Leak around cornerpost? Next steps?

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Old 01-10-13, 09:09 PM
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Leak around cornerpost? Next steps?

Please bear with me. Longstanding problem for the last year and a half during heavy rains. The corner floor of my dining room gets wet, only the floor, drywall remains dry. This is a cornerpost area which is next to the gutter over the front of my garage, which is topped with a 12-10 pitch roof. Over the last 7 years, I have had 3 different contractors do each my gutters and trim, siding, and roof, has seemed to complicate troubleshooting and has led to a lot of fingerpointing instead of a determination of the cause.

Had siding investigate whether or not flashing was properly installed, that looked okay. Had an independent roof/siding/gutter guy take a look, said my roof was fine in that area, and noted that siding had cut vinyl siding around the gutter instead of removing the gutter and reinstalling after the siding was placed. That problem was corrected, and deteriorated wall sheathing was replaced with plywood.

The leak came up again a couple of months ago, albeit much less water, but still significant enough (2 ft square area along one wall). Again, only shows up on the floor. Tested for water, had drywall removed on the interior of the house in the area and found wet insulation and floor only near the cornerpost and floor, between the cornerpost and first vertical frame. The wall sheathing opposite the area under the gutter was dry this time. So it looks like it is coming from the cornerpost area. Restorers removed insulation all the way to the ceiling between the cornerpost and first frame, but said it only appeared to be wet at the very bottom. Wall sheath appeared to be dry all the way to the ceiling. No water was found on behind the adjacent wall, which has also been dry when investigated previously (so I don't think it is a nearby window).

I'm thinking about having a structural engineer look at this one, maybe having the aluminum trim removed to have a look at the cornerpost from the outside? Appreciate your thoughts.
 
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Old 01-10-13, 09:16 PM
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Pictures would help, so that we can have an idea of the roofline, siding etc. It sounds like you probably have water behind the siding, it could be travelling a long ways down the siding before it finds a way in. Sometimes the WRB (tyvek, felt paper, etc) is non-existent or improperly installed.

One of the biggest things contractors do wrong when roofing or siding is that when a 1st story roof slope meets the rake end (gable end wall) of the 2nd story, the bottom end of the 1st story roof (at the gutter) is not usually properly flashed, which results in roof water being channeled behind the siding at that point. Water behind the siding at that point generally will continue on a path as if it was water shooting over the gutter, except it's behind the siding! A kickout flashing solves this problem, by preventing that water coming down the step flashing from running behind the siding. But I'm not picturing your house from that description... just guessing at one possibility.

You say this started 1 1/2 yrs ago. Was there some home improvement that suddenly caused this problem? Or were all those things you mentioned done in a short period of time, which is part of the reason you're having a hard time narrowing down who is to blame?
 
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Old 01-11-13, 10:24 AM
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I'll get a picture so the flashing can be evaluated. I don't think it has kickout flashing. I'm thinking this might be a possibility; the area of wall sheathing behind the siding near the gutter did not get wet this time, but perhaps water is traveling elsewhere behind the siding, and what I'm seeing is accumulation around the bottom of the cornerpost.

Gutters and trim were done 7 yrs ago, then siding about 6 years ago, roof reshingled about 3 1/2. Did not notice the problem until after the roof had been about 2 years old. Step flashing was okay last inspection by independent roofer.
 
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Old 01-11-13, 05:07 PM
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If it's vinyl siding, you can unzip the siding and remove it in a questionable area, if you'd like to see if it's wet behind, or if there's housewrap, etc. It's easy to take it off, and it might help you evaluate what's going on.
 
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Old 01-12-13, 07:24 AM
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I kind of want to punish the siding company and get them to come out and do that They mentioned to me that they would prefer to do that, so I'll hold them to their word and not violate the warranty.
Did some troubleshooting last night since I have the interior drywall and insulation removed in the area, and I think I may have found the source.

Running water on the roof for about 45 minutes did not reveal any water intrusion. I ran water along the j-channel in several areas, and when I ran it directly into the vertical j-channel right above the gutter, I immediately had water intrusion in the areas which showed water stain.

