LESLIE: Don in Virginia is dealing with a leak. Tell us about it.
DON: Yes, I’ve got a stone front. My house is stone stucco. It’s about three-and-a-half years old and it’s been – I didn’t notice at first because it’s in a guest room but apparently I’ve had water coming in almost the entire time. It’s coming in above the window.
DON: OK. It’s not coming in through the window.
DON: I’ve eliminated the roof; I’ve eliminated – there’s no water in the attic. There is a little gable on that section. I’ve gone up – I’ve seen some cracks and some holes in the grout in the stone there and the trim around that window is stucco.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Right. OK.
DON: But I have checked that caulking and I mean I’ve not seen anything wrong with it. I’ve caulked it just to be safe.
TOM: Right. Have you been able to reproduce the leak? Have you ever tried to take a hose and simply saturate the area right above the window and reproduce it?
DON: Yes, and it …
TOM: And were you successful.
DON: Yes, and …
TOM: Well then, unfortunately, you’ve got a flashing problem.
DON: That’s what I’m afraid of.
TOM: Yeah, I think you’ve proved that by all this work that you’ve done. When you have a situation like this and you’ve filled all the cracks, you’ve caulked all the gaps and it’s still leaking and, in fact, you can reproduce the problem by saturating that area with a hose, you’ve got a flashing problem. And the problem is not on the surface; it’s somewhere down deep because that stone’s going to get very wet and when it gets through it’s going to – that water is going to find it’s way in.
Now, fortunately, probably between now and the time this home was built, flashing has gotten a lot better and a lot smarter. You might want to take a look at some of the flexible flashing products that are made by Grace. They are the makers of Ice & Water Shield and they have a number of different types of flexible flashing products for windows and doors that are designed to sort of stretch around odd shapes and create a very, very water-tight membrane. But unfortunately, you’re going to have to take some of this stucco and some of this stone apart to be able to do this repair.
DON: That’s what I was afraid of.
TOM: Yeah, I think that’s what we’re up to now. If you’ve taken it this far, I don’t see any other simple solution.
DON: Well, you’ve confirmed my suspicions.
TOM: (chuckling) OK.
DON: (chuckling) I do appreciate it very much.
TOM: Alright, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT and good luck with that project.