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Old 10-10-2010, 01:14 PM   #1
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Moisture issues

Hi everyone:

Looking for a little advice. My gilfriend and I are looking carefully at a house that seems right for us as far as location and layout and price. However, there seems to be some moisture problems inside.

The house, which is located in rainy BC, is 24 years old. It's two stories, built on a hillside.

The windows are 24-year-old double pane units. I don't know if it was shoddy workmanship or if the windows are merely examples of early double-pane technology, but probably half of them have condensation. Most of the rest of them are also "foggy." They all need to be replaced.

I've also noticed that some of the paint on the ceiling of the upper floor "appears" to have a mottled look to it. Could this be from moisture? I don't know. As well, the word from the seller is that the house needs a new roof. If they're telling us straight-up that it needs a new roof, they obviously know it does.

One other thing - there was apparently an offer on this house a few months ago that was pulled when the potential buyer became concerned with, you guessed it, moisture.

Having said all that, I checked in the small room in the basement where the furnace and hot water heater are kept. This was the only spot in the house that wasn't finished, so I was able to look at the insulation and at both the vertical and horizontal 2x4s. They were completely dry. Moreover, we looked pretty carefully (though we're definitely not experts) and could see no evidence of mould. The place didn't smell "musty" either.

I know there are a ton of variables in every situation and that getting a solution over the Internet is impossible, but I figured I'd see if anyone here has any ideas. Have I given enough information here that any of you can say authorataively "Run away!!"? Or could it just be bad windows? Or, alternatively, a bad roof and/or bad roof venting? If we can get a better perspective *before* we blow $400 on a house inspection, that would be great. Any and all ideas or advice would be most welcome. I hope I posted this question in the correct forum. Thanks so much.
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Old 10-10-2010, 04:02 PM   #2
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That is a horribly poor detail on the roof cap/parapet(?) that awas patched by anateur with the wrong materials many times. Water enter the wall, gets behind the stucco to run down. Where it hits a window, it looks for anouther route and saturates the framing, as evidenced by the exposed heading with many problems.

There a good possibility the windows are not installed properly, which is common.

You also seem to have a lot of rainfall as evidenced by the surrounding area and trees, which means there should have been more attention to the original design that could have been complicated by the maintenance. The cracks, which are common in stucco could possibly be beneficial since they can also let out moisture that comes from the temporary reservoir on the roof.


If I was just looking at it, I would have a moisture investigation done (with the long 4" probes) to see the internal wall moisture content before I jumped to invest.
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:11 AM   #3
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Concrete: I think you meant your reply for another thread; I just read one that sounds like you have the answer for it. It looked terribly cracked. j
Gord: The foggy windows is likely just poor construction. Windows will fog regardless of what happens in the rest of the house, if they are crappy windows. However: "needs a new roof" is spooky. How much damage has occurred since it needed replacing? God knows. I'd drop the place like a hot wire, myself, but if you do go ahead, be sure to get a GOOD inspector. A friend's house was inspected by a moron, and she put over $100K into fixes; no exaggeration, either.
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