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We bought our dream home two years ago. So we thought. The entire back of the home has a tri level deck attached to the home. It appears that there was flashing installed but NO drip cap. Water is seeping into the lower part of the house where the lag bolts go through the ledger board. Permits were pulled back when the home was built. The city approved the deck and home back in 2000. To further the problems the deck was pitched towards the home. Dumb move! Also each board is cut on a diagonal towards the home (fancy deck boards). The back of the home is cedar. Water and interior rot drywall mold etc.

The city inspector came out and gave me a line of what my dog deposits in my back yard. The code we followed back then was the national code and a drip cap is not required. Hmmmmm I am not in construction but I am guessing a drip cap ontop of the ledger board has been the norm for a hundred years. We paid an inspector who didn't see it.

My question is do I have any recourse to file suit against the city for approving the permit and claiming all was done to code? Can I sue the inspector? To fix this mess will cost me a boat load. The entire top of the deck needs to come off to correct the problem because if the angle of the boards.

Thanks

Any help is appreciated!

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We bought our dream home two years ago. So we thought. The entire back of the home has a tri level deck attached to the home. It appears that there was flashing installed but NO drip cap.

What does that mean? Drip cap *is* flashing. What kind of flashing was there? Do you have pictures?

Water is seeping into the lower part of the house where the lag bolts go through the ledger board.

Some water might be getting in through the lag bolt holes, but if a significant amount of water is entering, it's probably running behind the ledger, behind the siding, and entering above the windows or doors below the ledger. At least that's how it works in about 90% of the cases in my area.

Permits were pulled back when the home was built. The city approved the deck and home back in 2000. To further the problems the deck was pitched towards the home. Dumb move! Also each board is cut on a diagonal towards the home (fancy deck boards). The back of the home is cedar. Water and interior rot drywall mold etc.

The city inspector came out and gave me a line of what my dog deposits in my back yard. The code we followed back then was the national code and a drip cap is not required. Hmmmmm I am not in construction but I am guessing a drip cap ontop of the ledger board has been the norm for a hundred years. We paid an inspector who didn't see it.

Which national code? There were a few at that time. There was something called the International One-and-Two Family Dwelling Code that came out in 1998. If that was the code, then Section 703.8 said, "Approved corrosion-resistive flashing shall be provided . . . blah, blah, blah, blah, . . . where exterior porches, decks, or stairs attach to a wall or floor assembly of wood-frame construction . . ."

My question is do I have any recourse to file suit against the city for approving the permit and claiming all was done to code?

Probably not. You'll probably find that they're unsueable. Ask your lawyer.

Can I sue the inspector?

Sure. But after two years, your chance of prevailing is uncertain. It'll also cost a bunch of money and extract a heavy emotional toll.

To fix this mess will cost me a boat load. The entire top of the deck needs to come off to correct the problem because if the angle of the boards.

Will not all three levels of the deck have to be fixed?

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There is aluminum flashing behind the ledger board. The drip cap according to drawings I have seen regarding proper installation is a separate piece of aluminum bent 90 degrees that rest ontop of the ledger board. The drip cap makes it nearly impossible for water to get behind the ledger board.

Does anyone know if the drip cap is required by code? If so i have to believe the village inspectors are at fault. They approved the deck installation. final approval wasn't so final I guess. If I would have know about this we would never have purchased. I do have pictures of the small unfinished room. I found moisture behind the plastic and pulled the wet insulation out and found cancer around the bolts. The corner of the house is rotten and you could poke your finger through it. All I know is I am not at fault and everyone just points fingers.

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There is aluminum flashing behind the ledger board. The drip cap according to drawings I have seen regarding proper installation is a separate piece of aluminum bent 90 degrees that rest ontop of the ledger board. The drip cap makes it nearly impossible for water to get behind the ledger board.

Does anyone know if the drip cap is required by code? If so i have to believe the village inspectors are at fault. They approved the deck installation. final approval wasn't so final I guess. If I would have know about this we would never have purchased. I do have pictures of the small unfinished room. I found moisture behind the plastic and pulled the wet insulation out and found cancer around the bolts. The corner of the house is rotten and you could poke your finger through it. All I know is I am not at fault and everyone just points fingers.

If you just want know who to sue, call a lawyer.

If you want advice about technical issues, post pictures.

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I'll post pictures in the morning. The entire surface of a deck will have to come up in order to put a drip cap on. Or I might cut a 2 by 4 width along the entire house then install the drip cap then install the 2 by and support from beneath. It will look terrible. But I don't see any other way around it

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Oh an regarding the lawyer comment. No point to calling one if I don't know the actual code. Studs are 16 on center. Was a drip cap required to be installed ontop of a ledger board in 2000 or not? I have been trying to find out this answer for sometime now and can't seem to obtain an answer. I think I have a case if the answer is yes and have no case if the answer is no. A lawyer will not even know what it is I am talking about.

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The best way to determine if it was required at a particular time is to ask the local code official. They're the ones with the best knowledge of that.

It may or may not have been required by a national code but that national code also may or may not be enforced by your local code authority. They're the ones that can answer that.

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Oh an regarding the lawyer comment. No point to calling one if I don't know the actual code. Studs are 16 on center. Was a drip cap required to be installed ontop of a ledger board in 2000 or not? I have been trying to find out this answer for sometime now and can't seem to obtain an answer. I think I have a case if the answer is yes and have no case if the answer is no. A lawyer will not even know what it is I am talking about.

