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Old Water Damage Under Furnace and Kitchen Cabinets

Old Water Damage Under Furnace and Kitchen Cabinets


Old 12-10-13, 11:46 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 9
Old Water Damage Under Furnace and Kitchen Cabinets

Hello all, I have a 50s era ranch on crawlspace I had the misfortune of buying 3 years ago, lol, when I was a green 20-something with no idea what I was getting into. Early on I re-subfloored the entire bathroom, as the bathtub had leaked in the past and all the subfloor was rotten out. There was even an interior wall sagging because it ran parallel and in-between the floor joists, and the subfloor wasn't supporting it anymore.

now, the furnace is in a hall closet that backs up to the plumbing end of the tub. That old water damage has destroyed the subfloor supporting the furnace in the rear, and the unit is visibly sagging 1.5" into what's left of the subfloor. The front is fine, as the water damage didn't make it up that far. Lately my furnace has been vibrating the whole house when the blower runs, it's not violent, but I know it's not supposed to shake (i assume squirrel cage out of balance). My question is, is it worth tearing the furnace out the re-subfloor and replace all the water damage in that closet (and under the walls - ick), or should I just wait several years for that old furnace to give up the ghost?

Also, When replacing flooring under interion, non-bearing walls, do you just cut the subfloor out along the wall and butt up to the bottom plate, or do you need to find a way to support the wall and run new subfloor under the plate? As you can see, I'm in way over my head.
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Old 12-10-13, 01:53 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 83
I'm sorry to hear about your misfortune. I bought a 20 year old house when I was 30, and while it did not have any major problems, we did have some water issues that developed a year into ownership, resulting in tearout of our basement and kitchen. So, you're not alone.

Last year, I decided to tile my bathroom. This required cutting out the subfloor, to strengthen the floor joists. (in hindsight, I should've just opened the ceiling down below and sistered onto the joists) The subfloor ran under the bottom plate of every wall, so I know what you're explaining. I cut right along the bottom plate, leaving nothing to support the ends of the new subfloor! To support the plywood ends, I ended up sistering on additional 2x4's to the existing floor joists. This created a new nailer for the subfloor. At one wall, I found that the wall ran parallel with and right between two floor joists. To rectify this, I ran additional 2x4s between the two joists, perpendicular to their span, every ~16 inches.

So, no, I wouldn't recommend the support-the-wall-and-run-subfloor-under-it method. That's just asking for more headaches.
Old 12-10-13, 01:57 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 83
As for the question of should you wait to fix the problem, or do it now....

If the furnace is leaning, I'd fix the problem sooner than later. However, it's cold this time of year, so having the furnace out for any length of time is going to be uncomfortable. If you can access that area from the crawl space, you might try putting a band-aid on it, until warmer weather.

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