This pool house in Virginia Beach had anonymous air and water leaks. Fine grains of sand are spread throughout the area by what source? "After every cleanup, they keep coming back," said the building maintenance official," and there is a water leak no one can seem to find above the bathroom." We looked around and saw nothing blatantly visual as to where to problem's sources were. Time to turn on the camera: immediately issues started showing themselves everywhere.
The mean temperature of the pool house was 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit. And up at the top of the walls. The infrared camera showed areas that were always 20-30 degrees cooler. This is a huge difference, also known as a problem.
Searching through the area, trying to sniff out more problems, our camera performed "like a hound dog on a coon." We found these cold spots to be consistent throughout the area. With an outside temperature of just above forty degrees, clearly this is where the sand was getting in. We also inspected the outside of the building, though I do not have a picture—I did take one, but it vanished into thin air.
On the outside of the building there is an area where two roof systems meet, called a return. The caulking around the flashing had failed along a good portion of it, roughly 15 linear feet. This was the water leak. Conversely, the camera showed a hot line of temperature on a cold building. In other words, hot air was leaking from the building to the outside of it. Clearly this should not be happening around a flashed area.
During our infrared inspection we noticed the pool area had an exterior exhaust fan to keep the moisture down and provide ventilation from the area. And, we also noticed there was not a vent or any ducts to provide air to the room directly. The rooms airflow was coming from an adjacent hallway with closed doors. This lack of positive airflow, added to the exhaust vent blowing, equals a "vacuum." This proverbial vacuum was sucking in all of that nice bay sand into the pool area. Problem solved.
While inspecting the exterior of the building we noticed gaps between two layers of flashing around the perimeter of the building. Take both of your hands, cup them into a "C" shape and place them on top of one another. Imagine the top of your hand on top is the roof, lift your hands slighly apart to create a gap, and now imagine this gap is letting in air and water...pretty easy to do, huh?
The fix for this is installing backer rod 1/2" to 3/4" of an inch into this gap to work as a gasket between the two layers of flashing. We will be performing this work very soon and will update this article with the results. Merry Christmas.