It appears to me that I need a couple of things: 1) investigate the vertical j-channel/siding area on the cornerpost above the gutter and make sure it is watertight 2) it may be helpful to install kickout flashing, I believe a previous roof inspector told me there was none. I included a couple of pictures of the area. I'm thinking that might divert some of the water running off the 12-10 pitch roof toward that vertical j-channel and decrease the likelihood of water intrusion. I'm also thinking I might want bigger gutters in that area. Thoughts?

Appreciate the feedback I've gotten from the Cornhusker State. I'm a Cornhusker native myself.
 
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Old 01-12-13, 07:43 AM
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That diagonal j-channel above the shingles... it does direct water behind the siding, which is normal. Housewrap is your WRB, and it is supposed to prevent any water that gets behind the siding from doing any damage. So I would question the way they have the housewrap lapped... or possibly the leak is coming from the fascia-wall connection behind the gutter. They may have just done a poor job with the housewrap in that area. The vertical j-channel behind the gutter is similar. They aren't water tight locations.

But if you are getting leaks with the hose there then I'd definitely suspect the housewrap. There is probably also some rotten wood sheathing there, which may be why it didn't leak into the house for a while (until the wood rotted through) and now it DOES leak into the house, because the sheathing isn't shedding the water to the outside anymore.

Something I always do as I install siding up to an area like that is to make a counterflashing out of aluminum trim coil. When you install the piece of siding that is just below the end of that j-channel, and you KNOW water is going to be dumping out of it and directing it behind the siding... I will lay that counterflashing over the top of the nailing fin of the siding below, cutting it as tight as I can to the fascia/roofline, and then I install the j-channels over the top of that.

By doing that, the water coming out of the j-channel shoots out onto this metal flashing (more durable than the housewrap) and is immediately directed to the weep holes in the vinyl siding where it can drain out.

Good to help out a fellow (former) Husker!
 
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Old 01-12-13, 07:07 PM
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That's kind of interesting. So should the siding company have identified to me that the housewrap wasn't proper, or should that have been their responsibility to wrap it prior to applying the siding? I'm not sure there was much in the way of housewrap to begin with; I had a sheathing repair which used Tyvex wrap, but I don't think there was much when the house was originally constructed.
 
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Old 01-12-13, 10:00 PM
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Bottom line is that it depends what was in your contract. (Install Tyvek Housewrap and 25 sq of vinyl siding.... then yes!) Generally its SOP to inform homeowners of anything out of the ordinary so that you (the contractor) are not liable for it later. (Hey, you have some rotten sheathing here by the gutter... we can replace it for you @ $50/pc and materials at cost + 25%... No? Okay, its your house!)
 
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Old 01-13-13, 06:34 PM
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Cool, thanks. Given the amount of damage that these guys caused me to begin with, I think I have leverage to have them make something work.
Thanks!
 
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Old 01-29-13, 07:02 PM
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Siding company believes the area should be wrapped, question is whether or not they will do it or if I need to get someone else. The house wasn't originally wrapped with Tyvex or similar, so it might be work that this crew doesn't want to do. Also, when I previously repaired some deteriorated sheathing, I replaced the particle-like sheathing with ply. There is a 1/4 to 1/2 inch gap along a 4 foot horizontal area which might be allowing water draining behind the sheathing. I was wondering opinions on how to patch something like that, or to "bridge the gap" in such a way that water is not likely to collect/pool. I don't want to just squirt silicone because that might not really solve a drainage issue, it might just divert it to a new area. I think that might need to be done before it is wrapped.
 
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Old 01-29-13, 07:50 PM
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I would first remove the gutter. 2nd, remove the skinny piece of siding at the end of the gutter. Once you do that you will be able to inspect the condition of the sheathing. If its not completely rotten you can take that piece of coil and cut it about 12" wide, 12" long. Remove the vertical j-channel and cut the flashing out around the fascia so it fits tight. Then place that flashing over the nailing flange of the siding below... behind the slanted j-channel above the roof. Then reattach the vertical j-channel and reinstall the siding.

If you don't have Tyvek or a similar housewrap behind your siding, that IMO is just a ticking timebomb. You'll have an unlimited amount of rotten sheathing to repair in areas like this, and below windows unless something is done about it soon.
 
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