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DawnGen 10-26-2008 07:49 AM

Repairing Weather Resistant Barrier
We recently removed sheetrock to figure out why we had water seeping under the sill plate of our brick veneer home. We've been here 5-1/2 years and never had a problem until Hurricane Ike blew through.

We discovered that after the builder's plumber made a plumbing repair, the builder did nothing to repair the internal wall damage. The visqueen through the wall flashing was torn out in this section and the weather resistant barrier was cut/torn out as well.

We would like to be able to at least make a suitable tempoary repair before we put fresh insulation in and replace the sheetrock. The current insulation is faced R-13 fiberglass with the kraft paper facing the interior of the house. From what I have found, the best solution is to remove brick from the outside and reinstall new flashing, however we were warned that we could just move the leakage problem further down the wall unless we fix the entire perimeter of the house. A little pricey at this point.

The weather resistant barrier is a material we are not familiar with. It appears to be about 1/8" thick and is a layered paper product with a water resistant coating on each side. That coating seems to be sort of "waxy."

Since we don't even know what this product is or where to get a replacement, would it be acceptable to slide 15# felt paper between the studs and the WRB so the insulation isn't likely to get wet from any condensation running down the outside of the WRB?

The insulation didn't seem to have suffered any problems after 5-1/2 years of being exposed to the air cavity with no barrier on the exterior side, but I would really like to have something there, but don't want to create an additional vapor retarder, since there is one facing the inside of the house.

We are hesitant to try to do anything with the flashing for fear of creating additional problems because of the difficulty of properly sealing the new section to the old section. As it is, the edges of the current visqueen are "trapped" by mortar droppings in the air cavity of the wall.

We have drilled a weep hole in this section (other weep holes were blocked with mortar) that should allow any massive amounts of rain water that gets trapped between mortar dams to drain out instead of rising above the brick ledge and getting under the sill plate.

Any suggestions about other solutions to these issues will be greatly appreciated.

DangerMouse 10-26-2008 09:48 AM

some photos would help if you have any or can take some.


stuccoman 10-26-2008 04:08 PM

Are you in texas?

DawnGen 10-26-2008 04:37 PM

Yes ... I'm in Texas ... Houston area.

And contractors are in short supply ... and those that might be able to address this adequately are going to be hard to find. One set of guys who came out were from another area of the country and were unfamiliar with the concepts of properly creating the drainage system in a supported brick veneer wall. They didn't know what weep holes were and wanted to close the one we created in this section of wall.

I had decided to let another contractor tackle this problem last Wednesday and his guys got side-tracked with another job and never showed up. The contractor's wife never called to reschedule, so I am assuming they have bigger fish to fry and are not interested in doing this job.

Our biggest problem until the hurricane was that it was colder in this room than it probably should have been. I'll take cold over mold any day though ... and mold hasn't been an issue ... so I'm thinking "if it ain't broke ... don't fix it" and hope there is no more hurricane force wind driven rain in our life-time. I'm having nightmares thinking that we are going to mess this up and create a condensation problem in the wall that hasn't existed before.

Actually ... I think that with the weep hole that we created ... and chipping out the mortar dams that we could get to, there will probably not be any more "flooding." (And ... no the water is not coming up from rising water outside the house ... it had to come through the brick and mortar.)

I'm really frustrated with this process of either trying to fix this ourselves or find someone competent to do it for us. We don't have the network of contacts who have experience with contractors. And, our neighbors definitely don't have experience with finding someone to help them tear their newish homes apart to fix the mess the builder made.

My husband is not familiar enough with the issues related to water vapor and condensation within the walls and his approach is making me nervous. It seems that many want to use foil tape on anything and everything because it sticks to so many materials. Something tells me that foil tape inside the wall cavity would just serve as a condensation point for any trapped water vapor.

We are at a standstill right now though. That pipe being out of place and too far into the air cavity is making it difficult to put any kind of barrier behind it.

I really don't know if we can do anything beneficial at this point other than to put the insulation back in and cover it back up until I find someone who can think their way through all the problems with the sloppy construction .

stuccoman 10-26-2008 04:44 PM

The white board is a very thin sheathing used in some parts of the country.

Kinda like cardboard.

DangerMouse 10-26-2008 05:05 PM

squirt the whole mess full of Great Stuff closed cell foam and call it a day! lol


DawnGen 10-26-2008 05:10 PM

Does the white board have a specific name that I can ask for at a builder's supply? I know that Lowe's and Home Depot don't carry it, but I'm thinking that for a "patch" it will be more manageable than the felt paper we have tried to use.

Felt paper is not sturdy enough and is going to end up mashed against the mortar protruding from the back side of the brick (once we put the insulation back in), thus soaking up water and transferring it to the insulation. We haven't had this problem (that we know of) because the insulation in the existing open space hasn't been backed by anything but air for 5-1/2 years.

stuccoman 10-26-2008 05:13 PM

Check your private messages

stuccoman 10-26-2008 05:14 PM

The biggest problem is repairing the black stuff at the bottom of all of it.

stuccoman 10-26-2008 05:18 PM

The membrane at the bottom of the wall being right is the biggest problem now.

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