Brick home: Wet wall sheathing.

Approx. 7 year old home. No kickout flashing. No weep holes. Wet OSB wall sheathing observed from crawl space at the base of the wall. What would you advise the buyer?

My narrative:

“Wood wall sheathing was in direct contact with the brick veneer wall, which violates today’s commonly accepted construction standards (a gap should be present to allow any moisture on the inside of the brick to drain down the void without directly contacting the house framing). We observed two areas at the front of the home where the base of the wall sheathing was wet and undergoing decay. Note that even if the wall sheathing was covered with asphalt embedded paper or synthetic “house wrap”, these barriers are water resistant, not water proof. Therefore, even the presence of these barriers (which is required) would not necessarily prevent the walls from becoming wet if they are in direct contact with the brick. The construction defect described here means that other areas of wet wall framing may exist which were not visible to us. The potential ramifications are decay to the wood wall framing, mold, etc. Note that there is no good remedy and any correction may mean removing the brick from the home, partially or in full. You should consult with a licensed and competent general contractor, residential builder, or engineer about this issue, the possibilities for correction, and the potential costs.”

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I think you have it covered quite well. You may want to recommend an engineer or contractor with building science “in the field” experience.

Good job Joe, I usually add something about the client needing a written and signed statement from any contractor that says its not a problem. As you know, the agents have contractors that will downplay issues when asked to do so, especially in the Rock Hill SC area.

Stone and brick walls can be water proofed.
I suggest this on all new stone veneered homes afte.

Joe, I am a little confused here and maybe you can explain.

Just curious Joe. :slight_smile:

Sorry Joe. I though it was stone.
cement brick?

Does the foundation rise above grade by the 6 inch norm?
How close are brick straiter course to the grading where you notice water infultration?

Marcel, I didn’t say a moisture barrier was absent. I simply said even if present, that’s not adequate if the wall was in contact with the brick. The absence of a void prohibited me from observing a moisture barrier, but I doubt it’s totally absent…that would be totally negligent.

I could readily see the wall sheathing was in contact with the brick. Whenever I see a lack of kickout flashing, my antenna are way up when I’m going around the perimeter from inside the crawl space.

View of the wall sheathing.

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How it should be.

masonry veneer details.jpg

This photo will give you an idea of where the problem is in relation to the grade.

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Anyone see any point in doing a IR scan? Would that provide any assurance that the problem was limited to a certain area? Keep in mind that the house is < 10 years old.

Don,t through the baby out with the bath water yet Joe. ( replace all the brick, )
They would have to go on a metal ledger, bumped out.
Some corrections can be done but more evidence is needed to explain the areas of concern. ( simple venting, regrade, water proofing )
I think an IR scan would be justified.
Someone with prior experience to this type of condition would be needed.
That is a tough nut to crack. I would love to spend time investigating the 4 walls…
Good Luck.

Joe try to remember where the defect area’s are in relationship to the planting. ( shrubs ) Always keep planting away from building by 6-8 feet. To close, will maintain a humid area within a large circumference in relationship to the building.
The root system is high on those particular shrubs, lateral pressure is increased as they get higher… Not significantly, as a deep rooted tree or shrub.
Same problem as yours done last year to elevate pressure and water infiltration on a extensive home. Lost photos to explain more.
Its close to your pictures and problem.
Shrubs will keep that wall damp. If zoned for snow the problem intensifies.
Just trying to help. I know I am new.
The home was like yours and picture it with as many shrubs. Lost photos of total project. 2009.
Look at soil in relationship to the Indian stone. I excavated 8 inches to leave a 4 inch exposure. Sorry for edits.

Great Job Joe, that is exactly the type of thing I love to find.

That is not something you really want to find but of course when its there, its there. Weep holes would not have saved that one. Seller will probably have to get an attorney before it’s over.

Thanks Joe and that explains the screwed up mess for a <10 year old house. These people need to learn how to build to protect the consumer.
Unreal. :slight_smile:

Sorry brain’s not working . ( when is it working period ) HA HA
Thought you were doing a maintenance inspection.
Sorry Joe.


The seller’s agent arranged to have an engineer evaluate structure. He said everything was fine. Here’s my response to the buyers:

"[FONT=Arial]Apparently he’s engineer with Duke Power. Has a nuclear engineering degree. 27 years old. Out of school about 5 years. Probably a very smart guy, but probably knows nothing about construction. He has been licensed by the state of SC since…January 12, 2011. (I wonder how many construction projects he has evaluated since then?) Did you ask him about his construction background? How did the real estate agent find him or know him? Any report you get should have his engineering stamp and signature on it.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]I felt all along that there was a vapor barrier, as I’ve never seen a house without it. But keep in mind that it’s water resistant. It’s not waterproof. There may be no substantial damage to the home, which is great. But the house did not have weep holes above windows, doors, or where it meets the foundation, which is a violation of the building code. The sheathing your husband and I saw was against the brick and was wet…you couldn’t slide a sheet of paper between the sheathing and the brick. It was built nothing like the drawings I sent you. How did the engineer/contractor feel about the wet sheathing and did they recommend that it be addressed in any way? I’m very curious.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]You may want to talk to an engineer I know, XXXX. He’s a structural engineer and does this type of work for a living…yet probably knows very little about neutrons. (phone number provided)."

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