Water Stains on Baseboards

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Old 03-04-19, 05:42 PM
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Water Stains on Baseboards

Hi all,

I have water stains on the baseboards in my living room and I'm not sure where the leak is coming from. I've called a few contractors and no one is able to pinpoint where the water is coming from. Is this a roofing, plumbing, or concrete foundation issue? Can anyone help me?

Thanks!

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Last edited by PJmax; 03-07-19 at 07:02 AM. Reason: resized pictures
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Old 03-04-19, 05:50 PM
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Well you haven't given us much info to go on.

Is this below grade or above grade?

Is the floor cement or wood?

What is the wall construction? In other words is the wall 2x4s or concrete?

What is the siding on the outside?

And pictures taken from the outside showing the entire side of the house would be helpful.
 
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Old 03-04-19, 06:06 PM
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I live in a townhome with no basement so this is an above the ground leak.

The floor is cement.

Not sure about the walls. It be might be 2 x 4.

The siding is vinyl.
 

Last edited by Kim1000; 03-04-19 at 06:17 PM. Reason: Add more pics
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Old 03-04-19, 07:02 PM
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Great example of how awful MDF baseboard / trim is if it ever gets wet.

First, I would determine if the ground outside is higher than the floor inside.

Second, verify that the siding hangs about 1" over the concrete foundation. Look under the siding to see if there is housewrap that also hangs over the foundation.

Third, find a butt joint in the vinyl siding (where two horizontal pieces meet) and pull it open and try to see if there is any WRB (housewrap) behind the siding. A piece of siding can be unzipped with an unlock tool (Malco Sideswiper) to inspect the damage behind the siding. If evidence of water behind the siding is found... keep looking higher and higher.

It could also be something as simple as a plugged downspout... water from the gutters splashing on the ground and up under the siding.

Ruling those things out, or investigating them further will give you clues as to the source of the leak... shouldn't need to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out.

Would be really nice to have pictures from farther away. And please give some description on your outside pictures of where the water is showing up on the opposite side. You know your house... we don't.

Edit:

I just saw your photos and I think I see the problem. The foundation sticks out farther than the siding does. That's likely the problem... water runs back under the bottom plate because of that. The siding will need to be removed and flashing installed in order to waterproof that corner.

Hilarious that no contractor could pinpoint this when it's so obvious.
 
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Old 03-04-19, 07:09 PM
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OK. I will try this out. Thanks your help!
 
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Old 03-05-19, 04:40 AM
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Also, the way they installed your siding can be a problem. See the white channel at the bottom of the siding. It is catching all the water that runs down the siding, then where does the water go?

I think the lower course or two of siding needs to be removed and flashing installed. The flashing should have a "Z" bend and overlap the raised concrete foundation. Then the siding can be reinstalled.
 
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Old 03-05-19, 05:37 AM
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In the bottom photo, does water stand in that corner next to the wall?
 
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Old 03-05-19, 05:57 AM
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I'd bet that when that sidings removed your going to find mold, rotten bottom plate and sheathing.
Classic building 101 mistake to have walls built that close to any grade.
Code calls for at least 6" above grade, in your case that's the slab.
What I've done many times in cases like yours is to remove at least three rows of siding, fold the house wrap back out of the way (if there is any) and cut out the bottom rotted sheathing.
Once that's removed you can inspect the bottom plate insulation and studs for damage.
Once all that's done and the new section of sheathing is installed, (making sure it does not make direct contact with the slab to prevent wicking) I install a piece coil stock with about a 1" 85 deg. bend at the bottom and set it in a heavy bead of OSI Quad caulking along the bottom.at the sheathing to slab joint.
Next I installed PVC 1 X 6 lumber also set in caulking , then a piece of Z molding, next J mold then the siding.
The siding may have to be cut to width, keep the cut off piece to set in side the J mold
to kick the face of the siding out.
 
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Old 03-06-19, 10:26 AM
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Thanks everyone for your response! Very helpful. I have an appointment with a roofing and siding company tomorrow.
 
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