April 2012

Willis Sinclair Homes

The Lowcountry’s Premier Custom Home Builder”

A rotted door jamb caused by water splashing up from the deck during rainstorms.

24 Gabriel Road

Lodge, South Carolina 29082




843 846 2500

April 2012

Home Invasions!

This month, we are discussing two of the home invaders you may well face here in the Lowcountry: water and termites. Next month, we will discuss still another intruder you will have to combat. Like water and termites, this third intruder can cause minor damage or possibly even the destruction of your home!

If you do have water damage, call us. We will help you determine the extent of it and how to best deal with it. Unfortunately, water damage only gets worse if it is not repaired promptly and properly.

Be aware that band-aid repair jobs are often worse than no repair since water can get under the patches and while everything looks good on the surface, bad things are happening beneath the surface.

Brays Island Charm Bracelets

For a limited time, charm bracelets featuring themes from Brays Island as well as a Brays Island charm are available. Themes include golfing, equestrian, shooting, nature, gardening, and activities (below).

Call Mandy (843 599 8552) or Debby (843 866 7956) for details, availability and pricing.

From the desk

of Bill Burdick …

What a winter this has been! After a few days of cold, we are back up to the 60s and even 70s.

Although home building is still a bit slow here in the Lowcountry, we are staying busy doing remodels and additions as well as repairs.

We at Willis Sinclair are doing well. Our girls are also doing well with their side businesses of photography, jewelry making and online retailing.

I am working through some skin cancer surgeries this spring. Although I have never been much of one to be in the sun, that has not spared me from a few skin lesions. If you see me with a black eye or bandages, you’ll know why.

Little Kandie is growing quickly. She now finds you and follows you with her eyes. She also talks quite a bit. She does not use real words but that does not slow her down. I suppose she is a bit like our politicians in that respect: making a lot of noise, but not much sense.

Although we are pretty busy, if you need something, call. We can help. Your job won’t be too small nor will it be too large. I promise it will be done right.


Vice President, Willis Sinclair, Inc.

Professional Engineer, Retired


843 846 2500


Home Intruders You Don’t Want

Here in the Lowcountry, there are three types of intruders you should guard against. Two are water and termites. We will cover the third in our March newsletter. All will do serious damage if they are allowed access to your home.

Water (dampness) is present all of the time here in the coastal Lowcountry. The water table is only a few feet below your home.

Unless your builder was careful, your home may be open to damage caused by water. Flashing must be installed properly to shed water. The type of material used for flashing (galvanized steel, aluminum or copper) does not matter as long as it does not fail (rust). You should periodically look at your flashing to be sure you don’t see rust or corroded holes.

This all wood window looked very nice initially. After several years of exposure, it does not look so good.

Roofing materials must be installed properly and checked occasionally. Even the best installed roof may leak if leaves and other debris are allowed to pile up in valleys. They will dam up water just like ice or snow will in the north.

Window and door choices are also important to keep water damage to a minimum. Wooden windows have a quaint look and are very natural. Unfortunately, they are very vulnerable to water damage.

Painted aluminum clad windows seem to be the best choice in our climate. PVC or vinyl windows seem to take a real beating in our sun. All aluminum windows are not a good option for other reasons.

Wood trim can also be damaged by exposure to the moisture in our atmosphere as well as rain.

The board under this window is rotted. Perhaps better caulking would have helped.

Cypress is a favorite “rot resistant” wood. Unfortunately, that is true of old growth “heart” cypress and not new growth cypress.

Termites feasted on the back of these tasty exterior trim boards.

Treated lumber is about the only wood material which will stand up to our climate. Western cedar also lasts well in some applications.

Water not only causes rot problems, it also gives termites a way to invade your home. Termites need moisture to survive. If wood is wet and untreated, it is like a superhighway to your home.

Wood in your home must be kept dry or invaders will come. These trim boards looked pretty good on the exterior. Once they were removed, the hideout was exposed.

Priming boards that are close to the ground is a good way to stop water intrusion. They should be primed on the ends, sides, front and back for the best protection. Unfortunately, priming adds work and cost to the job and it is often skipped.

Notice the trim boards in the photo are simply raw (unprimed) wood on the back. The rotted board beneath the window was also not primed on the back, sides or end. Cracks will develop between boards no matter how good the caulking is. When (not if) water finds a crack, it will seep in and damage begins.

Sometimes water damage occurs because of the home design. In the door jamb photo on the front of this newsletter, the door really should have had a roof or large overhang over it to minimize back splash. It did not and the result is obvious.

What can you do to minimize water damage? If your home is already built, you can and should check it carefully. If you would like, we will be happy to check it for you and show you any immediate (or potential) problem areas.

If your home is not built yet, insist the architect takes into consideration maintainability by using durable materials and designs to protect less durable materials.

Make sure your contractor flashes properly (unfortunately, flashing properly and flashing quickly are usually opposites). Make sure your contractor back primes (and not just says he back primes – ask for photos) all untreated wood trim materials.

Sometimes, contractor SNAFUs also cause problems. Often water intrusion problems show up after a while.

Water will fill the conduit in this photo. The wire in the conduit is not direct burial grade, so the wire insulation will fail sooner or later. These wires control the generator. One day when the generator should start, it won’t. If one of our sub-contractors did this, it would be repaired immediately.

All of the photos in this newsletter were taken by Willis Sinclair Homes as we were doing repairs here in the Lowcountry. They are not some ‛hypothetical’ instances.

If you own a home or are building, call us. We will make sure your design takes durability in mind. We will also make sure your home is flashed and primed properly. We guarantee it. We will provide photographic proof.

When this gas line (with the elbow) was installed, the contractor hit an electrical conduit and left his damage.


Willis Sinclair Homes, where ‘Built Right’ is the only ‘good enough’ we understand.

Call Us

843 846 2500



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