Rotted rim joist behind deck

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  #1  
Old 10-24-14, 04:25 PM
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Rotted rim joist behind deck

Hello everyone. I've got an issue I need help fixing. Apologies in advance for the wall of text.

When going to replace some siding I discovered that roughly 10ft of rim joist between my deck and the house is fairly rotted and needs to be replaced. The joists inside the house it is attached to are fine. It's just the rim joist that's rotted. It seems that whoever installed the deck years ago did not put any sort of flashing between the house and the deck. While this area isn't totally exposed to the elements it seems as if enough water has penetrated over the years to cause rot. The deck is supported on the far end by 4x4s and has a ledger board on the house side that is bolted to the rim joist. The deck joists are totally separate from the house joists and are not sistered. After discovering the rot I added a beam and 2 4x4 posts on the house side of the deck to support the deck.

The house is a cantilevered design where the upper floor sticks out over the basement by 2ft and the bottoms of the joists are covered by a thin sheet of plywood on the outside. So I have easy access to the affected area from below.

How can I go about fixing this?

Obviously the best fix would be to remove the deck entirely, support everything, replace the rim joist, then rebuild. The only problem is that I don't have that sort of cash or time and the deck itself is in decent condition with no rot. Is there any way of repairing the rim joist so that everything is safe without removing the deck? Since I can access the bottom of the joists from outside is there anything that can be done from below to take care of the joist?

And the wall above the affected area does not appear to have sagged any and everything is level.

I made a few quick drawings to give an idea of what I'm talking about.
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  #2  
Old 10-30-14, 04:20 PM
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I see a section marked basement & another section marked 2nd floor. Where is the first floor? Is it a second story deck?
 
  #3  
Old 10-30-14, 04:44 PM
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While you clarify the floor layout, you can't have a deck attached to a cantilever, so you may be modifying it to a full free standing deck once repairs are made.
 
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Old 10-30-14, 05:36 PM
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Freestanding was going to be my suggestion but I wanted to get the details first.
 
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Old 11-01-14, 05:05 PM
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Thanks for the responses.

Yes, it's a second story deck. I should probably have been a bit clearer on that. The basement is partially underground so the deck itself and the cantilever are about 6ft high, so there's enough room to walk around under it.

Converting it to freestanding is something I plan on doing.

How can I go about repairing or at least shoring up the rotted rim joist? The deck still has a few more years of life left in it and its wood is in great shape so I'd like to see if there is a temporary repair that can be done on the rim joist in addition to converting the deck to freestanding to get me by for a few years until I replace the entire deck, at which point I will plan on replacing the section of rim joist as well.

Any ideas?
 
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Old 11-01-14, 05:21 PM
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Would there be a way for you to post actual pictures of the affected area? Sure would help us to help you, I believe.
 
  #7  
Old 11-03-14, 02:22 PM
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Here are a few pictures. All I have right now is my phone's camera. The pics aren't great but it should give an idea of what I'm working with.

The deck is roughly 10x10. Of that, roughly 5ft of rim joist is rotted, the worst of which I've attached a picture of after pulling off the siding. The house joists and rim joists are 2x8. The whole rim joist isn't rotted away, just maybe the bottom 3 inches of it where the deck ledger attaches. The cantilevered portion of the joists is covered underneath by thin plywood. Removing this would give me access to the rim joist and floor joists from below. The floor joists, subfloor, soleplates, and studs don't have any rot; the rim joist seems to have taken all of the water damage.

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  #8  
Old 11-03-14, 03:29 PM
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Based on what you are saying not so much on the pics, chop out the rotted section, of the rim joist & find a way to redirect the water with some flashing, from above. That should do the trick.
 
  #9  
Old 11-03-14, 04:24 PM
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Yeah, I know the pics aren't the best, but that sounds fairly straightforward. The only issue is that the deck and ledger are in the way of the rim joist. I can access the rim joist from below but it would be somewhat of a challenge to actually remove it from below.

Would it be possible to convert the deck to freestanding, then insert blocking from below just behind the rim joist, redirect any water away from this area, and then seal everything back up until I replace the deck in a few years?

I came across this link where a guy had a similar issue, although in my case only the rim joist is rotted. He removed the rotted portions, inserted blocking just behind the rim joist and then replaced the entire rim joist at a later date.

Thanks for the help so far everyone.
 
  #10  
Old 11-03-14, 05:27 PM
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I didn't say to remove the rim joist. You said that only the bottom 3 inches were rotted. Just chop out the 3 inches. Then do something to prevent the water from reaching that section again.
 
  #11  
Old 11-03-14, 05:49 PM
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Sorry about that, I misread your post.

Removing the rotted area should be easy enough.

What should be done to prevent water from reaching that area? Whoever built the deck definitely didn't use an sort of flashing. The ledger and rim joist aren't hit directly by the rain since I have gutters but it does splash and drip between the deck and the house as it hits the decking.
 
  #12  
Old 11-03-14, 06:09 PM
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The flashing belongs between the deck & the house. I remember building a deck as a helper. The owner complained to the carpenter that she didn't like the look of the flashing. He told her that it had to stay there. Your problem shows why it's needed. I don't know if there is a way to slip it in there but that's the basic idea. Can you post a pic of that section?
 
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