Where is the water coming from?
Residential waterproofing inspection by InspecTek
For residential, 99% of all water intrusion of the home comes from only 1% of the total building materials. This 1% breaks down into three main categories throughout the homes exterior covering: penetrations, terminations and transitions. These three categories are responsible for 99% of all water intrusion into residential homes and 90% for commercial properties. This is why during a building inspection we spend a lot of time scrutinizing these three known categories to identify if there this or could be a waterproofing failure in your home.
Why do they fail? Simply put, they were installed wrong or damaged during installation. As a certified waterproofing applicator for both commercial and residential I would have to say that almost 95% of the defects we uncover are do to installation errors, 4% damaged during installation (still an installation error) and 1% were manufacturer defects. Manufacturer defects are extremely rare, but human error or incompetency are extremely common and will happen on every single jobsite for every single home being built, this is why a second set of eyes is important for both the home buyer and builder, so these errors can be caught early on and remedied.
Although it is a good idea to have a professional inspect for you, you don't need a building inspector to identify possible water intrusion points throughout your home. You just need to know where to look and what to look for. So, I'll break down the categories and simplify it for for those that want to do it yourself.
Terminations: Where the material ends either at the top, bottom or sides. Look at the termination points through the exterior of your home. The termination points are where the exterior covering comes to a stop. Take a look at all the termination points throughout the exterior of your home. examples of termination points are: roof edge, bottom and top of siding, around doors and windows, around penetrations and around garage doors.
All products have different manufacturer specifications and there are building codes that need to be applied to ensure that the product will function properly to prevent water infiltration.
Transitions: This is where the material either: changes from one material to another, changes plane or changes direction. Some good examples would be and asphalt shingled roof that transitions into a rolled roof system or EPDM when it hits a low slope, Dormer to roof transition, wall to roof transition, wall to wall transition or when siding goes from lap to scalloped in the gables. Note* Siding usually has a frieze board (trim) that separates the two materials or in the case of vinyl a double j-channel could be used (not recommended), that's your transition. The two separate materials must terminate properly at the transition and the transition itself must be installed properly and properly sealed. All transitions must be flashed and sealed properly in order to waterproof the home. The picture above has multiple transitions that require proper installation to function properly.
Penetrations: These are areas that an object is penetrating the the water proofing membrane of your home. For example: pipes, wiring (I've seen it), conduits, windows, doors, chimney and vents. All of these penetrate the water proofing membrane of your home and are subject to sealant failure, Improper flashing, no flashing improper sealant, flashing failure or in some cases no sealant or flashing at all. All penetrations need to be sealed and flashed properly and with the proper sealant and flashing to prevent water from infiltrating the home.
About us: If you're looking for a professional to inspect for waterproofing give us a call. At InspecTek we offer waterproofing inspection for residential and light commercial properties which include Hardie board, Stucco, vinyl, wood and EIFS. We also specialize in new builds 3 phase inspections- Phase one (pre-pour foundation) inspection , Phase two residential (pre drywall and siding) inspection and Phase three final walk through inspection for new builds are available .