I get this phone call a lot - something like, "Please come and figure out why our windows are leaking!"
So, Mighty Mo and I made an appointment, got in the car and went to see.
Honestly it wasn't too hard to figure out.
A new siding job had been put on the house a few months ago, with aluminum wrapping on all the wood window and door trim. The professional siding company had been by many times and nobody seemed to be able to figure out what the problems was.
Typically wrapping woodwork with aluminum makes things protected and water proof! I said typically. Nothing should be leaking.
We waited for a rainy day, and I went just after it had rained.
It wasn't too hard to see that there was leaking into the windows. The dripping water was a big clue (says he, sarcastically...).
And with a wink.
Mighty Mo wasn't really necessary. But people really like seeing thermal images of a leak so I took and gave them a few.
However, I knew right away what the problem was.
All it took was to go to an upstairs bedroom window and look down at the new aluminum wrapping of the window trim below.
Looking down this is what I saw.
Can you see what the problem is?
Remember, this woodwork is wrapped with aluminum to protect it and keep it water proof!
Looked long enough?
The professional siding company knew that with aluminum wrapping aluminum nails should be used.
So far so good! But the aluminum wrapping should never be nailed through the upward-facing horizontal surface. That, um, kind of punctures the aluminum wrapping!
A puncture is a hole. A hole will leak. There are many holes in the aluminum wrapping over each window and the front door. Each of these holes will leak water.
And nobody could figure this out? Now, if you don't understand that the top surface should not be nailed, and you inspect it to see what the leaking problem might be, you will not know that these nails are incorrectly placed.
I was pretty sure I knew what the problem was when they told me over the phone that they had leaking since the new vinyl siding was installed. This is NOT rocket science.
My recommendation: call a home inspector after you have work done, and BEFORE you make the final payment, to insure it was done right! Even when it's done by a "professional" company! Home inspectors are knowledgeable, objective and will give you an honest opinion! And if there's a problem, it is better to find out at the outset of the work done than months later after many problems have manifest themselves!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560