Advice on how to proceed with siding leak

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Old 01-09-08, 02:52 AM
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Advice on how to proceed with siding leak

I purchased this house about six months ago and I recently discovered that water has been running from a second story deck and leaking into the wall where the deck attaches to it. I noticed that the deck wood, where it meets the wall, has rotted (not the actual deck support but more like a facing). I dug out the rotten wood and this has exposed a hole about 4 inches in diameter where this wood facing goes into the exterior stucco wall.

I suspect this has been bad for a year or more because when I removed the rotten wood there was evidence that the prior owner had patched this with a plug of caulking (without correcting the original bad design that caused the water to flow into this area).

I can feel inside this hole and feel the inside wood is wet. There are a few small, faint rust like stains on the exterior stucco about four feet down from this damage. On the inside the only evidence of damage I can see is that about eight feet down from the outside damage and about four feet over there is evidence of some past dampness on the inside drywall (as if water has run internally down and along the beam). Other than the hole, and what looks now like minor cosmetic damage, nothing else is apparent. For now I have covered this exposed hole with some plastic sheeting in the hope of drying out the inside wall before proceeding.

My questions:
1) Would it be a mistake to just patch up this outside hole, make it watertight and keep and I on the area for further problems? Or, to do this right, is it necessary to remove the exterior stucco and interior drywall and replace any damaged wood? I would obviously like to avoid this if possible.

2) If just sealing the hole for now is suitable, is it necessary to really dry out the interior wall or can I just go ahead and seal it all up now?
 
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Old 01-09-08, 05:41 AM
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For a proper repair, it is necessary to expose all the damaged area and repair or replace as needed.

Water leaks from failure to properly install decks can arise from not placing flashing as needed. Stopping the intrusion of water will stop the damage, but you will not know how extensive it is until you can see all the damage and where it stops.

The rotted wood does not come quickly. I suspect that the leak has persisted for many years in order to allow the wood to deteriorate.

When we removed the deck from my daughter's house, we found that the rim joist and all the wall studs along where the deck was attached were rotted. This was all due to the lack of flashing. Repair estimate was $20,000.

Hope this helps.
 
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Old 01-09-08, 08:04 AM
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I would just add that even if the portion of then deck that attaches to the structure (the "ledger board") appears intact the deck may still be structurally unsound if the bolts, screws or nails attaching the ledger to the house have corroded and/or the structure they are attaching has been water-damaged.

See for example:

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/arti...212625,00.html
 
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Old 01-09-08, 09:51 AM
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I was afraid this is what I would have to do

Thanks to both of you for the quick response. As my motto in life is "nothing is ever easy" I figured I could not get away with a quick fix. This leak is at the very outside corner of the deck where it meets the wall so I am thinking that the deck itself is sound.
 
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Old 01-09-08, 03:54 PM
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Follow up question

So my plan is to tackle the problem first from the interior by removing inside drywall to see what damage might be. In this way I hope to avoid stucco repair unless it is necessary. I am hoping to see enough of the exterior structure to make a good assessment.

Any I naive here? I have done a lot of drywall work so figure I can repair and fix up without a problem. I would hate to rip all the stucco off in the area only to find the structure is sound enough underneath.

I expect I will need to replace some materials - just don't want to take on stucco if I can avoid it. For one reason I am not good at stucco work and the other is that it will leave exterior exposed and this is a fairly wet time of year.

Does this sound like a reasonable plan?

Thanks again for any insight.

 
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