Solarium leaks

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  #1  
Old 10-13-08, 11:12 AM
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Solarium leaks

We have a curved solarium on the back of our home. The sections closest to the curve are leaking. We've caulked the sections we can reach, but then the leak moved closer to the center of the room. This leads us to believe the leak is elsewhere and traveling down the channels. How do we find the leak, and how do we stop it? I also don't think the solarium can hold the weight of a person on top to caulk the center sections.

Another issue we have..we can't pinpoint the leak because its intermittent. We get a rainstorm one day with leaks, and then a rainstorm later with no leaks...and using a hose from the room didn't produce the leak.

Any suggestions?
 
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Old 10-13-08, 03:59 PM
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The solariums that I'm familiar with are strong enough to support a person, provided he's not overweight. I've walked all over the ones we've installed. But you can always set up ladders and a plank over the entire thing so that you don't have to stand directly on the glass and ribs.

The ones we have put up have an integrated weepage system that is supposed to allow moisture that gets into the frame a place to get out. So my first thought would be that this weep system has become plugged. Examine the outside of the solarium, around the sill that the bottom glass sits in. Look for small 3/16" holes which should be at 24" or so intervals. If these holes appear plugged with mud, that could be part of the problem.

Sometimes solariums will have a rubber glazing gasket pushed into the sill at the base of the bottom glass. It might be sealed with silicone. Carefully try to remove that gasket (you'll need to reinstall it later) and look into the sill for obstructions. You might need to get a hose and blast it with water to clean the sill out so that water can freely drain out the weep holes.

It might be as simple as that. There could also be an obstruction up higher- the ones I'm familiar with will have channels built into the main ribs that will funnel water down to the sill. If one of those ribs is plugged, you'd probably have a hard time finding it because the ribs are covered with caps that are kind of hard to get off.

So maybe try the above and see if it gets you anywhere.
 
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Old 10-13-08, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
The solariums that I'm familiar with are strong enough to support a person, provided he's not overweight. I've walked all over the ones we've installed. But you can always set up ladders and a plank over the entire thing so that you don't have to stand directly on the glass and ribs.

The ones we have put up have an integrated weepage system that is supposed to allow moisture that gets into the frame a place to get out. So my first thought would be that this weep system has become plugged.
XSleeper, Thank you for your quick response. We never even thought of blocked weeping holes. We will check it out. We bought the house 2.5 years ago, and we think the solarium is at least 10 yrs old. They didn't use glass on the top, its more like plexiglass and aluminum rails. Also, the one side of the room is on a steep hill, so our ladders won't reach the top. We'll try to figure something out. Thanks for all your help.
 
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