Moisture problems with wood windows – Building Science issues identified

Here is the picture I posted yesterday. There is visible evidence of long-term moisture issues in the corner of this all wood window(discolored wood in the corner). The home is located in Central Virginia on a wall that is directly impacted with most local storms. There is wall paper on the inside of almost all walls.


The initial scope of work was simply to replace the windows. Little did I know the full extent of the damage that would be uncovered. The wall paper was acting as an air and moisture barrier on the inside of the wall. There was another vapor barrier inside the wall behind the drywall. Once the moisture got into that space, it had to dry to the outside. It could only dry to the outside if conditions were exactly right. This led to an incredible amount of damage, that could only be seen in the corner of the windows before .

Here is what we found.

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The scope ended up rebuilding the wall structure, insulation, drywall, house wrap, flashing, paint…… To say the least, a lack of understanding of building science in this 20 – 30-year-old house – destroyed the house.

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