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Major water damage! Did the siding contractors do it??

Major water damage! Did the siding contractors do it??


Old 11-29-05, 10:22 PM
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Major water damage! Did the siding contractors do it??

hello. i am in need of a lot of help!! here's my sad story...
in 2001 we had our 2 story house resided with vinyl siding. there were newer vinyl replacement windows in the home when we moved in in 1998. about 6 months to a year later we noticed water would come in the house during a heavy rain. it came in right where the family room (which is on the back of the house, looks like an addition but was built originally with the house) meets the kitchen. the roof was old so we had it replaced. the water still kept coming in. unfortunately, the roofing company had since gone out of business so we called another company. the guy came out and said it could be the roof but it could also be the window since it appears that the siding guys trimmed over the drip holes on the windows upstairs (which are right over the spot where water comes in.) he showed us how to do a water test. it did not leak when the hose was sprayed on the roof area. it did leak when the hose was sprayed on the windows.

today i had a window repair guy come out. i wanted another opinion and if it was confirmed that this was the case i thought it'd be a simple repair. he did say that the trim was over the drip holes and he saw no place where the water could escape. he suggested that i go back to the siding company and make them fix it and pay for the damage to the ceiling in my kitchen and family room. there is mildew spots showing up on the ceiling, the drywall is messed up, and lord only knows what's going on with the wood underneath. i am afraid that any day my cupboards are going to come crashing down. and what about mold???

there are 6 windows that were trimmed over and i can't see the drip holes on any of them. here's another thing... let's say this is the problem. if so, could it cause my basement to flood? our basement was dry until 2004. we had a few heavy rains in the summer and it was wet ever since. last summer we had new drain tiles put in at the cost of $5000.

before i call the siding company i just want some advice as i'm not sure how to handle this. what would you do?? thanks for your help!!
Old 11-30-05, 01:11 AM
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It sounds like you have the type of problem, that you will get 20 different answers to. This is my answer, and it is just a common sense answer. First of all, lets follow your time line that you gave us here. You moved into the house in 1998. In 2001 you had new siding put on your house. In late 2001 or early 2002 you had your roof replaced because there was leakage and your roof was old. However, by your own words, in late 2002 the water still kept coming in, and you found the roofing company was out of business. (No surprise there). Now why did YOU let the leakage occur from late 2002 to the present (late 2005) This is 3 years. OK, maybe the siding guy did not do his job correctly. But why did you let it continue and do damage ? So, my suggestion is to get it fixed. If it is a siding problem, it can be fixed very easily. This is not a hard job to do. But, it may also be a problem caused by the window installer. My suggestion is just get it fixed. Repair the water damage and move on. You really have no recourse from anyone since 3 years passed with damage that was allowed to continue. Your case would never stand up in court. That is a fact, no matter what anyone tells you. Also, your insurance will not help either. There is a little known law that most people have never heard of. It as been around or years and years. It states that unless the homeowner or even a renter does not take immediate corrective measures to protect real property from weather damage, that the home owner or renter is liable for the damage. I am very sorry for your loss. I have repaired many homes with very similar problems from a variety of reasons. It is no fun. My suggestion is to get the leakage fixed right away. And by the way, don't get the cheapest guy around. The cheapest guy may be gone the next time you need him also. Good Luck
Old 11-30-05, 06:01 PM
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Yes, it sounds like a very bad deal. And Jack is right... so much time has passed that you would have a very hard time getting anyone to stand behind that work now. Your strongest case would be against the guys who covered up the weep holes in the window, since that would be a workmanship issue.

An additional place water could be entering is around the j-channels of the windows. For many years, codes did not require houses with vinyl siding to have any kind of building paper at all. (which is absolutely ridiculous!) You *could* check with your local building inspector and see what the code is in your area, and find out whether they were in compliance with the code as it was back in 2001.

It could be that years of water leakage on the sheathing near the bottoms of your windows (behind the siding where no one can see what is going on) has finally gotten to the point where the wall is now taking on water, *if* it's not protected by building paper.

But again, even though this is a terrible situation, the contractor really is not at fault and likely cannot be sued because he probably did not violate any codes by omitting the building paper. So unless you can prove he is liable for the damage somehow, you're up that famous creek.

I'd suggest you remove the vinyl siding around the bottom of the windows in question and have a look. Pay someone to do it if you have to... even if it is the company who did the siding originally. If they admit they were to blame, that's great, but I wouldn't expect them to turn in an insurance claim for work they did 4 years ago. Hope it turns out well for you.

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