My apologies if I am intruding where I shouldn’t. I would like some feedback regarding where to go and who to reach out to when one finds issues with their home that needs to be repaired in such a way as to keep their home safe from potential future damage.
We have a supported brick veneer home in the Houston area. After 5-1/2 years in this home (original owners of a spec home that we didn’t have the luxury of watching during the building process) we have discovered an area in a wall where the visqueen flashing and 1/8" sheathing was damaged during a repair done by the builder’s plumber after we had been in the home for about a week. We also found that the mortar droppings blocking weep holes seem to have contributed to water rising in the air cavity above the top of the brick ledge and seeping up under the sill plate to wick up the baseboard.
None of the contractors I have contacted have adequately addressed all issues with reconstructing the interior of the wall when attempting to repair the flashing and the sheathing. I don’t feel confident that we are capable of handling this as a DIY project because of the concern of creating new moisture related problems.
The drain pipe that was repaired years ago extends beyond the back side of the sill plate, creating a “bow” in what remains of the 1/8" sheathing. We have not yet figured out a way to cover the gap (from the inside) where the sheathing is missing and are resigning ourselves to needing to have brick removed in order to have the flashing replaced with a peel and stick membrane, and have the sheathing replaced/repaired in this section.
There are concerns related to this process if it is only done in one section of the wall instead of around the entire perimeter of the house … such as … will the transition from the peel and stick membrane and the visqueen be secure and water tight. Money is an object here when it comes to deciding whether to patch just one section of wall or do the whole house.
Another concern is how does one place sheathing between the exterior of the studs and the insulation, when a drain pipe causes that sheathing to “bow.” Where we have a big hole in the sheathing visible in the lower part of the picture, we have about a 1/2 inch “slit” in the sheathing behind the section of the pipe that moves to the right side of the space as it continues up the wall.
It seems to me that making any kind of change in this wall at this point by someone who isn’t taking the movement of water vapor through the wall into consideration could adversely affect the wall in the future in a way that it hasn’t been impacted at this point. It’s been pretty darned leaky (air … not water) for the last 5-1/2 years and probably saves us from moisture issues even though the insulation in one place has had nothing behind it but air. At least there is nothing there (right now) for water vapor to condense on.
It appears that because of the “bow” the drain pipe will create in any type of weather resistant barrier, there will never be a way to properly seal this wall. As open as it is now, there is no evidence of mold or rot, so barring hurricane rains, the wall doesn’t seem to have suffered up to this point. Our creating a weep hole in an unblocked area of the brick veneer should resolve the problem of water accumulating to the point of rising over the brick ledge and seeping under the sill plate.
Am I overthinking this issue, as my dear husband says I am, or is it reasonable to think that we need someone who will really, really think their way through this repair? If so … what type of individual would that be? I haven’t found him/her yet.
Or … is this a situation of learning to live with something that might only happen in a blue moon and leaving well enough alone?