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West Vancouver Renovation Project

West Vancouver Home Renovation

West Van Home Reno & Mold Repair Project

Bob Deeks, from RDC Fine Homes, provides an update on the investigation of a water problem and the ensuing rot that was discovered during a West Vancouver renovation project.

UPDATE #1 (March 2023)

Bob is at a new project in West Vancouver where we were initially doing some cosmetic upgrades.

However, while removing the carpet, we discovered moisture and extensive rot and mold in the exterior wall.

In a junction box, we found an arcing problem that could have caused a fire if the wall had not been so wet. Bob recommends inspecting the connection between the flange on the roof and the roof membrane yearly to avoid expensive repairs.

Video Transcript Update 1

Hey there, Bob Deeks with RDC Fine Homes. I am down here at a new project for us in West Vancouver. Initially, we were doing some cosmetic upgrades, new flooring, putting in some new finishes in the bathrooms. And as we peeled up the carpet, we discovered a little bit of moisture. So, let’s have a look and see what we found.

We’re looking at the exterior wall in behind, where we found a little bit of damp underneath the carpet, and you can see some extensive rot mold as a consequence of some significant water ingress. That gray pipe you’re looking at, now that is an internal roof drain, there’s actually three of them that you can see from three different roof elevations. Strongly suspect that the seal between the roof drains and the roof membrane has failed, and this is where the water’s coming from.

We also actually have an exterior shower. We can see that at some point, that froze. They replaced the pipe, and heat traced it. So, there’s a number of problems in this localized area. What’s also super interesting is, if you can see in there, in this junction box, I don’t know if you can see in the video clearly, but that’s been arcing consistently. All the black and melted gray plastic there, it’s probably a good thing this was so wet ’cause had it not been so wet, that could easily have caused a fire in behind the wall there, and burned the house down.

There’s a number of different problems, we’ll get on trying to troubleshoot this. We’re gonna have a look at the other roof drains, and do some moisture testing, and make sure that the other internal drains aren’t leaking. Just when you’re doing internal roof drains, you’ve gotta make sure that the connection where the flange on the roof to your roof membrane is done is 100% watertight. Look at it and inspect it on a yearly basis, ’cause when it starts to leak, this can get very, very expensive.

UPDATE #2 (April 2023)

After discovering water problems and rot, the team did more investigative work and found a bigger problem higher up.

Bob discusses the reasons for the water intrusion, the strategy to repair it, and provides tips for viewers to identify similar issues in their own homes.

He also highlights warning signs, such as effervescing on stone cladding, and talks about upcoming structural repairs that will include a better material and a drainage plan to prevent future leaks.

Video Transcript Update 2

Hey there, I’m Bob Deeks with RDC Fine Homes.

I’m back up here at our West Vancouver renovation site, which you may have seen in a video we posted a few weeks ago about some water problems we discovered and some ensuing rot.

We’ve been doing some more investigative work and the more we peel back, the bigger the problem gets. I’m here to do a bit of an update, review what we found, go over some of the reasons why the water got in, talk about our strategy to repair this, and also some of the things that you can look for in the future on your house that might be indicative of a problem similar to this.

This is what we originally found, and if you saw the other video, this will look fairly familiar.

Initially, we had an outside shower that had obviously failed in the past. They had opened it up, done a repair, put some heat trace on it, but it had failed again.

So there was some consideration that maybe this problem was all to do with the shower, but as we looked up, there was obviously water coming from above, and I was very suspicious that while the shower was part of the problem, there was a bigger problem higher up, and of course, that’s exactly what we found.

We’re on the outside of the building looking at the wall where the showerhead originally was. One of the first things I would suggest is when you’re doing blue skin like this, you’ve got to make sure that you’re getting positive laps. Things like that are likely to leak a little bit, and while the improperly lapped blue skin is not the primary problem here, when you’re doing something like this, try and have as few seams as possible and make sure there is a positive lap there. Water will get in almost anywhere.

I don’t know if you can really see up in behind the blue tarp that sort of black piece that’s hiding in behind the tarp there, that’s a PSL header that is soft enough that I could dig it out with my kids’ ice cream spoon.

The bigger problem we had is where the flashings met the stone, the detailing was not done well, and so water was going in there, and then also where you see the tarp on top, they had a stone cap on top of that parapet wall, and it was not waterproofed at all well. So I think the majority of the water was coming through that improper stone cap.

One of the things that really should have been a warning sign here was the white spots on the stone here. That’s effervescing and that is indicative of a lot of water that is in behind this assembly that’s actually bleeding through, probably tears in the blue skin, and then it’s trying to dry out through the stone facing.

So if you have a house with stone cladding or brick and you see a lot of white deposits like this, it’s not a fault of the stone; it’s most likely as a result of water trying to get out from behind.

The other thing there was a bit of a warning sign, and what we picked up on is inside on the drywall ceiling, which has now been removed, there was evidence of water staining, and so there were a few things here that were indicative of a greater water problem.

We’re getting going next week to start the significant structural repairs here. That run PSL that we saw behind the tarp, they’ll have to remove that, temporarily support the ceiling underneath, and we’ll come back as the repairs are underway.

Obviously, we will choose a better material than the blue skin. We’ll put a drainage plane in behind the new stone facing there as we put

UPDATE #3 (May 2023)

The primary area of rot has been fixed, but the team has discovered small rot areas in many other places on the roof.

As a result, we will be bringing in a roofer to complete a full re-roof, ensuring the slope is improved, better quality materials are used, and the detailing is done right to prevent future leaks.

Bob then takes us inside the tent to show us the progress so far, where the framing has been replaced due to mold and rot.

Video Transcript Update 3

Hey, Bob Deeks from RDC here. I am back at our cosmetic renovation and our rot repair.

You can see the tent behind us that’s over the primary area of rot that we’ve been fixing right now. Roofers are coming in next week to get that tidied up but we also have discovered that there are small rot areas in many other places on the roof. So, we’re bringing a roofer in next week to have a look at doing a complete re-roof. The sloping here is not well done and the details are poor. We will improve the slope, put a better quality material down, and make sure the detailing is done right so that there are no further leaks in the future.

Let’s go inside the tent and have a quick look at what’s been done to date. You can see the framing has all been replaced here. This was all suffering from mold and rot and all that nasty stuff. This is all new and then transitioning to the existing material. We have discovered that by taking a camera, there are some other problems and some of the other parapet wall areas here all the way around. So, we are coming back later in this summer when we have some better weather and availability of our roofing contractor and we will be replacing the entire roof membrane.

This was probably the cheapest torch on assembly that anybody could buy and yeah there are other problems that we’re identifying so we’ll come back, replace the roof, and make it all right.

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