If you have a breach through the sheathing of your home, address it as soon as possible. In this post, Jay Markanich shares with us how thermography can be useful to help determine the root cause of a problem, so it can be remediated promptly.
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Arriving home late one Saturday, looking forward to a restful evening of doing reports (I am SUCH a party animal...), and the phone rings.
A young lady is exasperated and can no longer cope.
A year ago they had a new roof with gutters, new vinyl siding and new windows installed on their house.
In one upstairs bedroom, every time it rains, water leaks in through the bottom of the window.
FOR A YEAR THEY HAVE HAD THESE CONTRACTORS COME BACK TO ANALYZE WHY! A YEAR!
It was raining hard and they had the towels out, trying to control the problem. "Can you please come over. I heard from a friend that you have a way to analyze this with a thermal camera."
So off I went. It wasn't too far away.
The window in question is one in a bank of three in the front bedroom, over a garage roof slanting downward from the windows. There is the main roof over the bedroom. The gutter from the main roof drains to a downspout beside this window and a box window on the front wall of the dining room beneath.
The contractors all blame each other for the leak. Well, of course.
The window guy says it is the siding guy and water is getting in beside the window. The siding guy says the roof and gutter were done improperly and water is getting in over the window, down inside the frame and leaking inside. The roofer says it has to be the window installation.
SO WHAT'S A THERMOGRAPHER TO DO?
The first thing this thermographer does is check everything first, and then go around with a moisture meter.
In front of them, I could see, and demonstrate, where moisture was and where it was not.
I also opened the window and looked at it from the outside. The lady said, "In all of the times those contractors have been there, nobody has looked at the window from the outside."
I noticed that the vinyl window frame had been cracked during installation. I showed them.
YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND, THIS ALL TOOK THREE MINUTES.
Here are three thermal images (there were many, many more), and you tell me - was it the roofer, siding guy or window guy? Remember, for this palette, yellow and orange demonstrates warm and lavender, blue and purple demonstrate cool. Moisture, on this rainy, cold day, would be cooler than the surrounding areas.
The image on the left is over the window.
The center image is under the window, where the moisture has been getting in.
The right image is the dining room ceiling under the left side of the bedroom window, where the moisture has been getting in.
Seeing this with the camera took another five minutes.
The homeowners were amazed. I had them both looking over my shoulder at the camera. The problems are definitive. The moisture location is definitive.
So, understanding what you do now, and remember the cracked vinyl window, who was it?
The roofer, the siding guy, or the window guy?
My recommendation: don't wait a year! When you have such a problem and don't want finger pointing, call a thermographer to analyze your situation. And remember the side benefit, we're all cute. Really.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia
Chris Smith CSSBB
Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage