Exterior water damage, need advice

Old 02-06-07, 12:02 PM
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Question Exterior water damage, need advice

My wife and I have been in our current home (it was built in 1993) for about 2 years now. The other day, while cleaning out some of the gutters, I noticed some water damage on the side of our garage, on the eave where the rain gutter connects to the side of the house. It looks like a squirrel (or maybe a bird) has chewed up some of the trim/molding above the eave. I'm not sure if this is the source of the water damage below it or not... In any case, I need to get the water damaged boards repaired before the rainy season (I live in Raleigh, NC). I'd like to try and do it myself, since a repairman will probably charge a lot. I'm good with tools and DIY projects, so I don't doubt that I can do it - it's just that I've never attempted anything like this before, so I'm not sure where to begin...

Here are some pics I took of the damage (you may need to copy/paste the URLs into your browser):





As you can see in the pictures, one of the boards below where the gutter attaches to the house has rotted and begun to sag. In some of the pics, you can see where I poked a finger right through the board because it was so soft/brittle.

If I were to attempt to fix this myself, what exactly would I need to do? I'm assuming that I could just use a pry-bar and/or a saw to remove the old boards and replace them with new ones. Is this correct? Can anyone recommend a better way of going about it? Is there any particular type of wood that I need to use to replace the rotten pieces with (treated, etc.)? What about the joints where the replacement boards join the existing ones? Will those be sealed adequately with a new coat of paint, or will I need to apply some caulk as well? Am I forgetting anything?

Thanks for any and all help!
Old 02-06-07, 01:50 PM
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In the first and second photos, the damaged board appears to be plywood. Be sure to use exterior grade plywood for this repair. You need to get the water infiltration stopped before making the repair. I suspect the water is going behind the gutter and facia board. The gutter may not be pitched correctly to allow adequate drainage.

In the third photo, the rake board which has the split should be replaced. Be careful with this as it may be lending structural strength to the rake. The denial block should be easy to remove, make a copy, and install the copy.

In the fourth photo, the hole appears to be into plywood. Cut through the caulking around the two flat trim boards, remove them, and remove the damaged plywood. Replace the plywood and trim boards and caulk all edges.

Do not depend on paint to fill cracks and voids. These must be caulked. Caulk where new wood meets old wood. Do not forget the paint.

Another solution to all of this is to do the structural repairs and have the outer surfaces covered with trim coil and replace soffits with vinyl or aluminum soffit.

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