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Old 06-21-2012, 07:19 PM   #16
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Water condensation or external leak in


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Originally Posted by Tom Struble View Post
an active leak can also condense on the sheathing surface,which imo is what you have
That's what I thought too but I did water test by spraying directly to the flashing above and below the deck for 20 min or so and I did not see any water inside the wall or at bottom of the wall. The wall has been covered with insulation and vapor barrier for the past 4.5 yrs, if there's active leak..should I see mold or damage would along the water path? It's been raining heavily too in my area for the last 2 weeks but I cannot find any new leaks. (The wall is now dry after I removed the insulation and vapor barrier about 10 days ago). If I want to test for water test, is there any other test I can do to confirm? Spraying water to the corner doesn't seem to give me an answer. Thanks

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Old 06-21-2012, 08:09 PM   #17
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Water condensation or external leak in


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whats to keep water from rolling around the flashing and getting behind it? and if it does where does it exit?
If this is the case, if I caulk the underneath the flash to prevent water from rolling around would this help?
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:16 PM   #18
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Have you eliminated the possibility of excess humidity from an inside source? How about water entering from around the casing of windows or doors getting between the stucco and sheathing? It would then be trapped between the poly vapor barrier and the stucco as a second vapor barrier. Any warm or cold source would then turn it to condensation. Was there condensation on the insulation side of the poly too? There has to be clues to follow. "When you have exhausted the obvious then the answer must be the un obvious."
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:29 PM   #19
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Have you eliminated the possibility of excess humidity from an inside source? How about water entering from around the casing of windows or doors getting between the stucco and sheathing? It would then be trapped between the poly vapor barrier and the stucco as a second vapor barrier. Any warm or cold source would then turn it to condensation. Was there condensation on the insulation side of the poly too? There has to be clues to follow. "When you have exhausted the obvious then the answer must be the un obvious."
Thanks Duckweather, my gut feeling is that this is a moisture from inside issue. My area is way up north (Canada), we do have a long and cold winter. I had the builder guy came and took a look, he said this is a water condensation issue and he has seen this issue with many houses in the area especially with walkout basement walls. He said the best solution is to spray foam insulation.

On the the hand, I want to make sure I will fix this issue for once and for all. I want to look at the issue from all perspectives. I don't want to spray foam if this root cause is the external leak in like Tom mentioned, I want to know how can I find out this for sure and more importantly how can I eliminate this. My biggest question is if this is a leak-in since day 1 would the wall be rotted by now and lots of mold? I see no signs of this at this point.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:30 PM   #20
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Water condensation or external leak in


no,no caulk try bending the flashing down

20 min with a hose does not a water test make

,without more info as far as windows or doors above the area i will let others help you
good luck with your issue
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:39 PM   #21
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Water condensation or external leak in


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no,no caulk try bending the flashing down

20 min with a hose does not a water test make

,without more info as far as windows or doors above the area i will let others help you
good luck with your issue
There's a double french door above the deck (left hand side of the L) and a big window as well (right hand side of L).

Tom, what kind of test should I try if 20 min with a hose is not a good test? I asked the builder about the water test and he said he would do the same thing. Maybe you can suggest something better. THanks

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Old 06-21-2012, 09:18 PM   #22
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are there any doors or windows above the deck?

the reason for additional pics
Posted another deck picture
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:15 PM   #23
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Water condensation or external leak in


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Thanks Duckweather, my gut feeling is that this is a moisture from inside issue. My area is way up north (Canada), we do have a long and cold winter. I had the builder guy came and took a look, he said this is a water condensation issue and he has seen this issue with many houses in the area especially with walkout basement walls. He said the best solution is to spray foam insulation.

On the the hand, I want to make sure I will fix this issue for once and for all. I want to look at the issue from all perspectives. I don't want to spray foam if this root cause is the external leak in like Tom mentioned, I want to know how can I find out this for sure and more importantly how can I eliminate this. My biggest question is if this is a leak-in since day 1 would the wall be rotted by now and lots of mold? I see no signs of this at this point.
Maybe not. Mold can't grow in the cold. If it is condensing on the surface of the osb, (probably even freezing as it condenses), it probably wouldn't be warm enough to support mold until it warmed, and maybe dried before the mold could get started. One more thing, do you have gas heat? Propane & nat. gas produce water vapor as it burns. You might want to check for an exhaust leak if you have gas heat. Couple more I learned from my brother in law who worked for CRREL.
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Old 06-22-2012, 01:38 AM   #24
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Maybe not. Mold can't grow in the cold. If it is condensing on the surface of the osb, (probably even freezing as it condenses), it probably wouldn't be warm enough to support mold until it warmed, and maybe dried before the mold could get started. One more thing, do you have gas heat? Propane & nat. gas produce water vapor as it burns. You might want to check for an exhaust leak if you have gas heat. Couple more I learned from my brother in law who worked for CRREL.
Given the condition and the temperature I would say mold would grow on my wall if there's continous stream of water during the rainy season. My heat is nat. gas. I think I can explain the moisture and the water condensation issue and I believe if I put in spray foam for insulation the issue will be resolved. The challenge is how do I eliminate the outside leak-in possibility? I thought I did the extensive water spraying test on top and below the deck but Tom said it wasn't good enough. I want to know if there's other test I can try. Obviously cutting out the stucco or demolish the deck to hunt for clues is not a feasible choice.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:18 PM   #25
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Water condensation or external leak in


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Given the condition and the temperature I would say mold would grow on my wall if there's continous stream of water during the rainy season. My heat is nat. gas. I think I can explain the moisture and the water condensation issue and I believe if I put in spray foam for insulation the issue will be resolved. The challenge is how do I eliminate the outside leak-in possibility? I thought I did the extensive water spraying test on top and below the deck but Tom said it wasn't good enough. I want to know if there's other test I can try. Obviously cutting out the stucco or demolish the deck to hunt for clues is not a feasible choice.
How about some type of dye that would show up in a black light
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:39 AM   #26
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Water condensation or external leak in


Like they use in automotive to check for leaks.

Did you pull a dryer hood from the outside to tell us the wall make-up?

Pull some of the plastic trim board below the window to see if they used backer rod and caulk at stucco/window joint, or just stucco tight ( expansion/contraction gap from two different materials- stucco (non-moving).

Holes in the vapor barrier would still be effective; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...ms?full_view=1

Unless the v.b. was not caulked to the electrical box and drywall was over-cut around it:

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