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Old 12-21-2008, 03:39 AM   #1
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I thought I'd wrap some Christmas gifts last night, so I picked up the plastic bags I keep the tags, gift bags, etc. in. The first thing I noticed is that the inside of one bag has lots of little droplets of water in it, but the outside of the bag is dry. The baseboards in the corner where the bags were sitting is damp, water stained and slightly swollen (it's MDF). That area of the wall itself wasn't really wet, but it feels very cold compared to the temp of the same wall 18" to the right and 24" above. The drywall behind the paint doesn't appear to be damaged or swollen.

My first thought (after I got the $$$$ signs for this repair out of my head) was to cut out that section of drywall to see what's going on behind it. I checked the same corner in the room below for damage and didn't find anything unusual. The roof was re-shingled in 1999 and seems to be okay.

What I'm wondering is: Is it possible that the knuckleheads that built this house ran out of insulation and didn't put any in that small section of the corner? Or, is it more likely that the insulation in there is wet and is no longer doing it's job.

Should I first drill a hole (maybe 1"-2") to look for insulation in there? If there isn't any, maybe I could put some spray foam insulation in through the hole. If there is insulation in there, would it be okay to cut out a section of the drywall between the studs on either side of the problem to find out what's causing this? My gut instinct says to ignore it until either it goes away or I finish the other projects I started around here, but in the past my 'gut instinct' has never been right and since there is water involved, it should probably be fixed right away.

Any suggestions, answers, advice?

Thank you and Merry Christmas


Disclaimer: I can legally call the builders of this house 'knuckleheads' due to all the other oddball things they did or did not do that I have had to repair or learn to live with .

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Old 12-21-2008, 06:19 AM   #2
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i had those guys work for me once i think.... were their names moe, larry and curly?

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Old 12-21-2008, 09:13 AM   #3
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It sounds like more than just a condensation problem. Can you think of any way water might be getting to that area? Water/drain lines running through that area of the wall, rain getting in from the outside, or a pet that thought that area was a good place for a bathroom?
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:13 AM   #4
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Wrangler's right. I'd be sure to rule out physical water leaks first. Check very thoroughly outside for any sort of leak point or degradation. Next, cut a small hole in the drywall at the wet area. Check inside the wall for insulation, water, and mold.

You might have a very solid theory in thinking that there's a small section of wall that lacks insulation.
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Old 12-21-2008, 04:47 PM   #5
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You're right DangerMouse, it was built by Moe, Larry and Curly . I think their helpers were Stu Pidassoe and Bill Trong.

Today I looked outside at that corner of the house. Everything looks fine, nothing looks out of place and there is no snow, water or ice near it. The cats are really good about using the cat pan and the dog uses that vast doggie bathroom we call the backyard. Plus, there is no odor in that corner. There is no plumbing in the wall. I looked in the attic in the area just above the wall and everything up there appears to be dry.

I drilled a 2" hole in the wall and there is insulation behind the drywall. The back of the drywall plug is dry and has no discoloration or mold. I pulled out a small piece of the insulation and it is dry with no mold or discoloration.

Is it possible that the plastic bag was warm from the heat of the room and since it was pressed against the cool wall, it caused condensation to form on the plastic? That seems pretty goofy, but I can't find any other source of water.

Just a side note: I'm glad I didn't go with my first plan and cut out that section of the drywall. I would have felt like Geraldo Rivera opening Al Capone's vault.
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Old 12-21-2008, 05:37 PM   #6
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THAT'S where your grandkid hid that darn snowball!!!
the wet came from something and sat there for a bit to soak into the wall...
and some got in the bag too, but didn't have anywhere to go....
snow is about all i can think of... bummer you had to drill the hole though, but better safe than sorry!

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