I'm repainting a room and noticed that the paint was chipping off (and was even bubbly) in one of the corners just above the baseboard. It wasn't wet but to me it looked like evidence of past moisture. I chipped some of that top layer off without looking too much into it. I spackled the corner and when I started sanding it the next day, I noticed that the spackle didn't dry and almost all of it fell out while sanding. I also noticed that the wall was cold (wouldn't call it wet to the touch). I've decided that I will need to cut out a piece of the drywall in that corner to inspect what is happening inside. The room is on the second floor and that corner is protruding in the air as seen in the photos.

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House is located in southeast PA. At the moment it's cold around here (usually just around 32). Hasn't rained in a week or so. No evidence of wetness outside so I'm wondering if there is a weep hole that Is allowing the cold air to get in. I'm hoping to not leave the wall open for longer than I have to and that is why I'm posting here before I start.

  1. I will check the insulation in the two walls as the walls converge to the corner.
  2. I will also check to feel any cold holes. If I find that there is air coming in, would it be enough to get some kind of a wood caulk or sealer, and seal the corner joint from the inside?

Edit: Opened up the drywall - no evidence of wetness. I did notice a draft from the corner I guess. applied some insulating foam to that so hopefully that will help in the future. Thanks for the advice!

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Would you fix the images, and give us more info (e.g. your location and climate)? And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know the details of contributing here. Jan 11 at 13:09
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    No, you meant protruding. Any wetness is likely from higher up on that wall (or the roof). Please post a photo of the entire area. Please put any new information in your answer, not down here.
    – isherwood
    Jan 11 at 14:01
  • From your description it sounds like a leak has run down the sheetrock. A leak will cause the paper and or paint to blister and peal. If allowed to dry it is usually ok on a wall but if it bellies (wet insulation pushing it causes a bulge it will always have the bulge. Be careful messing with damp Sheetrock because the paper is really easy to tear when wet,
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 11 at 15:05
  • I'm not sure. I need to inspect to roof first from what I'm reading here. The wetness is only on the bottom edge so if it is coming from the top, I guess it might be pooling down at the bottom edge because the rest of the wall has no evidence of water damage. I'm ok with tearing out and replacing the drywall especially since I plan on repainting the room anyways.
    – Gio
    Jan 11 at 15:09
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    Wouldn't it be a fair assumption that because the corner is more exposed to the outside cold than any other part of the room, it's causing small but constant levels of low condensation on the surface? It would be enough to cause superficial damage, but not damage to the surface below.
    – FrK
    Jan 11 at 17:59

I'd go with FrK and Steve Sether, since you found no signs of water and this is a bump-out. Condensation is most likely.

It could be a lack of insulation, but more likely it's an air leak. This could be permanently fixed if a Spray Foam's tube easily feeds up into there from a gap in the siding's corner or from drilling a small hole in the room's corner.

You'll need Big Gap Filler spray foam, shot for about 5-seconds to get the area filled.

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