A young lady called me a couple of weeks ago to complain that she had a large, well-known and local contracting company, with a handyman "division," come by TWICE to solve a problem and it was still not solved.
She said, "I don't think this handyman was helpful, or handy."
The two visits had been expensive!
The two visits had not solved the problem!
What was the problem? A leak was coming in the top of a basement window under a deck. There was deck flashing already present. So that was not the issue. But the water was getting in, dripping onto the window sill, and making its way to the bottom of the wall inside.
She works for a living and was not home either time they were by. The first time they told her they did many things and were not sure but thought they had found and solved the problem.
They had not.
The second time they did this.
That's right! They caulked over and under the window!
They even caulked where the brick wall meets the patio! Well, that will go a long way toward stopping water from getting in over the window!
Look carefully. They also caulked under the bricks on the shelf of the left photo, and under the window sill on the lower photo. The masonry weep hole was filled with caulk too! Wrong, wrong, wrong!
As you can imagine, it did not work.
I asked if they had ever done a test with a hose to see WHERE the water was getting in.
She said they could not have as her hose was not out either day they were there.
So we did that!
Then it came time to see where water was getting in.
Obviously the deck flashing is working!
There was only one place the water is getting in.
Looking at the window above, which I suspected all along, I noticed a difference that did not exist on any other window.
When the windows were installed the small drain holes underneath were to remain open so water could drain out from the window framing and NOT into the house.
Only one of the eight drains in the four windows in the area was clogged. It had been caulked by the builder's window installer.
Water was getting into the window, behind the siding, coming down the wall, and entering the house behind the brick and manifesting through the window in the thermal image.
Taking the vinyl siding off under the upper window it revealed rotting sheathing, so my diagnosis was correct.
Looking at things, this had been happening for some time.
WATER NEEDS TO BE DIRECTED TO WHERE IT IS SUPPOSED TO GO, OR IT WILL DIRECT ITSELF TO WHERE IT IS ALLOWED TO GO!
My recommendation: a friend of this homeowner in another state recommended that she call a home inspector. A neighbor suggested that she call me! While home inspectors don't do repairs, they can often diagnose where repairs need to be made. And in this case the home inspector charged less than either of the two previous visits by the handyman!