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  1. #1

    Question unknown source of water damage on hardwood floors

    I have a 2 yr old traditional style home in Georgia. After purchasing I noticed water damage on hardwood flooring next to a fireplace. The fireplace is on an exterior wall. It is stacked stone of some sort. It is not wet. The surrounding walls are not wet. That section of the house sits a couple of feet above ground level. I don't think I have a plumbing leak. The water seems to be seeping in from underneath the floor and is worst right next to the fireplace. What is going on? What kind of professional to I need to call? Roofer? Mason worker? I don't know what I'm doing here and my builder has gone bankrupt and is nowhere to be found. I need to get this right on the first try. I don't have a lot of money to fool around with.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: unknown source of water damage on hardwood floors

    might be moisture or condensation wicking up from below along the fireplace foundation or floor foundation where the fireplace and subfloor and floor meet rotting the floor. what you see from the room might be slight what you cant see might be worse (underside of the flooring and the subfloor). don't think you said if this floor is on a slab over a crawl space basement or what the grade is. didn't say if was a wood burner or gas mabe ash dump full or chimney issue? an expert inspector like a certified chimney sweep service could probably help you pin it down they usually know what isolation and such is required for the hearth and stuff.

  3. #3

    Question Re: unknown source of water damage on hardwood floors

    Thank you for the reply. The fireplace is a wood burner (but has never been used) should I still call a chimney sweep? That particular area is on a slab. I'm not sure what you mean by "grade", how could I tell? Sorry, I'm an ex city dweller... I don't know about these things. Amber

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: unknown source of water damage on hardwood floors

    confused by differing descriptions of the area because you said the wood floor is on a slab now but before you indicated that side of the house was a few feet above the ground so you see why that would be confusing, like you might have a crawl space there or a basement hardwood floor on slab against stacked stone fireplace exterior wall not adding up since a slab several feet thick would not be likely.

    grade: the level at which the ground intersects the foundation of a building, or in this case both the building slab and the foundation or footing of the fireplace itself. more specific is the distance from the ground, mulch, etc. to the top of the slab/founation wall to wall junction.

    grade also refers to inclination with the horizontal in this case ground in relation to the foundation, expressed by stating the vertical rise or fall in inches in relationship to the horizontal distance usually at 12 inches or one foot.

    if you have no acess to under the floor or to the ash dump or cannot find it, (scuttle door in a closet maybe? vent doors or grates outside? ash door? walk around the foundation outside and look for clues) then yes, i'd start with a professional chimney and fireplace inspection service. they inspect the fireplace, the entire chimney, flue and tour the chimney/roof junction from above and can rule out chimney defects, flue/liner defects, flashing defects, chimney cap defects, spark arrester, hood, etc. water in the ash dump, damper problems, etc. if your inspection turns out you have no problems and the floor isn't presently damp then maybe it was an old problem now corrected or the fireplace was used before and someone did a DIY super scrub of the flue and firebox and had accidental sludge and water damage spilling onto the floor or seeping down from the hearth. you'll have a good-to-go to use the fireplace and have eliminated a heafty percentage of the possiblities for the source of water or moisture seeping in.

    attic access? check roof deck underside near chimney junction near outside wall look for signs of moisture/water check outside overhanging or open eaves possible water getting inside wall running down wall, hitting wall floor plate then subfloor or slab and collecting at front of hearth under the hardwood floor. outside walls to chimney intersection another place water can get in especially if wind driven, same result.
    Last edited by Blue RidgeParkway; 11-14-2008 at 07:44 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: unknown source of water damage on hardwood floors

    babble on.........

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