Kurt

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  • in reply to: ROOF SHINGLE DAMAGE #919

    Kurt
    Keymaster

    The southern exposure will certainly burn shingles out quicker than other exposures, but the deterioration you’re showing is extreme. While not publicized, there are manufacturing defects that occasionally occur, resulting in shingles that deteriorate in an accelerated manner. While I can’t know for sure, the extreme difference in wear between shingles that are so close together on the roof makes me think there’s more going on than simple southern exposure/UV deterioration.

    Venting. Much is made by manufacturers about ventilation on shingle lifespan. The single factor effecting shingle lifespan, more than any other factor, is color. Black and dark shingles don’t last as long as lighter colors, with the purported difference being dark shingles get a lot hotter than white shingles. Ventilation does little to effect roof temperature. The idea that some vents will reduce the solar load on a shingle roof is silly. At most, ventilation will reduce temperatures a few degrees.

    Ventilating roofs is different for different climates. In cold climates, it’s about keeping the roof deck cold to reduce ice dams at the eaves and minimizing condensation in the attic. In hot climates, it’s about getting the very hot air out of the attic to reduce cooling loads and minimize strain on AC systems. No where is there any engineering indicating attic ventilation is about extending the lifespan of shingles.

    That said, the roofing industry has latched onto this as contributing factor in shingle lifespan and performance. A simple bit of physics should tell anyone that a few square feet of ventilation space in an attic in no way reduces shingle temperatures more than a very few degrees. One wonders if the shingle manufacturers are latching on to this for self serving purpose or if they actually think that vents reduce shingle temperature. I don’t know, but I know someone that does.

    Go Here and download “A Crash Course in Roof Venting”. It explains all of this in very simple and clear language.

    So, I really think the damage on your particular house is a manufacturing defect or some similar inadequacy in material, not crashing snow loads or lack of ventilation. If ventilation was a major factor in shingle failures, we would be seeing shingles failing everywhere and all the time because hardly any roof system is ventilated to currently agreed upon standards.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by  Kurt.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by  Kurt.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by  Kurt.
  • in reply to: ROOF SHINGLE DAMAGE #910

    Kurt
    Keymaster

    That’s kind of a strange one. My initial knee jerk is that the shingles are a cheap variety, possibly with manufacturing defects. The picture of you lifting the shingles sure look thin and insubstantial.

    There are substantial differences in shingle quality, so I’d start there. Orientation to the sun matters a lot. Is this a south facing roof plane? I suppose impact from the snow sliding off the upper roof could be a contributing factor, but those shingles don’t look like they’ve had impact damage; they look like cheap crappy shingles.

    Regardless, you need to strip off the failed roofing and install new materials. Lay down a 30# felt underlayment, ice and water shield at the eaves, drip edge around the perimeter, then install an entirely new roof cover. GAF, Certaineed, Johns Manville….all make good shingles, and their materials are among the most trustworthy.

    Asphalt shingles are remarkably resilient and long lasting if you use good quality materials and install then satisfactorily. I have to attribute the current failure to lousy materials installed badly, which is always a formula for failure.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 1 month ago by  Kurt.
  • in reply to: musty smell #811

    Kurt
    Keymaster

    Musty smells and new construction…..there are reasons for this…..

    The first picture looks like an unfinished plumbing vent stack; I’m assuming the 2nd pic is looking vertically down into that same “vent” hole, but what I’m seeing isn’t anything that I should be seeing in a plumbing vent. As a start, this doesn’t look like anything one should be seeing on their roof.

    A plumbing vent allows sewer gas (that exists naturally in any Drain/Waste/Vent pipe system to vent out of the house. When you look into a plumbing vent, you should be staring down a pipe without any other material being visible. What I’m looking at with this one is…..I have no idea. There shouldn’t be any vent, plumbing or otherwise, that looks like this.

    Can you describe to me what that yellowed paper looking thing is in the hole? Is that dirt down in there?

    That said, let’s talk about roof system insulation….can’t know where to go without knowing that.

    Do you know what insulation is used in the overhead “attic” space? Is it fiberglass, cellulose, or spray foam? There are critical differences between these 3 main types of insulation that define what type of ventilation you may need (if any) for this roof assembly.

