Water coming thru brick walls


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Old 11-21-05, 07:13 AM
J
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Water coming thru brick walls

Hi,

I have a brick home, two stories with a flat roof. After several days of heavy rain, I see water leaking on the inside, mostly over windows. The house is made of two courses of real brick and was constructed in the 1920's. The brick has been repointed (1998) and supposedly a silicone seal was applied to the brick. However, when the brick is wet there is no beading on the brick. The roof was replaced one year ago and there is no evidence that the water is coming through the roof. Does anyone have any ideas on how to stop the leakage?

Thanks.
 
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Old 11-22-05, 05:52 PM
Lowongas
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Is your leak over the windows ot the 1 st story or the 2 ond ?
If it's the 2 ond you may need that flat roof looked at by an independent contractor. If it's the 1 st story window I'm baffled because I've never seen water go through brick or morter unless the are large holes in them.
 
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Old 11-22-05, 06:50 PM
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Water coming thru brick walls

Is this a new leak or has it been ongoing since the tuckpointing?

Does your home have parapet walls? - Exterior walls projectiing above the roof around the perimeter.

If not, what type of materials do you have around the edge?

How is rain water handled? Do you have interior drains or is the water directed towards the outside and collected into downspouts?

You probably have water in the wall that drains down until it hits the lintel over the windows. It collects until it finds a way out or into the house.

Silicone seals do not have a long life. In addition, they are clear and are hard to get complete coverage everywhere. Most contractors I know take the planned amount out to the job, but have a hard time getting enough on a building. They go too lightly at first, fearing they may run out. They end up using less than they thought unless they do a measured test application first. They also apply from top to bottom and undercoat the lower areas.

Dick
 
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Old 11-22-05, 07:02 PM
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The first place that I'd look would be the terminator strip on the roof. (typically on the inside of the parapet wall, 12" up from the roof deck.) Other places to suspect would be any seams in the parapet capping.
 
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Old 12-10-05, 02:57 PM
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Sorry for the delay in responding. I'll address the questions in the order they were asked.

Is your leak over the windows ot the 1 st story or the 2 ond ? - The leaks that we can see are on the second story. As mentioned originally, the roof was replaced exactly one year ago.

Is this a new leak or has it been ongoing since the tuckpointing? - These leaks appear to have started about two to three years after the tuckpointing, although they may have been ongoing before that time. They are more visible now because we ripped out the plaster walls and exposed the interior brick so that we could upgrade electrical service and insulate the walls. The old plaster walls also had 1/2" sheetrock on them, so water damage might not have been readily visible.

Does your home have parapet walls? - Yes, there are parapet walls around the perimeter of the roof ranging from three feet to four feet high, as the roof slopes downward toward a single downspout which runs on the outside of the building. The roof is a rubberized membrane that starts at the exterior or outside edge of the parapet wall and continues uninterrupted to the facing wall where it ends at the exterior edge of that wall. The edges are sealed with roofing cement, as are membrane overlaps. One additional element that may be of relevance - at or near the base of the parapet wall, several courses of brick extend out further than the courses above or below them. The uppermost course of such extended brick are topped with mortar at a 45 degree angle for drainage. This mortar was replaced a year ago in conjuction with the roof replacement. The brick extensions are of a decorative nature.

You probably have water in the wall that drains down until it hits the lintel over the windows. It collects until it finds a way out or into the house. - Agreed, as most of visible damage is above the windows. The question is where the water enters the building.

The first place that I'd look would be the terminator strip on the roof. (typically on the inside of the parapet wall, 12" up from the roof deck.) Other places to suspect would be any seams in the parapet capping. - I've already described how the roof membrane covers the top and the inside of the parapet wall. Would that explanation alleviate your concern?

I hope that these answers give you more information regarding my problem. As you can tell, we have done all the obvious things, such as replacing the roof, tuckpointing, etc., yet the problem persists. HELP!
 
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Old 12-10-05, 07:15 PM
Lowongas
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Do you know exactly what roofing material was put on your flat roof.
 
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Old 12-11-05, 09:01 AM
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Thanks for the reply. I don't know the brand name of the material used on the roof. However, what I saw being put on was a very heavy rubberized material which came in four foot rolls. After this material was installed, the entire roof was painted with a silver paint.
 
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Old 12-11-05, 01:48 PM
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Water coming thru brick walls

Often roof material get blamed for water leaks that are really attributed to the attachement of the roof to other objects.

Parapet wall are notorious for be a part of a leak, because of the exposure (two sides) and the temperature differentials.

Take a hard look at possibility of a water entering at the joubtion of the roof and wall.

Look at the cap for the parapet (if any).

Check out all flashing and caulking.

The architectural brick reveal could be a source since it can collect or retain moisture. Look for cracks and caulk. If you use a silicone sealer be very careful since it can cause problems with some roofing. Also, if you put on a silicone, you may have to wait the apply anything else over it.

If you are in a major maetropolitan area, you could hire an engineer speializing in moisture intrusion ( a real down and dirty common sense specialty).

Dick

Dick
 
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Old 01-09-06, 06:36 AM
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I had a similiar problem, but in my case it was water running down the outside wall of the house instead of going into the gutter.
 
 

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