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Question DetailsAsked on 9/16/2017

How do we find the source of of a leak along the baseboard of an outer wall?

We discovered water pooling along the baseboard of our living room when we pulled up old carpet, but there is no obvious sign of water elsewhere in the wall. The floor is plywood and about two feet or so above ground on a concrete foundation. The basement underneath has no sign of any leaks on that wall. There are no pipes. Can we find the source of the leak without tearing out the wall?

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You can probe for it, in uninsulated walls use a fiber optic scope or camera (takes about 1/2-3/4" access holes for it), or if still wet use a thermal scanner - which can be a true thermal scanner or many times a smart phone or tablet or laptop with the camera calibration reset to the far low frequency (near infrared) end of the spectrum will do it. Newer Apple devices have this recalibration capability built-in, others you may have to buy a $5-10 App to recalibrate the camera.
If no pipes near/above it, then likely coming from a window or from a bathroom leak, or rrely from a siding or roof leak. If you mark the spot and dry out the water by sponging and then a fan directd at it for a day or two, see if it comes back when it rains, only when it is a blowing rain from that side, or perhaps not related to rain at all - that could tell you a lot. Other possibility - they had the carpets wet shampooed (or rented a unit for a DIY job) and the guy did not vacuum up all the water at that location, or did a poor water recovery job and the water in the rug drained to that area - check for other wet areas in the carpet/padding - oops, you pulled it up - on the plywood then. Since the basement shows nothing, I would guess it is coming from above.
Here are links to a bunch of similar questions with answers FYI:

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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