    I need to know what insulation is in the overhead space. Insulation type effects ventilation requirement. Fiberglass and cellulose need ventilation (lots of it) while some types of spray foam don’t need it at all.

    If possible, take a picture of the deck showing the overall setup. An establishing shot, so to speak. Close ups are cool, but only when I know what the bigger picture is I’m looking at.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by  Kurt.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by  Kurt.
  • in reply to: Seepage above glass block in masonry wall #656

    Kurt
    Keymaster

    First, I want to thank you for posting this excellent question, but first…..How did you find us? The site’s new, we have it up to work out kinks, but we’ve got the search engines deflected while we tune it up. If you could tell me how you found it, I’d be thankful.

    As far as your window, this one’s easy. If the world was divided into two wall types, there’d be water managed and barrier systems. All masonry is water managed. Some amount of water penetrates any masonry assembly and in a properly constructed wall, that water is collected and returned to the exterior through a system of flashing details. Barrier systems, as the name implies, are intended to prophylactically prevent water from entering the wall. In masonry, barrier systems don’t work.

    Your window is set up as a barrier system. The window has no apparent flashing system over the top of the window to deflect it to the exterior, so it soaks into the drywall. Setting the block flush with the outside of the wall makes it worse. The pointing repairs and touching up the masonry reduced the amount of water entering the wall but it’s never going to stop all of it. Remember, barrier systems don’t work in masonry.

    In a couple weeks, I’ll have drawings up to explain these points, but for now, I’ll stick with basics.

    You need to remove the brick over the wall and install flashing to prevent water from soaking into the drywall. The flashing should be set up in a sill pan arrangement with end dams and back dams to prevent the water from migrating inwards or sideways.

    Since your the first person to post, I’ll fill in some details.

    Old masonry was all solid (3 or 4 bricks thick) load bearing assemblies. Water was managed through the sheer mass of the thick wall and the miracle of lime mortar (more on lime mortar in a future blog post).

    Modern masonry is cavity wall; there’s a layer of brick on the exterior, one on the interior, and an air gap between the two layers. Water penetrates the wall, it wicks down the inside face of the outer layer in the air gap, and strategically located flashing diverts the water back to the exterior. You need to install flashing over the top of your window. You’re not going to keep the water out with pointing, caulking, or similar repairs.

    Here’s a simWindow-Head-Flashing1ple drawing of a flashing profile. You need to fabricate a flashing like this profile and install this over the top of the glass block, then fill in the space over the block with wood or other trim material. Yes, it’s a large job, but there’s no other way to get it right. Continuing with attempts at sealing water out of the wall (barrier systems) won’t work. You have to install flashing to make it work.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by  Kurt.
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  • in reply to: Wet Foundation #51

    Kurt
    Keymaster

    Blow the house up. It’s the only way.

  • in reply to: Mortar Conditions 1931 Bungalow #1484

    Kurt
    Keymaster

    Sorry for the ridiculously late reply…..We’re learning about hosting and I guess we’ll chalk this up to beta testing the new site….

    The north side pics show a few deteriorated bricks, but overall, nothing I’d get too bothered by. I’d probably save it for sometime when I was doing some real work on other areas of the house. Which brings us to the “chimney” pics….

    There was clearly leaks or water issues around this chimney, resulting in the water damage that was subsequently repaired with the wrong (too hard) mortar. The massive spalling is caused by the hard mortar causing the brick faces to spall (shear off). There’s no repair now except stripping the outer wythe brick an replacing it. When this repair is being accomplished, you could have your mason address some of the minor issues at the north side.

    The south and east sides also used the wrong mortar, but lacking any apparent water issues (like the chimney side), it’s still doing OK. It’s not right, but it’s working, so I’d likely leave well enough alone.

    Your bungalow, like my own, has had successive “tuckpointing” repairs that were not repairs as much as they were applications of incompatible mortar. My approach has been to repair the bad stuff, and leave the stuff that’s done wrong but still working for a later (if ever) date. Sometimes you can do stuff wrong and it still works OK, which means the underlying wall probably wasn’t so bad to start with.

    Get some proposals from competent masons, meaning masons that understand mortar compatibility. Nearly all of our bungalows used extremely soft mortars, usually a Type K or L, which aren’t readily available and have to be custom ordered or custom mixed on site.

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