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homegirl 06-21-2012 10:54 PM

Door restoration project grows . . .
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So, once upon a time the sprinkler got aimed towards the French door. I noticed because the bottom of the door didn't look so good. After fixing the sprinkler I put off fixing the door for a long time. Recently I had a termite inspector note the damage to the door and the trim board next to it. So Monday, my first day off for the summer, I decided to try to repair the door. The rot was below the bottom glass. After some research I took down the door and replaced the unsavable section and repaired the rest.

Yesterday, the door is about finished and I'm waiting for the primer to dry and decided to repair the trim board adjacent to the door. After removing some rotted wood I see more rotted wood, and then more rotted wood and then more . . . Get the picture? At this point I have cut the bottom few inches off the trim board and the bottom few inches of the side of the door jamb, pulled up the metal threshold and made a visit to the scary crawl space underneath.

The subfloor had a rotted spot that my hand went through, directly under the end of the threshold. The top 2 inches of the rim joist is toast for about 5". The door jamb is rotted at the bottom. OMG, good thing it's only the first day of summer.

I can't quite see how the jack stud looks yet, though I suspect the bottom is rotted. Outside the door is a deck. Between the deck and the house is siding, plywood and a ledger board. The plywood and siding are rotted in the same section. The siding turned into virtual dirt and kept the whole spot nice and moist. Seems the water entered through the hole in the trim board and just stewed in there under the threshold and ran under the metal flashing to the siding and plywood exterior.

The doors lead to the dining room with ceramic tile over backerboard, the part under the tile seems fine, but the exposed strip of subfloor isn't. The floor joists run parallel with the rim joist. Nothing seems to be sagging, no cracks in the drywall. Do I have to take the whole door jamb apart to expose the jack stud? Can the bottom of it be replaced without tearing the whole thing out? I'm open for suggestions. :help:

Next step, try to post a pic, stay tuned.

nealtw 06-21-2012 11:18 PM

Let me guess; the deck out side is level with the floor inside. I suspect this is more than just over spray from a sprinkler. I would pull the door and frame to inspect the jack stud and look for signs of water comming from above.
There is nothing worse than fixing something and finding a bigger problem later. So now that you are into it, you should check everything before you develop a plan of repairs.

homegirl 06-22-2012 11:11 AM

Ok, today the demo will continue with the removal of that side of the frame. Somehow I knew that would come to pass. I can't stop imagining all the work it'll take to put it all back together.

Yes, the deck is level with the floor. Why is that a problem? Is it just that the water sitting on or running down the ledger soaks into the threshold? It hardly ever rains here, I live in Southern California.

Thanks for the advice. :)

nealtw 06-22-2012 04:16 PM

Our code calls for a 6" step down to the deck accept for the main entrance and coverered by the front porch roof.
This wouldn't take a lot of water, if it can't dry out.
We might be able to help you work thru this but it's going to be tricky.
You are going to need some plywood to cover the hole as your doors will be out for a while. You want to pull the doors and frame, take your doors to a local door shop and have them make a new frame for you and give them a sample of the brick mold on the outside but don't let the cut the molding to fit as you will want to make the work with your sideing. Have them cut 1 1/2 inches off the bottom of the doors.
Raising the threshold will allow for prober installation.
If you can get under the floor with a screwdriver and poke at the floor plywood and see
if this extends under the tile and or does it continue along the wall.
You need to poke around in that rim joists and knock off what you can to see how bad that is. Poke around the joist under the deck and see if it has problems too.
You need to have a timber like a 2x10 across the opening so you don't walk on the end of the unsupported floor.

homegirl 06-24-2012 08:20 PM

Ok Neal, I'm thinking about your proposal.

So far, I can tell you that the floor plywood is the subfloor and it is under the whole dining room. I installed the tile when this part of the house was added about 16 years ago. I cut out the affected part of the subfloor, including removing part of it from the back of the backerboard. I think the rimboard has some minimal termite tunnels, the biggest issue with the rim board is that the top is uneven now. I've removed all the soft wood I could find. I cut another piece of 2x6 rimboard to sister to the original. It's length fills the gap between the two blocks that attach to the floor joists so it overlaps by several feet. I had to notch out around the foundation anchor bolts. I also have blocks ready to put in under the new piece of plywood subfloor I cut to put in. I did take out the very bottom of the jack stud and the plywood under it. I pulled out the rotted siding and sheathing from the gap between the ledger and the rim board. I have cut a piece of plywood that will fit into that slot.

I'm waiting for delivery of some Bora Care to treat all the old wood in the area and the new wood I'll be putting in. Thank god I just had the whole house tent fumigated several months back. The damage is really limited to the space under the door jamb that originally rotted, where the sprinkler was hitting. Once there was a rotted section in the trim board, the rainwater had a little self-made gutter to pour into under the threshold at the corner. The rest of the threshold seems to be unaffected. I also have another set of French Doors that open onto the same deck and there is no indication of water damage there. I checked underneath as well.

I've become an expert at repairing portions of rotted wood with a product minwax makes which is a two-stage epoxy wood filler. It's similar to the bondo they use on autobody work. I'm planning to use it to fill in and seal around my plywood patch where the plywood sheathing and siding are now missing. It doesn't show and it's under the door jamb, but I want something that is waterproof and this stuff dries to a hard plastic consistency. That should keep the water from coming into contact with the rimboard again, at least from the side.

I'm trying to get some special premade plastic corner pieces of flashing made here in SoCal for my new door pan. They are made by a company called TLS.

I'm wondering if I really need to shorten the doors. Is the problem that the apron of the flashing may be immersed in water sitting on the deck ledger during and after rain? Will an inch and a half of extra height solve that? If I do it, can't I just cut the doors myself and cut the bottom of the jambs off without making a new frame? Is there any problem with that? Then lay a 1 1/2" thick board under the threshold beforing reinstalling it.

After the boracare gets here I shouldn't have too much problem fixing the floor and the jack stud. Then I have to decide about the length of the door and hopefully by then I'll have the flashing system in hand. The door has been out for a week now, the opening is in the back yard and a sheet does the trick, the weather is fine, it won't rain until October or November and security isn't an issue.

That's all for now . . .

nealtw 06-24-2012 09:18 PM

Most water damage on door frames is water from above, your best bet is to allow water to get out. If you leave it level with floor and the deck, you may be able to seal it up and stop what ever caused this, but it is always good to plan for the next desaster.
When we have done this repair to the floor we had room to attach a 2x4 along the top a peice of joist and set it in the hole and wedged it out so the 2x4 supported the floor.
If you think you can selvage the frame great, for a contractor the labour would be more than new.

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