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brick veneer and metal siding


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I am a member of a rural Methodist Church in Southern Mississippi. We are working to complete a brand new facility and are probably 85% complete. It is a metal building (red iron w/ metal wall studs and sheetrock) with brick veneer on the South and East Sides only. The brick veneer was installed directly over the corrugated metal siding on those sides. On the south and east sides, we have gutters that empty directly into flower beds that are awaiting landscaping (no drainage system). We have a concrete parking lot.

During Hurricane Isaac, we received a great deal (15"-20") of wind driven rain on that south and east side of the building as you can imagine. Thursday, I found considerable amounts of water in the building and all over our brand new floor covering (wood + carpet + vct). However, none was noticed to have entered on the west or north walls. Upon further inspection, I noticed our veneer has no weeps holes or flashing, and the brick overhangs the brick ledge by an 1" or 2" in some spots. None of us are builders/experts, and we are struggling to determine the entry point for the water (we ruled out the obvious) as well as what to do to correct the problem. I can post pictures if needed and any help would certainly be appreciated.

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You've pointed out that some of the most basic features needed to prevent moisture intrusion issues are missing on this installation. From this alone I suspect there are no inexpensive solutions. You need a skilled inspector onsite to get a true measure of just how big the problem is and what the possible solutions are. There's simply too much information to convey in both directions to do justice to it here over an online forum.

Just my opinion.

Marc

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You've pointed that some of the most basic features needed to prevent moisture intrusion issues are missing on this installation. From this alone I suspect there are no inexpensive solutions. You need a skilled inspector onsite to get a true measure of just how big the problem is and what the possible solutions are. There's simply too much information to convey in both directions to do justice to it here over an online forum.

Just my opinion.

Marc

Thanks for your reply. So you recommend getting an inspector out to look at it? Approx. how much would that cost (~6000 ft2 building) and how would I go about finding a reputable inspector?

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I found a list of all HI in MS by county but there's none in George County, nor am I familiar with any of them.

Still looking.

Marc

We are in a small rural county (George), so we are used to having to look into the bigger cities of Hattiesburg, Biloxi, Gulfport, Mobile (AL) to get what we need. Thanks for all the help and input.

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Looks like the foundation/floor system was poured much too low. The soil and adjacent slabs for driveways, etc are much too close to the lowest course of brick. There should be at least 4" of foundation exposed to keep ground water from seeping in, rotting the floor finish and allowing mold growth. Without exposed foundation, termites can get in unseen.

You should install a rainwater drainage system to carry water from all downspouts to the municipal rainwater drain opening or ditch.

If your gutter/downspout system is too small and overflows during conditions of heavy/protracted rainfall, you might need some measures taken there also such as additional downspouts or a continuous rainwater drain system throughout the perimeter of the building.

None of this is guaranteed to solve the problems that are a consequence of a foundation/floor that's too low to the ground.

Marc

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Any photos of the metal siding installation in progress?

Have you checked the condition of the gutters and downspouts. This is a common source of water infiltration in building of this design.

At what rate was the rain hitting your area during the storm?

Hi and thanks for your response. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of the metal siding actually being installed ..... just the typical before and after pictures. We actually have not checked the gutters and downspouts yet, but I am fairly certain the rainfall rate (approx. 3"-4"/hr, perhaps greater) was enough to overwhelm them given the slow movement of the hurricane.

Now, we are obviously finding it difficult to test various failure points given our inability to reproduce those extreme wind/rainfall conditions.

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I would be looking for WRB (water repellant barrier) under or over the sheet metal behind the brick. As part of that system there should be flashing installed shingle style behind and under the brick. The lack of weep holes won't likely cause water entry but will help to retain water inside the wall to make things deteriorate.

DON'T let them try to drill to add weeps! That would just damage any flashing that might be present. They might CAREFULLY remove a brick every few feet to inspect for flashing then put the brick back while making provision for the weep.

I'm with Marc though, the foundation is too close to the ground and it will be near impossible to make that building leak proof.

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Yes, sited too "low", grade too high, no flashing (ouch), gutters and spouts dumping water into brick.

It's made to leak. Sorry to have to say it. Ouch......

I'd bet there's combinations of problems, (not just one problem) in some areas. At least, that's how it looks in the pics.

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Thanks for your help. I sure do appreciate the responses. We were literally a few weeks from having services in our new facility, but I am glad we can work through these issues now rather than later.

A few updates:

The insurance adjuster will be out this Saturday. I did some more investigating today and realized that there are no closure strips underneath the edges of the corrugated metal roofing. Rainfall (especially wind-driven) essentially has a free pass over the gutter and under the raised ridge on the metal roofing to behind the brick veneer wall. I guess there is also the possibility of wind blowing the water in the overwhelmed gutters through these openings and behind the wall as well. Since there is no flashing or weep holes at the bottom of the brick,the water doesn't have anywhere to go except over the 1+3/4" high brick ledge and into the building. Hence, I was able to squirt water into this space and behind the brick veneer where it then ran down the backside of the wall and into the building behind the stud walls. Somebody stated that we should drill weep holes now, but I suggested that the effectiveness of such would be limited without any flashing in place. Right?

So here is our approach for now:

- Get closure strips installed underneath the edges of the corrugated metal roofing to try and limit the amount of water getting behind the veneer

- Apply a silane/siloxane based water repellent to the brick veneer (any ideas on which is best?)

