Posted by: greenpinkies | August 27, 2010

The first ugly surprise or “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”

All houses, like people, are famous for throwing surprises at you as you start removing the outer layers and discover what they are really made of.  Sometimes the surprises are pleasant but, at other times, you wish you hadn’t brought that up.

Today we finally have removed enough from the house to have several clues as to the source  of one of the moisture problems. Namely, the north wall is pretty much open to the outside elements.  There are a combination of clues here but we still are not quite sure about the ‘why is this happening’ part of it.

First Clue: There is a ¾ inch vertical crack in the brick facia in the middle of the north wall. We knew about this to some extent, though the majority of the problem had been hidden by ivy.

Eternal Question: Is this crack the cause or the result of the following moisture related problem?

1. The bottom facia board, on top of the sill on top of the cinder block, which is holding up the floor joists, is well rotted at that spot. (The cinder block foundation shows no signs of settling and looks pretty good).

2. The house frame has compressed about ¾ at the rotted point.

3. The weather proofing behind the brick facia is showing gaps which allow the water to come inside the house.

4. Mice have stuffed the 1 inch space between the weather proofing and the brick  with leaves, pine needles, etc. Maybe they entered through the outside crack in the facia.

Now the future of Green Pinkies and our project hangs upon the final verdict:  What will it cost to fix this?

We have a budget for this entire project. To exceed the budget for repairs means less for the green retrofit. Here is the point where the music reaches the crescendo and the audience leans forward to hear what Perry Mason has to say to the jury:

….Only we don’t know which Perry Mason to call. Do we call in a foundation, framing, or masonry specialist?  Or is there a combination of all three out there?

…or, maybe this is another question for Dennis. Back on the phone to City Hall we go.

Any suggestions?


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