New construction leaks


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Old 12-20-08, 01:33 PM
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New construction leaks

Basically, I have a problem with leaks in my house. I live in a new construction (built in 2006) and have been dealing with the contractor who built the house for almost two years and the leak is yet to be solved. It has leaked for more than 10 times. I have attached pictures on picasaweb.google.com/bchen321/Help# that I hope will help explain my situation.

I am not sure if the water is coming through the patio door but the contractor claim it isn't coming through the doors. These patio doors are south facing and when heavy rain hits against the door, the tracks of the doors get wet. It doesn't get alot of water but still puddles for a while and then goes away. I checked the door for plumbness with a level and it looks fine and the weep holes are not blocked at all. The contractor checked the roof, gutters, replaced the tiles on the floor, caulk it over 5 times both on the door and the flashing, repointed the bricks with hydraulic cement. I have even thought about putting up sliding patio storm doors to see if the leak would reoccur but wasn't able to find such doors. On the other side of the house, I have the same contruction but the patios do not sit on top of the first floor, it is just cantilevered.

Another strange thing I have been seeing is the chimney leaking. Water would come out of the flue pipe when we have the hot air furnace turned on. Leak is not serious but wuold drip on the wall the entire winter. It would continue to leak until March when it warms up and it happening again this year. In the past, the chimney was fixed with a serious leak that would flood the basement. After that fix, the chimney didn't leak when it rained.

Thanks for the help--Barry
 
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Old 12-22-08, 05:22 PM
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Put someone on the patio with a garden hose and a good nozzle. Have them hit the bottom of the door with full force and slowly go up. Let them hit the side of the light over the door as well. You stay inside and watch for the water. That will tell you if it's the doors or not. If you don't see a leak then do the same on the roof. Put a ladder on the patio.

Is there a cap on the chimney? If not, install one. The water in the flue could be related.
 
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Old 12-23-08, 12:43 PM
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Did he put a sill pan under the door sill?
 
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Old 12-25-08, 06:57 AM
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hello tinner666- how would i know if he placed a sill pan under the door?

pulpo-- we have tried watering the door but did not see any leakings in the ceiling below the patio. i have yet to try the roof method and will tackle that when there is no snow on the roof.

there is a cap in the chimney, there are two water heaters and a hot air furnace connected via the flue pipe to the chimney. it is strange, it only leaks when the weather is cold and continues to leak until march when the water warms up. this year, it only started leaking after it snowed here in the northeast on 12/19/08. Before that even during heavy rains, the leak would not appear in the basement. Thanks!
 
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Old 12-25-08, 01:38 PM
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If it's only happening when when the weather is cold and the heat is on, then what about condensation? Maybe there is no leak at all or it's a combination of a leak and condensation.
 
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Old 12-25-08, 02:20 PM
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For your chimney issue, I believe Pulpo has it correct, you have a condensation issue. If the chimney I see in the pictures is what your furnace is connected to, it is an outside chimney which means it is colder, and thus more prone to moisture condensing out. There may be a chimney liner that can help this out, either by reducing the surface area and increasing the exhaust flow rate, or by adding an additional layer to improve the temperature of the flue.

As for the water leak with your back door, the best water detector I've seem is an infrared camera. You have to pick your conditions, but a good energy auditor will know when is best and maybe he/she can point you in the right direction.

Good Luck,
Bud
 
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Old 12-29-08, 09:37 AM
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the bottom of the patio door should be set in high quality sealant so water doesn`t enter from ground level
the flue pipe leak may be condensation,but I always see where the flashing is installed incorrectly,and the flue collar is left way above the roof flashing part,the "collar needs to be set flush to the top of the collar and sealed to it
 
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Old 12-29-08, 09:41 AM
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ok saw pics,forget about the flue pipe---your chimney is at the bottom of a cricket area,and chances are it`s not waterproofed behind the flashing,or you may have an ice/water build up,can`t really tell much from your pics
 
 

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