Water Intrusion Forensic Exploration:  
There are tens of thousands of homes here which are quite literally "rotting". Most decay goes unnoticed until it's almost too late. The majority of this type of damage is caused by water intrusion and insect infestation.
Homes of all ages suffer from decay. It only takes a couple of years for structural damage to occur, leaving a home in need of repair.
The area to the left of the stairs was a planter box filled with dirt against the framing.lsm1.jpg (6135 bytes)
With little more than a tar based coating to protect the plywood sheathing, over time this home was structurally impaired due to the rotted framing.
The blackened area at the bottom of this image is the bottom plate. The plan for repair is to pour a new foundation wall at the proper elevation.
Both Types of decay
scsm3.jpg (5422 bytes)The darkened area is again decay caused by improper roof flashing. To make matters worse, the entire area was infested by termites. The insects paths are best viewed by looking at the full size image.
 
scsm2.jpg (6184 bytes)This chimney chase is on the second floor of a 3 story residence. The decay extends from the roof line to the foundation.
Mold
pelid-s.jpg (9604 bytes)The spots on the ceiling are mold spores which thrive in a moist environment. Due to a pipe break on an upper floor, the sheetrock was soaked.
pemold-s.jpg (8335 bytes)Here is more sheetrock in the same room as above. This wall is also soaked and covered with mold.
 
However, as a homeowner, you should perform a visual inspection, which may indicate whether a problem exists in your home. The following guidelines and recommendations refer to specific areas in your home that need to be monitored for possible moisture problems. Inspections should focus on the following:
Windows
Wood windows should be inspected for peeling paint, a tell-tale sign of a moisture problem. If you see a gap where the sill and jamb of the window frame meet, it should be caulked with the window manufacturer’s recommended sealant.
Openings
Sealants must be installed wherever there is an interface with another material, such as window frames, doors, air conditioning units, light fixtures, hose bibs, dryer vents, and other penetrations. High Quality sealants can be used with a closed-cell backer rod where sealant was omitted. If the interface abuts tightly, an angle fillet bead of sealant can protect against moisture penetration. Check to make sure the existing sealant is soft and flexible.
Flashing
Flashing, including a kickout or diverter, should be visible from ground level. Good construction practices dictate that flashing be installed so that it directs water out and away from wall areas. Residential asphalt roofing details provided by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) can serve as a reference for installation of crickets and flashing. Deviations may indicate possible areas of water intrusion, and should be brought to the attention of your builder.
Engineered wood— products such as plywood, oriented strand board, glued laminated timber, and wood I-joists—improve upon many of the inherent structural advantages of wood while also providing environmental benefits. They use more of the available resource with very little waste, for example, and compare favorably with non-wood products based on such criteria as embodied energy and emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants during manufacture.
These products, used together in floor, wall and roof systems, provide outstanding structural performance. However, like all building materials, their performance properties can be compromised by the intrusion of moisture.
Click here to View Flood Plane Maps from www.efloodmaps.com a division of Dodson and associates.
Harris County Montgomery County Fort Bend County

IM001838.JPG (48861 bytes) IM001839.JPG (48187 bytes) Just a couple of serious water intrusion problems.

Moisture Intrusion and Building Envelope Failure Investigations

The Diligent Enterprises team begins by gathering and reviewing all available background information, blueprints, and construction and maintenance documentation to piece together an accurate history of problems and attempted repairs.

Then, a visual inspection incorporating the entire building envelope is conducted. Moisture scanning, graphing, soundings, hydrostatic testing, adhesion tests, patch tests, sampling, infrared scanning, nuclear scanning, IAQ testing and destructive testing (with the owner's permission) are conducted as needed. The inspection and testing processes are documented with digital photography and incorporated into the Diligent Enterprises Report.
Upon completion of the inspection and testing, Diligent Enterprises analyzes the data obtained, researches problem areas, and develops a solution. Any consulting which may be needed among our network of approved providers (structural engineers, architects, roofing consultants, industrial hygienists, IAQ specialists, manufacturers or other support personnel), will usually be provided at no extra cost to you, unless serious design problems or structural damage that cannot be readily corrected or modified are encountered.

The Report

The Diligent Enterprises Report includes a description of the inspection, testing, analysis, procedures performed, a description of the problem and current condition of the property with respect to moisture and water damage, an explanation of probable causes and effects, a list of potential sources of future moisture and water damage, a scope of work for suggested repairs, and photographic documentation of problem areas. Material specifications, catalog data, time, cost and logistic factors can also be provided at the customers’ request.
Our clients find the. Diligent Enterprises Report to be a vital tool for:
Developing a unique solution to your unique set of problems and needs.
Settling disputes or pursuit of legal action.
Eliminating wasteful spending by treating the cause and not just the symptom(s).
Securing legitimate bids and make bid evaluation easier by including all needed repairs and eliminating all unnecessary repairs, thereby putting all bidders on the same playing level.
Independent assessment for insurance purposes.
Secure funding and prioritizing or phasing work to accommodate budget.
Planning for future maintenance and restoration needs.
 
Information about disaster preparation and flood insurance:  http://www.fema.gov

Information about mold in houses:  http://www.nahbrc.org and http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/moldresources.html#homes%20and%  Follow the appropriate links

 

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