Rotten Exterior Wall


Old 05-22-08, 01:08 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
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Rotten Exterior Wall

My parents have a late 1940's one level house with an unfinished basement. Upon updating the kitchen I find that the floor and and the wall behind the oven have rotted to the point where you can push your foot through the floor and if you push on the wall you can see it bow on the outside. This doesn't strike me as an ideal situation.
The water must have come in via the 1' hole made by some critters a few years ago.

So it appears that I need to replace the subfloor up to the wall (about a 2' x 4' section) and 4' section of wall between the back door and the ajoining kitchen wall. I will also need to fix the hole in the roof and the gutter that caused the water damage. On the outside of this wall is vinyl siding. The inside of the wall was covered by wood paneling. These two things may have been the only thing keeping the wall up.

I would appreciate some advise on perhaps the order in which to tackle these things as well as any advice on materials and other concerns.

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Old 05-22-08, 05:35 PM
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You never asked a question or indicated your skill level in regard to fixing this.

Also be sure that hole is the only reason for the water damage or a joint problem where water channels in this area from above, or whatever.

Any clue as to why the hole was there?, or what caused it? Old hole for entry point of gas line? Mouse? ??
Old 05-22-08, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
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The general rule of thumb is to identify and address moisture issues first. This may be part of the repairs that you plan. One of the most common problems that homeowners face is clogged gutters and downspouts that send water over behind gutters into soffit and fasica area. Failed flashing can cause moisture issues.

It is important that all gutters and downspouts be clear and carry water away from structure. Soil around structure should carry water away from structure.

Lack of proper attic insulation and ventilation can result in ice damns and moisture backed up into soffit/fascia into walls. Moisture damage to interior walls usually requires tearing out walls and replacement of insulation and treatment of all surfaces for mold/mildew.

You do not say where the 1" hole by critters was located, but IMO there are other issues involved. If there have been critters involved, an inspection of the attic re: critters and damage, insulation, etc. is in order. There have been many house fires as a result of 'critters' chewing wiring in attic.

To determine adequate insulation, you need to contact the local building code office for the 'minimum' required R factor for the area and make sure that there is adequate insulation and ventilation to prevent ice dams and back up of melting ice and snow. Keep gutters and downspouts clear.

Many older gutters can lose gutter nails and pull away from roof and soffit/fasica, leaving runoff to run behind into soffit/fascia and into walls. Perhaps there are issues with failing and clogged gutters.

Failure to put on your rain hat during heavy rain and your heavy coat during ice storms and heavy snows will not reveal the secrets to moisture issues and heat loss from inside the home to outside.

If in doubt about the condition of parents' home and what is required to update for safety, hire a professional home inspector.

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