Moisture Damage Repair

This house was suffering from some severe moisture damage. Three doors, a window and a decorative fan were addressed in this project. Though replacing them would have been a viable option, the owner insisted I repair them instead.

In the order of the slide show:

  • Plywood behind the decorative fan was replaced and the fan re-installed with caulking.
  • I replaced the wooden sill of the garage door threshold and glued it back together. I re-installed it with caulk and added a 2×6 to support the outer lip by bolting it to the concrete. I also screwed the door to the rough opening to secure it better.
  • The legs of the door frame were fairly rotted but the owner wanted me to leave them as is.
  • An octagon window in the bathroom showed signs of rot but the worst part was the exterior trim so I replaced it with plastic trim, caulked it in and added a drip cap to preserve the adjacent siding. Caulk was applied to help preserve the window.
  • The slider door panel was a challenge. After scraping out the loose rot of the bottom section I was left with a 1/4 inch panel of inside wood and a few variable thickness pieces on either end. I threw away the rotted bottom skid piece and cut a new one that would support the bottom edge. I aligned the exterior metal panel and drilled 3 holes all the way through. After installing 3 decorative bolts through the wood and the metal panel, I filled the gap between them with foam sealant and quickly attached the new bottom skid piece to contain the foam as it expanded. The bolts contained expansion of the thickness.
  • The threshold of this same sider (and a second one) needed to be rebuilt but the house walls were made of foam stress skin panels. The outside plywood skin below the threshold had rotted away along with the 2×4 forming the bottom of the rough opening. Luckily there was some framing on the inside above the drop ceiling of the basement to attach to but it meant reaching through the foam panels with 9 inch screws. With this sandwiching effect and some support from the foam itself with shims, I was able to lift up the fallen threshold to reasonably straight. Now the door would slide with a reasonable amount of force. The second slider threshold required the same treatment though that slider itself was not rotted. I used clear caulk to seal the doors and sealed the threshold itself to prevent a repeat of the moisture damage. The falling threshold problem was due to the threshold design being multiple pieces with seams exposed to the weather. This allowed moisture to seep through them and rot the wooden structure below.

Only time will tell how successful these repairs will be. The fan is not covered by a roof overhang and all three doors see splash back with every rain or snow melt. It was an interesting project and I look forward to hearing back from the owner how the repairs are holding up.

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