Home Improvement Questions? Ask a Handyman for Answers ASAP
Hello. I have some moisture, mold and deteriorated wood in the crawlspace under my house. The floor beams in the attached pictures are either 2 X 8 or 2 x 10 long beams that face the outer walls and the floors appear to be particle wood. In one of the pictures which you cannot see, there is a glass sliding door above the damaged areas that seems to make the door swell during rainfall and is difficult to slide. Can you please suggest some do it yourself repair options? Thanks.
My name's Kel.
This looks like a newer home.
Do you have a warranty either in the purchase agreement or in state law that would require the builder to do the repair?
Have you spoken with your insurance agent to see if any of the damage is covered by your homeowner's policy?
No good news.
given the severity of the problem you'll have to remove the door.
I'm guessing given the damage there framing pan placed over the framing before the door was installed.
These can purchased as a piece for a particular door or a pliable membrane like Ice and Water can be put down.
Also guessing the flooring -- either a deck or concrete walkway are back pitched and letting rain flow back toward the house.
Inadequate caulk might have been used before the door was set.
Is there a drip edge over the door? Not one of those minimal built-in types, bu an actual drip edge. Even if there's a drip edge it may have been installed incorrectly. It may be letting A LOT of water leak in at the ends. If there's not adequate clearance between the siding the drip edge water can be drawn up into the wall.
Need at least 3/8" clearance.
Inspect the caulking along the sides of the door. There may be slight gaps that need to be filled. This is especially possible if the exterior's finished with stucco.
Have you gotten down on your hands and knees during a heavy rain to see if any water is getting by the glass seals and leaking into the underlying space?
Is there a gutter above the door that may be letting water into the eave? Any signs of water running through eave and into the house?
Any signs of leakage above the door on the inside -- especially brownish stains on the surface of the drywall?
If you're looking for a temporary repair -- caulk the ends of the drip edge that goes across the top. The ends where the siding wraps around the drip edge.
Caulk the sides of the door.
Run a bead of caulk along the bottom between door threshold and decking.
BTW. There's rarely a smoking gun in these situations. In other words a large obvious hole that's admitting water. It's usually a whole bunch of smaller breaks, fissures and caulking failures that cause the problem.
Does this make sense?
Have I answered your question?
The house was built in 1995. We are the second owners so I am not sure if a home warranty is available to us but that would be great if possible. Is it possible to either sandpaper the damaged areas or replace a 16" section of 2 X 10 beams without causing problems if this is a "Load Bearing" area?
The infestation is so deep a topical approach like sandpaper won't solve the problem. The rotted material needs to be replaced. Keep in mind if the damaged portions are disturbed they will release spores that can attack other wooden elements that aren't treated. The work area needs to be isolated from the rest of the house.
The pictures your provided are quite helpful.
Can you send a shot the sliding door above the problem area?
I attached several pictures of the sliding door and also a shot of the area above the door where you will notice does not have any gutters and a no significant covering to offset the rain away from the sliding door and siding.
Thank you for the additional pictures.
The damp spot indicates the landing isn't properly pitched for drainage.
Remove all the built up layers of caulking.
Clean the surfaces with mineral spirits.
Recaulk with a product like Lexel.
It's clear and has excellent adhesion to dissimilar materials. And sticks to wet surfaces.
After you apply the caulk tool the bead slightly. I get the best results dipping my finger in spirits and using it to tool the joint. This makes a good seal.
Do all along the doors and steps.
There's not adequate flashing along the top of the door.
Remove any caulk as well as you can without damaging surfaces. Recaulk with Lexel.
This kind of siding install is quite prone to leakage. CAREFULLY recaulk along sides of door.
If the seal on the bottom of the door is worn it may need to be replaced.
watch during a heavy rain or have someone spray with hose while you observe.
Does this help?
Be aware. This's a bandaid. The rotting wood will continue to rot albeit at a slower rate if the moisture's removed. If your careful sealing doesn't work it's time to have a carpenter take it all apart, replace rotted elements and reinstall the door.