- Install a drainage system (an initial estimate includes running downspouts into a 12" pipe with catch basins, etc for around $7600)

Any other ideas? Again, your replies are very much appreciated by us all.

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Thanks for your help. I sure do appreciate the responses. We were literally a few weeks from having services in our new facility, but I am glad we can work through these issues now rather than later.

A few updates:

The insurance adjuster will be out this Saturday. I did some more investigating today and realized that there are no closure strips underneath the edges of the corrugated metal roofing. Rainfall (especially wind-driven) essentially has a free pass over the gutter and under the raised ridge on the metal roofing to behind the brick veneer wall. I guess there is also the possibility of wind blowing the water in the overwhelmed gutters through these openings and behind the wall as well.

Under condition of hurricane force winds maybe but not under usual rainfall conditions because the pitch of the roof looks high enough. Do look at the ridge trim though and make sure it's wide enough on each side. A foot of overlap over the metal panels should be enough. Those foam closure strip don't work. I've installed them myself on commercial/govt jobs I've contracted on. They offer only the illusion of protection.

Since there is no flashing or weep holes at the bottom of the brick,the water doesn't have anywhere to go except over the 1+3/4" high brick ledge and into the building. Hence, I was able to squirt water into this space and behind the brick veneer where it then ran down the backside of the wall and into the building behind the stud walls. Somebody stated that we should drill weep holes now, but I suggested that the effectiveness of such would be limited without any flashing in place. Right?

I don't advise drilling it. You might damage the plastic flashing behind it, if it's there.

So here is our approach for now:

- Get closure strips installed underneath the edges of the corrugated metal roofing to try and limit the amount of water getting behind the veneer

- Apply a silane/siloxane based water repellent to the brick veneer (any ideas on which is best?)

Don't seal the brickwork, it needs to breath. The metal panel behind it is a vapor barrier so if the brick is sealed also how will incidental moisture escape? It won't but it will corrode through the paint/corrosion coatings of the panel quicker than you can say 'dang!'.

- Install a drainage system (an initial estimate includes running downspouts into a 12" pipe with catch basins, etc for around $7600)

Any other ideas? Again, your replies are very much appreciated by us all.

Rob has given you the best advice of all. Correct your very first mistake by getting a technical representative onsite to advise you.

Marc

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Brick can act strange with thermal stresses... on steel buildings.. lots of legs on issues with brick veneers... sun exposure, lack of proper thermal-expansion-joint design, improper treatment at re-entrant corners and the like. In this case who knows what wind-loading was doing to the place... A professional engineer firm can figure this all out.. who knows... :)

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Thanks for the responses. I have included a few more pictures of the gutter system. I think a lot of water is getting behind the veneer from the top (refer to 2nd picture) since there is no flashing or closure strips up there. Do the gutters look alright otherwise? As it stands, I feel like we need to remove the veneer and start over, but their is simply no funds to do that at this time ..... unless we borrow.

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That's a little more overhang than I would've done. Gutter/downspout is often done wrong but this one looks alright.

I'm assuming there's some eaves flashing in there. Beneath the underlayment, over the gutter. Can't make it out in the 2nd photo.

Marc

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That's a little more overhang than I would've done. Gutter/downspout is often done wrong but this one looks alright.

I'm assuming there's some eaves flashing in there. Beneath the underlayment, over the gutter. Can't make it out in the 2nd photo.

Marc

No, there isn't. If water gets under that ridge in the metal roofing (shown in 2nd picture), there nothing to prevent it from getting behind the veneer, no flashing or closure strips. Thus, I was wondering is it would be possible to perhaps retrofit some type of flashing between the top of the brick veneer wall and the bottom of the metal roofing to make that space watertight and prevent water from getting behind the brick veneer wall?

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[quote

No, there isn't. If water gets under that ridge in the metal roofing (shown in 2nd picture), there nothing to prevent it from getting behind the veneer, no flashing or closure strips. Thus, I was wondering is it would be possible to perhaps retrofit some type of flashing between the top of the brick veneer wall and the bottom of the metal roofing to make that space watertight and prevent water from getting behind the brick veneer wall?

It is possible to retrofit flashing for the areas you want to cover.

The bad part is that you may have to remove the gutters and take the bottom row of screws out of the roof panels to install it.

The easiest thing you could do is to install some metal drip flashing that runs over the back side of the gutter and under the roof, then install the roam closure that made to seal off the ribs of the roof panels.

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I don't think the roof details are your problem but I'd go ahead and install the closure strips anyway.

What do the windows and doors look like? Most of the time I see them caulked to the J channels without any other flashing or pans. If none of the penetrations are detailed correctly at the steel the building will leak like a sieve regardless of the veneer details.

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I agree with Phillip. With the panels overhanging that far into the gutter, you may have to remove the gutter to install the eaves flashing, AKA drip edge. And yes, you've got to have eaves flashing beneath the panels, above the underlayment and over the gutter. The only cornice on this building is the gutter, so Isaac is right, an overflow at the back of the gutter could end up behind the brickwork.

Installing that eaves flashing isn't a terrible lot of expense or time. Just pull out the metal-panel screws on the lowest deck board and slide your flashing in there.

BTW, ridge is defined as the top of the roof. The bottom of the roof surfaces on a hip roof is known as the eaves.

Someone needs to report Bubba. He's struck again.

Marc

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