But unfortunately you don’t find leaks until it shows up in your living room walls or ceiling.
I recently got a call to look at some rotted exterior trim on the front of a garage. I met with the homeowner and we agreed, “yep, it’s gotta go.” I also told him there might be more problems when we remove the old trim. There always is, but you never really know the extent of damage until you get it off. The question always is, “How much will it cost?” My answer, I don’t know until we get it all off and look at it.” Sounds evasive. But honestly, I really don’t know. I give them a range, best case, worst case, and it usually lands between there. I got the job…
So off comes the exterior trim
Back to the story. After removing the wood, it had exactly the issues I mentally guessed at, and a bit more. The wooden drip cap had rotted, due to not keeping up with the painting and caulking and deteriorated enough to allow water in behind the garage door trim. Because the house was never House Wrapped, water was able to seep into every nook, cranny and board behind the trim.
This was an incredibly negligent building practice. The builder was able to save a few thousand bucks and it was never a building code until 2005, so a $350,000.00 + home is put at future risk. But this was the really the easy part.
The homeowner and I walked around the house and found another spot at the fireplace that seem “soft” underneath. It was. The OSB sub siding (sheathing) had completely turned to mulch. After removing the siding, which was caulked together, we discovered the framing also had to be replaced. This was such an easy thing to avoid. Below, is the photo I took because I was dumbfounded on how incredibly ignorant the roofer, siding installer and builder were.
The photo shows how the last piece of step flashing was left out. Even though it looks like the flashing goes into the gutter, it doesn’t. It was buried behind the siding so that any water getting to the flashing was directed to behind the siding instead of out and away from the siding.
The photo below shows the flashing going out, and over the gutter. At the finished product, flashing gets cut into the siding and WILL SHOW, allowing the water a path to exit.
This was such a simple thing to do, it begs back to the days when builders knew how to do everything from foundation to carpet. Rather, the builder here just managed assets and relied on a poorly trained set of subcontractors to put together the pieces, each one not knowing what the other one did OR WHY.