Q: I had some moisture in my basement this winter--got onto the carpet foam and made a mess. I removed some drywall to see if there was a leak, but the only obvious issue is wetness on the vapor barrier directly behind the drywall and dampness in the drywall as well (see photo). Any ideas how to deal with this? The foundation and fiberglass insulation appear to be … [Read more...] about How To Diagnose Leakage In Finished Basement?
Why Is Water Leaking Above Windows?
Q: During wind driven heavy rain, I get water coming in at the top of several windows. The single-story ho me is sheathed in plywood that is cover in poly sheeting. I removed the top outer trim on top of a leaking window and found no water behind the trim or on the exterior portion of the metal window frame. The water appears to be coming down the sheathing BEHIND the poly. … [Read more...] about Why Is Water Leaking Above Windows?
Should I Acclimate Hardwood Flooring & Leave Expansion Gap?
Q: I hired a 20+ year veteran flooring pro to install red oak hardwood floors. After the install, I was told by a friend about expansion gaps needed around the perimeter to prevent buckling, etc. as humidity changes and the house settles, in New England. When I asked, the contractor said this was unnecessary because he had stored the wood for several weeks where it could … [Read more...] about Should I Acclimate Hardwood Flooring & Leave Expansion Gap?
How Long Will Treated Wood Deck Last?
Q: I have an 8-year-old pressured-treated deck that has had a significant amount of wood decay mostly in the framing lumber, but also in some of the decking. The deck is about 5 feet off the ground. What is the normal life expectancy of treated decking? We used ACQ lumber for the framing and MCA-treated decking. -- Sam A: Up till the early 2,000s, most pressure-treated … [Read more...] about How Long Will Treated Wood Deck Last?
How to Attach Deck Ledger to Brick Veneer
Q: What is the best way to attach a framing ledger to my brick veneer house? I’ve looked at the SimsonStrong Tie BVLZ connector but it is not approved yet in Ontario, Canada. I’m building a one-story addition with a low-slope roof that will attach to a two-story brick-veneer exterior wall. The floor joist ledger is attached directly to the foundation. I wish to attach a … [Read more...] about How to Attach Deck Ledger to Brick Veneer
Preventing Efflorescence & Spalling in Foundation
Q: I have a 1970's split level, 2000 sq ft house. I am renovating and have totally removed all the finished walls. I always had to run a dehumidifier and I now see I have some moisture issues. On two walls I had efflorescence which I painted and now the floor about a foot out from the concrete block wall is spalling and has efflorescence. I also have a block chimney on … [Read more...] about Preventing Efflorescence & Spalling in Foundation
What Caused Cupping in Vertical Siding?
Q: Our vertical cedar board siding became uniformly cupped with outside edges pushing outward along with knots pushing outward. Does the direction of cupping and knot displacement suggest where the moisture came from? Thank You -- Dan A: Wood expands and contracts as its moisture content rises and falls. Increases in wood moisture content can result from exposure to liquid … [Read more...] about What Caused Cupping in Vertical Siding?
Building Over Buried Agricultural Waste
Q: We have purchased 13 acres of land with a gorgeous mountain view in North Georgia that previously had chicken houses on it. The houses were torn down two owners ago. There were 6 total houses, 3 new and 3 very old and collapsing. We did all of the "right" things, so we thought, during the due diligence period. Perc testing, plat maps, checked on zoning, checked for … [Read more...] about Building Over Buried Agricultural Waste