Moisture Intrusion Into The Building Envelope

By Robert Robillard on Exterior Repairs

Moisture Intrusion Into The Building Envelope = Big Problem!

Today’s guest post is from my friend Mark Parlee. Mark is a builder and building consultant who deals with moisture intrusion and construction defects reporting in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area.

My first introduction to Mark was when I read his excellent article written for the Journal of Light construction on rescuing a manufactured- stone veneer house from water intrusion.

Mark and I both comment on the Journal of Light Construction Contractors Forum, he is starting his own blog and that’s how we started talking.

It is my hope that Mark continues to share his experiences and expertise by occasionally guest posting and commenting at A Concord Carpenter Comments.

Moisture intrusion into the building envelope is, I believe, one of the biggest problems we face today in construction.

~ Mark Parlee

The big cause of this is not going quite far enough with proper flashing details at the time the structure is being built and not fully grasping just how intrusive wind driven moisture can be.We also see a lot of materials used in ways that were not intended to be used; the example below is cement board siding used for riser material on an entry stair.

Pouring the stoop over the siding is another big one I see frequently. Over time this siding material will degrade and increase the potential for rot behind the siding and the entry of moisture into the building envelope.

Proper clearances are another big one that will lead to degraded siding if not followed. 90% of the homes built in my area, and any area I have ever visited do not have the required clearances from the roof plane.

Here is a fireplace chase on a home that is only five years old

We opened it up and this is what we saw

If this flashing had been installed correctly none of this damage would have taken place.

This damage extends all the way to the floor system

A completed repair; notice the Kick-out diverter at the gutter edge. If one of these had been used originally all of this damage would have been prevented.

The cricket on the up-roof side was also extended to divert moisture past the corner of the chase.

Another view of the Kick-out diverter. These are by DryFlekt

With all of the damage I have seen in homes I am still surprised at the amount of damage I see when Renovating a homes exterior or making a repair.

A lot of the problem can be attributed to not reading and following manufacturer’s installation instructions

Mark owns Parlee Builders with his wife Patti. Mark has been in the construction business for 28 years, balancing subcontracted framing and siding projects with home building and remodeling. He is well-respected for his craftsmanship, as well as his integrity as a businessman.

You can reach Mark at:

Parlee Builders
7322 Oakwood Dr.
Urbandale, Iowa 50322

Mark travels for inspections.

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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