Faulty Flat Work Elevation?

By
Home Inspector with Progressive Inspection Service
https://activerain.com/droplet/zN5

What is faulty flat work elevation? Why do you care? You've heard of faulty grade elevation and or wood to soil contact but flat work?

Flat work is any paved or covered surface resting on grade, ie; concrete, brick, stone, asphalt pavers, etc.. Unlike open grade needing 4" deflection or separation from the sill plate frame/wood, flat work reguires only 2" of deflection.

The photo below shows a finish front porch brick flat work installation at or above the exterior wall sill plate framing, vinyl siding and or wood trim. This causes water to be trapped against the exterior wall cladding, interior wall wood framing and or the foundation. Guess what occurs? Abnormal wear, damage, deterioration and or water intrusion.

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Rainmaker
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George Fanucci
CoreFact.com - Los Altos, CA
Internet - Technology - Business - Solutions
Hi Will. Is there any quick fix, such as a sealant to be applied? Just wondering about any possible remediation.
Aug 09, 2012 10:36 AM #1
Rainmaker
126,582
Will Handley
Progressive Inspection Service - San Juan Capistrano, CA
Certified Master Inspection Services

Hi George, unfortunately sealers can in many cases actually trap moisture inside the exterior wall envelope and or cladding material. Moisture makes entry through the exterior wall cladding i.e. (Stucco, siding, stone, etc) at any number of locations along a exterior wall contacting the underlayment, substrate and or vapor barrier and begins traveling down towards the sill and or foundation area. We'd like the moisture to have an exit point and breathable area.

Keep in mind, if the area in question is covered by a roofed patio cover, porch, etc.. and is not subject to drainage issues, sprinkler spray and or direct rain fall, the faulty flat work issue may never become a problem. I often find identical issues around the perimeter of a structure, yet only the weathered side of the structure shows any noticeable wear, degradation and or water intrusion issues.

Aug 10, 2012 05:07 AM #2
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Rainmaker
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Will Handley

Certified Master Inspection Services
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