180mm of Rain in 24-Hours = Rain Under the House

We have had two extremely heavy days of rain  the last month or so. They have highlighted to us our leaking front veranda and leaking upstairs windows. The first day was the heaviest recorded in over a decade, and the second day was 18cm, or 7 inches of rain.

Caleb Running Through the Puddles

As you can see, not everyone thought that the rain was a bad thing… Ah, to be young and care free again.

Puddle in the Front Room Under our HouseWe had some trouble with our front veranda leaking and also with the old upstairs window frames leaking through the wall, down the studs and into the ground floor.

The problem was not in the waterproofing of our front veranda that our builder here in Townsville did, but rather with the old wall soaking up the water and it running down through that.

The other problem was that the original veranda had a negative slope on the veranda. The negative slope caused the water to pool next to the wall, instead of running off the front of the veranda. This gave the water the chance to soak into the wall and then run down to under the house.

Water Pooling on our Front VerandaBetween the first and the second rain the guys who lifted our house came back and tried to give the veranda a positive slope by packing up the back of the veranda by about 15mm. Although they made a big difference in their adjustment, the water still pooled a bit next to the wall and ran under the house. You can see the pooling of the water on the veranda in the photo on the right.

The upstairs windows should be able to be fixed by adding some colorbond flashing over the existing window sills. When we had our new upstairs windows put in some of the sills were flashed, but not all of them. I’m going to have to fix the rest of them, replace our kitchen window completely and also seal the air-conditioner installation into the master bedroom as it’s a pretty large hole.

I’ll continue to update you on the progress as we look at how to fix the pooling water on our front veranda as well as the leaking upstairs windows.

5 Replies to “180mm of Rain in 24-Hours = Rain Under the House”

  1. elissa

    Hi Bill… just saw this today, wonder if you could email me direct? we have almost exactly the same problem execpt that our veranda is the roof of our bottom story… we even had the same tiles but we had to rip them up cos our kid kept slipping on puddles and falling on his head…
    looking to DIY fix so if you have any tips would be very keen to hear from you

  2. Bill Hutchison Post author

    Elissa, we were lucky that our ceiling in the lower level wasn’t installed yet. We were able to install a drain in the lowest part of the floor of the front veranda and run the drain down-slope and out of the side of the veranda.

    We also installed tiles a short way up (about 10 cm) the wall to prevent the water from touching the old timber. This seemed to completely stop the water from leaking down the wall of the front veranda and into the lower level of the house.

    For us this wasn’t a DIY fix, but it worked…

  3. Jenny

    Hi Bill,
    We’re considering doing a similar job on our upstairs varanda and putting an internal room underneath. At the moment its a timber deck with a tiled patio underneath.

    Would you recommend (in retrospect) pulling up the timber decking boards, tapering the joists on a positive angle and then laying the many waterproofing layers and tiles directly on top of the joists?
    Or would you now not recommend building under a veranda at all?
    Did your builder provide a warranty on their waterproofing?

  4. Bill Hutchison Post author

    Hi Jenny,

    Given the chance to do it again I would not do it again. Too many variables and if any one of them goes wrong it opens up the possibility of leaks.

    If you are insistent on doing it though then I probably would recommend pulling up the timber decking before putting the villa-board and the other waterproofing layers down. If you can, keep the level of the deck below the level of your interior floor. I had to build thresholds on our two French doors because the interior floor was below the level of the veranda floor. This stopped the water from coming in the house a few times when the wind was driving the rain against the house.

    Make sure that your deck is angled away from the house. This will help the water to run off away from the house, instead of pooling on the deck or against the house like you can see in the above photo.

    I can’t find any photos on my site but after this leak we installed tile up the wall about 10 cm since the actual wall was starting to suck up the water and then contribute the the leeks under the house. You will want to consider that as well.

    We didn’t get a warranty unfortunately on the waterproofing done on the deck.

    Hopefully that helps you with your plans.

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