Friday, October 7, 2011

Emergency Drip Cap Repairs

I was sidetracked once again a few weeks ago over at Case de Jessica's 1920's bungalow. Her 4 year and counting restoration is coming along... recently finishing up with the wall repairs and all new windows. Imagine the horror of seeing water staining and damage after hurricane Isabel and the other 20 inches of rain we've had the past 2 months! The damage all occured on the one wall that takes the brunt of the weather and was mostly around the 4 windows on both floors. The stucco had been cleaned up and painted last year and new windows installed but the wood work had not been dealt with yet.

My hunch was rotted metal flashing on the drip caps above the windows. But to my surprise there never was any metal flashing when the house was built?! They just used wood drip caps that were all in very poor condition after 80 years. So bring over the scaffolding, take apart a window frame, and see what kind of solution we can come up with.

The surrounding wood work was all in pretty rough shape and the choice was made to replace it all with new composite material. This way there will be no more rot issues down the road. I was able to sneak behind the stucco, so I came up with a plan of installing some metal Z-flashing over a piece of composite. Here you can see the original drip cap removed from the first window...

While everything was apart, spray foam was applied to all the gaps, followed by a layer of 30# felt that will shed any moisture that may get behind the trim.

Caulk was applied liberally around all the seam areas and the new trim installed. A final caulking, the original sill stripped and primed, and a final paint job made things good as new. Once I had one window down, the other 3 went smoothly. They also were found to be in worse shape with a good bit of moisture surrounding the window.

Another issue we found was a section of bricks on the chimney that were spalling. Inside the attic, the flashing apparently is failing and letting water in... causing the damage to the brick and probably causing the one ceiling stain in the upstairs bedroom. So while the scaffold was set up, I tried my hand a repointing the bad part of the chimney. Some of the bricks could have stood to be replaced, but this was more of a "get things stabilized" repair and deal with it more once the leaks are stopped. I knocked out about an inch or so of mortar and applied new. It didn't come out too bad considering the condition of the bricks, but I could certainly use a little more practice!

I forgot to take a close up of the after since it was starting to rain. We replace the attic vent wood work too and stripped the louvers... again since we were already working here.

After a long week of work... this side of the house is water tight and lookin right! Now back to the Hall House project!

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