Proper flashing to keep water out of the building envelope was most likely required in 2000. If I recall decks were not specifically addressed utill 2006 or so, but if they were attached to the house via lag bolts one could argue that proper flashing was needed. I don't feel like researching it now, but it should not be that hard to find.

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If applicable to your jurisdiction of Naperville, at the time of construction...

2000 IRC:

R703.8 Flashing. Approved corrosion-resistive flashing shall be provided in the exterior wall envelope in such a manner as to prevent entry of water into the wall cavity or penetration of water to the building structural framing components. The flashing shall extend to the surface of the exterior wall finish and shall be installed to prevent water from reentering the exterior wall envelope.

Approved corrosion-resistant flashings shall be installed at all of the following locations:

5. Where exterior porches, decks or stairs attach to a wall or floor assembly of wood-frame constructions.

If I hired an independent inspector and the report makes no mention about the omission of proper flashing, I'd be speaking with that inspector about how this is going to be corrected - before dropping the s-bomb.

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Adding a flashing over that ledger isn't going to help. You've stated that the wood around the lag bolts is rotten where water has been following the bolts into the wall.

You can't fix it in place if there's rot behind that ledger - it has to come off the building so that you can repair the rot damage that's in that wall.

If you try and jackleg it by simply adding flashing over that ledger and putting things back together, I can guaranty you that you'll regret doing so down the road - perhaps when you're having a party on the deck and that rotten part of the house decides it can't hold on any longer.

Do the job right. Detach the deck, tear off the siding, fix the rot in the wall, restore the siding, reinstall the deck with proper flashings and make sure it slopes away from the house sufficiently to ensure proper drainage.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Oh an regarding the lawyer comment. No point to calling one if I don't know the actual code.

A good lawyer will find out what code was in effect much faster than you can.

Studs are 16 on center. Was a drip cap required to be installed ontop of a ledger board in 2000 or not? I have been trying to find out this answer for sometime now and can't seem to obtain an answer.

That's because you can't tell us what code was adopted and in effect in your area when the house was built. The model codes change about every 3 years and individual municipalities adopt them, sometimes with amendments, at their own pace.

I think I have a case if the answer is yes and have no case if the answer is no. A lawyer will not even know what it is I am talking about.

No offense, but what you think doesn't matter. A decent lawyer, particularly one who has experience with construction defect law, will *tell you* whether or not you have a case and he will certainly know what you're talking about - probably better than you do, which wouldn't be hard.

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There was that University of Minnesota study several years back during the boom that indicated over 98% of all new houses that passed final inspection and issued a CO had major code violations. This is not a surprise to anyone working.

Naperville in 2000 the wild west; I think there were 700 and some registered builders in Naperville alone. Lots of old line NAHB types, filling timothy fields with houses.

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That's OSB,

The idiot that hung the deck should have repositioned that bolt to hit that stud.

If you think it's bad on that side of the wall wait until you strip that siding and see it from the other side. You can't just stick head flashings over that ledger and expect that to be OK - the sugars and starches in that OSB are just going to continue to feed that rot using whatever ambient moisture it can obtain through vapor diffusion.

Tear it off and redo the wall or make sure your life insurance is paid up when you go out onto that deck. Obviously, I'm being a little dramatic in order to try and make you understand you can't just stick a bandaid (drip cap flashings) on this and expect it to be fine.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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The last photo looks like they used a long apron flashing behind it that drains out over the siding. Any water in the wall behind that? If so, they put the top of the flashing against the WRB behind the siding instead of behind the WRB against the sheathing.

The second photo looks like some numb nuts secured the ledger against the face of the siding without any flashing. Then to make matters worse he stuck that piece of trim against the bottom of the ledger and that's caused a drainage issue to become worse.

Can you get a crane into that back yard. Those deck sections and the stairs are fairly modular. With some careful preplanning and disassembly you can probably detach them without seriously damageing them, lift them away with a crane, set them down on the ground, make your repairs and then reassemble.

I know it's painful, but take it all off the house, strip the siding, fix it right, and then reinstall it all with correctly configured flashings. Do not attempt to jackleg that. I'm serious. If you think you're upset now, wait and see how upset (with yourself) you'll be later when really bad stuff eventually happens if you try to fix that using a CAHO (cheap-ass homeowner) technique.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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mike you make a lot of sense but we moved into our dream house NOW WE ARE TAPPED! We spent all money to do so. I have a deck that needs to be torn down and the back of my house as well. This is not somehthing I reach into my front pocket to correct! Thats why I am trying to see what the heck I should do. The city did a footing inspection and passed a final as well! It looks like something was done wrong no drip cap and a wicked pitch towards the home! The ants love it!

All kidding aside. There is only one corner with serious rot. What about caulking the hell out of it. The fool ran multiple bolts missing the studs. It was insulated and covered with plastic. The 2 by's are solid! What if I run a couple bolts into the 2 bys where they missed. I caulk from above and below. I keep a dehumidifier on in that room all summer and spring.

To do it properly will require me to win a law suit. I dont have the cash to redu the entire surface of the deck and the back of the house!

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Bring a local renovator over and get some hands on experience working for you,what the hell call 3 different guys. Its too hard for us to recommend the easiest fix from a computer 100s of miles away from your house. Im sure a clever renovation carpenter could sort you out. After all they fix stuff like this all day long. Im not going to say it will be cheap but some options will be available.

In the mean time remove the last decking board closest to the house to allow it to drain.

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