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FAQ

  1. What is water intrusion?
  2. How much time do I have to deal with a water intrusion problem?
  3. What are your repair objectives?
  4. Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
  5. How long has Excel Construction existed?
  6. What do I need to know about mold?
  7. My house is relatively old. Why should I worry about water infiltration?
  8. My house is newer. Why should I worry about water infiltration?
  9. What is cladding?
  10. How does Excel Construction test for water infiltration?
  11. What is flashing?
  12. What is housewrap?
  13. What is a drainage plane?
  14. Why canít I just paint over mold? Or hide it?
  15. Where does most water intrusion occur?
  16. My house has only a small leak. Canít I ignore it?
  17. My property was passed by a building inspector. Doesnít that mean my property is OK?
  18. A house inspector checked my property, and my real estate agent didnít mention any problems. Doesnít that mean my property is OK?
  19. I already found the source of my leak. Canít I just leave it alone?
  20. What can happen if I donít fix a leak?
  21. Iím planning to sell my property. Why shouldnít I let the new owner worry about water problems?
  22. Where are water leaks typically found?

What is water intrusion?

The outer shell of a structure is “breached” by water. Because water is affected by gravity, it always runs down to the ground. If this water is trapped inside a wall and can’t escape or dry out, it saturates insulation, wood, and anything else it touches. Decay and deterioration result.

How much time do I have to deal with a water intrusion problem?

A water intrusion problem is one situation when time really matters! Fast assessment is critical to avoid expensive structural damage and mold buildup.

What are your repair objectives?

Our primary objective is to stop the water intrusion. Repairs should be completed wherever materials are affected and structural integrity is compromised. If structural damage has occurred, decayed lumber must be replaced. If damage or decay has not already begun, simply drying out the area and eliminating the water source may be adequate.

Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

Absolutely!

How long has Excel Construction existed?

We are a family business. Mike worked for a major local construction company and later struck out on his own. During the past 12 years, Excel has grown primarily because of customer recommendations. A family member is assigned to each job, so you’re assured of individual attention.

What do I need to know about mold?

Mold is a living thing. Left unchecked, it will reproduce and spread to adjacent areas. Mold impacts people’s health. Some individuals are allergic and it can make asthma worse. Even people who aren’t allergic can develop terrible headaches.

My house is relatively old. Why should I worry about water infiltration?

Older homes usually have isolated problems and are usually because of structural modifications, upgrades, or poor maintenance. Stucco, however, is a special case because when damaged it’s slower to disintegrate. Most homeowner insurance policies have limited liability. The longer water intrusion is untreated, the greater the resulting damage, and the more you will pay out–of–pocket.

My house is newer. Why should I worry about water infiltration?

New homes’ internal structures must “dry out” over two years. If moisture noted after two years, it’s probably due to moisture intrusion. Most homeowner policies don’t cover moisture issues found in walls caused by construction defects. Minnesota law (MN Statute 327A.02) states that builders must warranty a property against major construction defects for 10 years from the date a building’s occupancy permit is issued. Occupants must notify a builder within seven months of noticing any moisture. If repairs are inadequate, homeowners have a total of two years from initial notification to sue. Within this timeframe, owners are expected to minimize damage. Any delay in filing a claim can make you, as the owner, responsible for repairs and any resulting damage.

What is cladding?

This is another word for the materials that cover a structure. This includes wood, vinyl, steel or aluminum, cement products such as HardiBoard™, stone, or stone. Homes clad in any material can have moisture problems because leaky windows or doors allow water to seep into wall cavities regardless of cladding.

How does Excel Construction test for water infiltration?

Our industry’s preferred method is exterior probe testing. That’s what we use in most cases. We drill two small holes into cladding and then insert a testing probe that determines moisture levels within walls. We then securely seal the holes with special caulk. You won’t even notice the testing area!

What is flashing?

Flashing is made of many materials.

What is housewrap?

These are products that repel water. Usually manufactured in a huge roll, plastic or paper housewraps are “wrapped” around a structure to create a continuous drainage plane. Windows, doors, vents, outlets, and other elements must be integrated into the wrap so that water can’t infiltrate.

What is a drainage plane?

The key to avoiding water infiltration is good design and installation of water repellent products such as housewrap and flashing. Together, they create a drainage plane which drains any infiltrating water outside, away from a wall or roof.

Why can’t I just paint over mold? Or hide it?

You don’t want to hide damaged areas or paint over stains because the water problem remains. Partial repairs can be made if the exact cause of any damage is determined and the affected area is limited. Mold is a living, toxic substance that must be destroyed. Mold should be taken seriously; we use a microbiologist to test mold sites! Some people use chlorine bleach to kill mold or disinfect moldy areas. Bleach is NOT an effective, permanent mold and spore killer. Mold treated with bleach can survive on and inside porous, cellulose–based building materials such as wood timbers, drywall, plasterboard, particleboard, plywood, plywood substitutes, ceiling tiles, and carpeting/padding. The safest, most affordable, and most effective non–toxic mold cleaner is boric acid.

Where does most water intrusion occur?

Most moisture intrusions can be traced to construction defects or system failures that allow bulk water from rain or snow to enter a wall cavity. Water infiltration is rarely due to excessive internal humidity. Windows are the main source of water intrusion, causing approximately 80% of the problems we find. Missing flashing is the cause in 10% of our cases but causes 30% of the damage! Decks, grading issues, and construction defects account for the last 10% of water problems.

My house has only a small leak. Can’t I ignore it?

Moisture problems don’t improve without repair. Small leaks always grow into larger leaks.

My property was passed by a building inspector. Doesn’t that mean my property is OK?

Building inspectors aren’t liable for construction defects. Real estate agents aren’t trained to spot water problems; most rely on visual clues such as staining and bubbling.

A house inspector checked my property, and my real estate agent didn’t mention any problems. Doesn’t that mean my property is OK?

Real estate agents and home inspectors aren’t required or trained to assess and identify hidden moisture issues. As a licensed remediation contractor, Excel Construction can repair water damage because we know how to deal with complex moisture intrusion issues. We know how to look for structural problems.

I already found the source of my leak. Can’t I just leave it alone?

Structures can dry out when a moisture source is removed. However, initial damage to wood and structural elements remain until repaired.

What can happen if I don’t fix a leak?

If moisture problems are caught early, structural damage can be minimized. However, without treatment, moisture intrusion can make your property unlivable! Untreated leaks cause extensive structural problems and expensive repairs over time.

I’m planning to sell my property. Why shouldn’t I let the new owner worry about water problems?

Not a good idea! If you’re selling your home, failing to address moisture problems before selling can cause delays because many cities require water problems be remedied before sale. If a buyer finds a moisture issue, you may be required to pay for repairs. We recommend that you address problems prior to sale so that you can evaluate, plan, and remediate water issues. Solving water problems can protect sellers from expensive and lengthy lawsuits filed from angry purchasers.

Where are water leaks typically found?

Interior leaks can be difficult to spot because relatively new leaks don’t leave much evidence. On the other hand, established leaks can be more obvious—look for stains and bubbled or cracked wall and ceiling finishes.

 


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