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hyunelan2 05-26-2011 09:18 AM

Rain and fireplace and vents and leakage, oh my
5 Attachment(s)
We have received about 3.5" of rain in the past 24 hours. This morning I walked down to my basement and found a puddle. This is the first time I've ever noticed water down there. My house is build on pit-run and is incredibly well-drained. My sump pump has never run (it does work), and we don't have water problems to the point that my neighbor even took his sump pump out :eek:

Anyway - my puddle. I looked at it and noticed a drip. The water is coming from above. It is dripping off of the main vent stack from the furnace/water-heater. Then I noticed it was also dripping off of the gas supply pipe for the fireplace, above and next-to the vent (not seen in picture).

I went outside to see if maybe some of my siding had popped loose in the storms. Not that simple - everything appeared intact. There is a horizontal vent right above the area that is dripping. Maybe this is the culprit? I don't know what this vent is for though? It looks like a vent for a direct-vent gas fireplace. My fireplace is a gas-fed wood burning fireplace, that vents directly up the chimney and out through the roof (parallel to the vent stack for the furnace/water heater).

Thoughts or ideas? I have attached some pictures. I'm hoping not to have to de-side my house to fix this, but if that's what it takes...

One other thought - notice on the one picture that the concrete on the footing is wet only on the left side. This seems odd?

jklingel 05-26-2011 12:45 PM

I don't see how your white-capped vent could NOT leak. I'd pull that apart as far as I needed to, and caulk it liberally. Then I'd install flashing under the siding piece above it, to extend over the vent cap what I could, and caulk under that, too. Either that or build a box over the whole thing, flashed appropriately above. "...notice on the one picture that the concrete on the footing is wet only on the left side. This seems odd? " What is above this that is likely leaking and letting rain run along the house, under the siding, and out?

hyunelan2 05-26-2011 07:55 PM

3 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by jklingel (Post 655439)
What is above this that is likely leaking and letting rain run along the house, under the siding, and out?

Nothing. The only thing that's even remotely close to that is the dumb vent, but that's around the corner. Here's a couple more pictures.

Upon closer examination of that vent, it looks like it does have something to do with the fireplace (which I suspected) due to the "Hearth Technologies" name stamped on it. I can't believe:

1. It was installed and not properly weatherproofed
2. It took me 2 years to find it.

gregzoll 05-26-2011 08:07 PM

It had to be a really hard driving rain to do that. Chi-Town has been getting hammered in the past week with the storms, so it would not surprise me. I would go over my home owners Insurance policy to double check what is covered, etc. Also, with how builders were building homes in the suburbs in the past decade, and most have gone out of business because of the economy, it would not surprise me that they may have cut ever corner they could, especially if your home is in one of the burbs that they built a huge amount of homes very quickly. That would mean that the subs were getting paid by the home, not the hour to get as many done in the shortest amount of time.

jklingel 05-26-2011 08:07 PM

Water can wick sideways quite a bit; it may surprise you. I am not surprised that it was not installed properly; too many "pros" don't take their work seriously and make a bad name for the others. Details elude them, unfortunately. Let us know if this solves the problem. Who knows; it could be higher....

kwikfishron 05-26-2011 08:27 PM

The water is entering the inside of your home at the vent and hopefully that’s all it is but the problem could be originating at the roofline or anywhere in between.

Remove the siding around and above the vent. If the sheathing is wet chase it up the wall till you find the source.

The wet foundation concerns me also, I’d pull off some siding there too. If you don’t own a zip tool, buy one.

EDIT:Just seeing the inside and outside corners so low and not even cutting off the exposed nailing fin are some signs of hacks.

hyunelan2 05-26-2011 08:52 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll pickup a siding zip tool next time I am out. My house was built in 2002, pre-boom for the area but there was still a lot of construction going on then. It was a custom home in a custom subdivision, and not a developer cookie-cutter, so I hoped some quality would be on the higher side. Oh well, looks like another thing on the Memorial Day weekend to-do list.

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