Water entry

I have a client that is getting water coming in at the tile floors and wall intersection on the inside of their home when it rains. This is a newly built home (2007-2008). This appears to be happening below the windows. There is baseboard tile installed, which is starting to move out away from the wall, but at the top grout line my moisture meter pegs, as I move up the interior wall the moisture meter drops back down. The windows are a Built Best brand, model # BIB-N-003 series ECLD/CSMT/AWN/VT. They are a casement type window. I am trying to help figure out were the water is coming from. Anyone had any experience with figuring something like this out?

The landscaping on the exterior does not seem to be the problem as the sill plate appears to be a good 4-6 inches above the soil and the owners said there is not water ponding at the foundation when it rains.

See pictures of windows

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I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but it is really not your job to figure out where or why the water is coming in. You are the inspector, find the problem and defer it to a professional. I have to constantly remind myself of where my responsibility ends and others begins. I think most home inspectors are naturally curious and want to know as much as they can and that is what attracted many of us to the profession. The water could be coming in just about anywhere from the sole plate up to the roof and running down inside the wall. This kind of problem requires further investigation, possibly with special training and equipment (Wet wall meters, etc.) The fact that you found it is to your credit, many would not have. If it is only happening under windows, that would be my first “guess” as the culprits. And it would only be a guess and we should refrain from doing too much guessing in our line of work.

I’m one of the guys Doug refered to.

Improper flashing and alarm sensors drilled though sills are the #1 & #2 culprits for wall moisture intrusion around here.

Another that I see a lot when inspecting casements is the installers and occupants aren’t engaging the locking mechanisms properly, usually upper latch, thus allowing moisture entrance without even noticing until it’s too late.

Scuppers over windows is just a dumb design even in an arid climate!

There was no evidence of water coming down the interior walls below the windows. But there is definitley moisture at the floor, or up from the floor abour 4 inches(above the tile baseboard). I am helping these folks out to help find the problem. They are my client. The builder has been notified but has not been able to figure it out yet.

Moisture barrier over the bottom nail fin on the windows instead of under the the nail fin?

Is there backer rod and sealant joints between the windows and stucco?

Do they do stucco in NM like AZ with foam and chicken wire?

Are the windows mounted behind the foam to get the depth for the bullnose corners?

Simply, professionally remove the affected tile and sheetrock and trace back to source.
This should be done anyway as the affected materials are now candidates for microbial growth and indoor environmental contamination.

If the builder has any other houses under construction look and see how they install the window’s and other componet’s.

Way too logical, Mr. Spock!:cool:

I have told the owners they need to have the builder remove the tile baseboard and remove some drywall that is behind the tile so that the wall cavity can dryout. Then we may be able to get a borescope in and see were the water is coming in at. At least I hope. Another thing I saw this morning was ants at the one area, they were on the floor. Be intersting to get the tile off and see if there is/are gaps in the exterior sheathing, I can’t tell from the outside. There has been weep screed installed at the base of the wall and the city requires styrofoam to be installed on the outside of the slab.

I have no idea if they installed a moisture barrier over the bottom fin. House was completed when I inspected it a couple months ago. Builder has told owners that the windows were properly flashed but I can not tell. Yes they stucco over foam and use chicken wire, that I have seen.

We had had no significant amount of rain from Oct 07 until about the end of June 08. Then last weekend remenants of Dolly hit us and we had about 2-3 inches of rain last weekend.

With the depth of the return of the opening it looks like the window’s sit half way in the wall.

Not a doubt in my mind it is a moisture barrier problem at the sill of the window.

Does the stucco slope into the windows on the sill or to the outside of the openings?

Dolly was a doosie we got some of her here to!

It is a design flaw. But only when it rains.

All good suggestions. Here’s another one.

Not rocket science, and I’m not sure I would have done this with a paying customer, but I found a roof leak for a friend of mine by using a hose.

She had a good idea where the leak was coming from, so she sprayed her garden hose on it, with me in the attic. You know where the hose is spraying, and you see it coming in, it makes it a lot easier to locate.

Soak the bottom of the wall with a hose, and see if the floor gets wet. If not, move up a few feet and soak the bottom of the window, etc etc until you get water. Might not tell exactly where it’s coming but might get you in the general proximity.

In general when seeing this type of problem and roof , or exterior wall ,flashing , etc are all candidates, I am wondering which professional you guys defer too.?


Sorry Bob! :wink:

Funny , but not an answer stucco man.

With a window leak?

Stucco problem?

Rotted out interior?

How long do the builders have to warranty work in NM?

Carl , original question was he could not figure out where it was coming from,so he would not know if he should recommend a roofer , etc.

One of the replies was it is not his problem to determine where it is coming from, so who does he recommend to find the source if he has no idea?

IR guy? Roofer? Mason? Window company?

Defer to the IR guy.:wink:

Gee …how is it when I saw your name ,I knew the answer.:slight_smile:


And it looks to be a window,flashing,moisture barrier problem.

No roof.

The house is not that old that is why I ask about the builders warranty.