joists water damage in shower stall

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  #1  
Old 05-07-13, 11:59 AM
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joists water damage in shower stall

Hi all,

I demolished my walk in shower stall to change the tile, but discovered my shower pan has been leaking for a while. Part of the wood subfloor was all rotten. The some of joists frame under the floor have some water damage as well.

What is the best way to do fix this? Is it something a DIY should attempt?
If I need to hire someone to fix it, should I look for a handy man, a licensed contractor, or structural engineer?

Any thoughts?
Thank you in advance
Jim
 
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Old 05-07-13, 12:15 PM
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How bad is the damage to the joists?
pictures?
 
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Old 05-07-13, 12:47 PM
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Thanks for your reply Mike. I will post pictures when I completely remove the floor. The floor is failing under my feet so I freaked out.

But my first impressions
* one joist running the length of the shower room and also along the exterior facing wall, the top 1 inch looks badly rotten. This one is supporting the vertical joists of the wall.

* the joists running the width of the shower room looks better, I would say only the top 1/8" is bad
 
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Old 05-13-13, 04:10 PM
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Okay some pictures now. The joist below the subfloor looks okay and it looks like they can be reinforced. The vertical joists above the subfloor have some problem at the bottom but I believe we can easily reinforce them to by attaching studs on the side.

The one I am most concerned concerned is the horizontal 2x4 and it looks tricky to replace since the vertical 2x4 rests on it. Itself, it rests on the subfloor which has to be removed. This also happen to be a outside facing wall.

Couple of questions for the savvy DIYers here. How do I remove and replace the subfloor given it spans to the adjacent rooms? Just cut around the perimeter? What kind of saw do I use? Also that wall joist sits on the subfloor.

If I need to get a contractor, what kind of question show I ask so that I can spot one that know his stuff.

Many thanks
 
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Old 05-13-13, 04:58 PM
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Give us some history on the house, how old, etc. The floor joists look totally inadequate for any application that includes tile. Is it a crawl space underneath? If so, why do you have piers to support the joists of the floor. Thinks we have a lot of work ahead to correct, but first, must correctly identify what we are dealing with.

Give us specifics - Total dimensions of the room. Total unsuported span of the floor joist. Exact dimensions of the floor joists. What is the outside of the house made of, vinyl, brick, wood? What is below the area? etc, etc. Give us a brain dump.
 
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Old 05-13-13, 06:42 PM
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Thanks czizzi. The house is only 13 years old and I am surprised the shower pan already failed. The hot mop was kinda crispy and dry. This is on the 2nd floor right above my kitchen. The outside wall is stucco.

The shower room is 3x10' and the floor joists are 2x4. There are another set of horizontal joists below it (the kitchen ceiling drywalls are attached to them) that are 4x4. The joists are spaced 16" in between

I believe the joists are adequate if we did not have water damages. Our old shower room had tiles. The walls were make of a layer of cement (with a lathe) over green boards. The floor was make of a flat wood subfloor, a wood preslope, deck mud, then tile. So we had pretty heavy stuff in that area thus I believe it was framed accordingly.
 
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Old 05-14-13, 02:21 AM
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You must have a floor truss system, which would now make sense. How damaged is the subfloor that extends into the adjacent room?

Is the whole bathroom 3x10 or just the shower area?
 
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Old 05-14-13, 02:53 PM
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3x10' is the shower area. The water problem was against a outside wall and contained inside the shower area. The subfloor in the shower area bordering the inside walls is still dry. It's a good thing it didn't spread to other rooms but at the same time against an outside wall seems harder to fix since it could be load bearing.

That horizontal joist supporting the vertical 2x4 looks like a hard one to replace.

What should I be looking for when I interview contractors?

Thanks
 
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Old 05-14-13, 03:22 PM
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"Horizontal Joist" - call it the bottom plate to the wall. He should have no problem cutting the nails out with a reciprocating saw, remove the damaged wood, replace the subfloor, slide in a new bottom plate and toenail the studs to that.

He will need to sister the floor trusses to give a decent nailing surface for the subfloor. This will also shore up any lost integrity from the moisture damage.

Tell him you want a minimum 1 1/4" of subfloor under the shower (that's 1/2" + 3/4" on top). Glued and screwed down.

Tell him you want a shower pan that has a pre-slope with pan liner (not hot mopped) and a two part drain with weep holes. For more reading on this, please read the following article on how to build a shower pan. How to build a shower - Building a shower pan with pre-sloped mortar bed, liner and curb. Pay attention to the pan liner running up the wall 9" and blocking between the studs.

For the walls, they may suggest either a cement backer board or a kerdi membrane system.

Ask to see pictures and get references, you don't have to call references but at least you want to see his reaction when asked. If he is a rookie, he may hesitate to provide. If he has a good reputation, he may be able to take you to one of his clients' house so you can see the work in person. I have done this numerous times, particularly when pictures don't do justice to something I am trying to explain.

Lastly, ask for a copy of his license and insurance and do a little homework online. The state should have a database for each client that will highlight is there are any complaints against the contractor. Call the insurance company to make sure the policy is valid and up to date.

Last little tidbit. Ask if he seals the grout when completed. It requires a 72 hour waiting period so he will have to come back after the job is done. A dedicated contractor will already have this step accounted for in his bid. I think the extra effort shows a dedication to ones craft.
 
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Old 05-14-13, 03:51 PM
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Thanks for the instructions. I was looking for redoing the shower by myself and learned enough to do a traditional or topical shower. Initially I thought my shower was good and didn't expect to have a leak. Thus I am getting the contractor just for fixing the frame and subfloor to put me back on my original plan.

Once the horizontal joist is removed, what is supporting the vertical 2x4? It looks straight forward to replace the vertical 2x4 one at the time because the others are still supporting the weight, but the horizontal 2x4 is sitting on top of the subfloor which is also rotten.

The horizontal joists supporting the subfloor extend into the adjacent room. Even though they dont look as bad, they also look tricky to replace. But I think we can re-enforce w/o much trouble.
 
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Old 05-14-13, 04:09 PM
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"The state should have a database for each client that will highlight is there are any complaints against the contractor."

Where can I find this information? I live in northern california.

Thanks
 
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Old 05-15-13, 08:48 PM
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I got a contractor to look at the problem, and he advised me to go find a structural engineer who can draw the plan and describe the method to fix this. Then get approved by the city, then he can do the repair.

Does it make sense? Once the city inspect my floor, would they also want to inspect my plumbing, shower pan, tiles, etc? That would add quite a bit of time to the project.

BTW, what kind of remodeling are homeowner required to get city permit for?
 
 

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