paper towels up in the interior cavity above door to check for any moisture/water intrusion. So far so good which only supports the theory that water is coming in between rock and brick mold through an "unflashed" door. I guess knowing the source of leak is good part of the battle, right?

(I should add that since there appears to be no flashing on door AND that the sheathing and attached Tyvek terminate in that interior cavity I mentioned, it's at least in the realm of possibility that water from some other spot above the door could work its way down the Tyvek or even behind Tyvek/ felt backing down to and into interior cavity above walkout basement door...technically speaking anyway. I was surprised to discover the Tyvek dangling into interior cavity above door.)

NOTE TO SELF FOR THE FUTURE: caulking exterior perimeter is no substitute for correct flashing of new door. If Tyvek is acceptable as "flashing" according to loose municipal building code, then the decent thing to do would have been to at least caulk the crap out of the door before masonry rock was installed!!! Caulking is not a long term solution to this problem. Chances are good (if not effectively repaired) that this door will fail again sooner than later. Lesson learned!

Hellrazor
Bah Humbug

join:2002-02-02
Abyss, PA
Reviews:
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reply to nunya
said by nunya:

Caulking is not the solution for improper flashing. Caulking will last 5-10 years (if that). Proper flashing, 100 years.

Don't you buy your 30 year caulk where he does?


John Galt
Forward, March
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join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
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reply to bcool
If your builder is this clueless about the issue, I'd be willing to be you are going to have other problems with the other windows and doors.


Msradell
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Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to bcool
I certainly wouldn't be doing any caulking or anything else myself. If you do, the contractor will come back to you and say that the leak is because of the things you did! Let him do a work to stop the leak and document everything he does (take pictures while he's doing the work if possible).


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks
Sound advice. Since they already caulked there before, I'm probably ok with what I did and it was also inspected by one of them and deemed good.

But your advice is good for now on.

Hellrazor
Bah Humbug

join:2002-02-02
Abyss, PA
reply to bcool
bcool,

Who inspected the job during construction? You could bust on them for missing the flashing, etc and not forcing them to correct it.


ITICharlie1
Premium
join:2003-01-22
St. Louis MO
reply to bcool
My brother bought a new home about 10 years ago and has had to replace the header above the garage, repair around the sliding doors, repair walls underneath the roof overhangs, and just repaired around the picture window in the front of the house. His home has no flashing anywhere...the builder went cheap. All the other homes in his subdivision are having the same problem. When the city was asked about the home inspections, apparently they only checked the first home built, and let the builder slide on the others. The builder is no longer in business, and the city may be sued for the lack of inspection. Unless I have a private subcontractor where I can supervise, I would never own a new home.
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nunya
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Most public agencies (municipalities) employ a tactic known as "sovereign immunity" when it comes to building inspections (amongst many other things). You can try to sue the city, but the case will be thrown out and you will pay the court costs. Most courts give deference to the city anyway.
Missouri is one big, giant, sovereign immunity state.

Along the same lines, private inspectors usually have a clause or release in their contract to prevent a homeowner can't come back and sue them down the road.
Sometimes it sucks, but that's the way it is.

That's why I posted earlier that this will be a civil matter between the builder and the owner.
It all comes back to the guy who did the shitty work, e.g. the hand that crafted the mistake.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks

4 edits
Thank you all. I hope once the builder's wounded pride heals a bit that we can sit back down and talk about these and other issues like grown ups. I'm not asking for anything that shouldn't already be mine, i.e., dry concrete walls, permanently dry basement door/entryway, main i-beam in crawl space that runs under the floor joists that IS actually properly supported and doesn't sag, flashing where deck is attached to house (verifying this one still), portion of driveway that doesn't deteriorate before its time because it was originally poured during a rain downpour (which I let ride in the spirit of compromise and that I will live to regret) which compared to these items, any of my other little complaints aren't even worth mentioning here.

It's ironic. Water intrusion was first topic I brought up when I first met this builder. The discussion came up a few times while the house was being built. And near the day we closed, the discussion came up once again. Water intrusion or the prevention of water intrusion is one of my anal things. Sweet irony that it should be the very first thing I face with the very first storm that hit my house.

Hellrazor
Bah Humbug

join:2002-02-02
Abyss, PA
Reviews:
·Service Electric..
reply to bcool
A builder would hate me if I was the one building a house. I would be checking things every day if required. I learned a few things doing project management for a $5.5m renovation at work. I sat in on every prime meeting and all project meetings with the architects/engineers. Plus I walked every part of the job atleast once daily. I also made sure the job site foreman for each prime contacted me, the GC and their company with any issues. If they had a problem, I had a problem.

Plus I learned how to piss off the architects and engineers. That was more fun than the actual project.

One thing with a big project, you can hang contractors by their balls when they don't finish and you are holding up their bonds. I held one for 8 months past the completion date for failing to complete the last 5% of the work in a timely manner.


bcool
Premium
join:2000-08-25
The Ozarks

1 edit
Sadly all I have now is a "12 month warranty on paper" which may or may not be worth the paper it is drawn up on.