Leaky and rotten siding

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pbellamy

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I am have vertical wood siding on my house (which is on a hill).
I have a room with damp damage immediately below my kitchen. Externally It’s block paving to wooden vertical siding. Siding looks rotten.

thoughts on a repair. Do I need to replace the siding Repair the wood and just re-cork with an exterior strength filler?

I!d welcome input
 

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joecaption

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It's rotting because it far to close to grade!
It should have been a min. of 6" above grade.
There's is no way to just putty and paint this one!
You need to at least mark and chalk line it, 6" from the bottom, then cut and remove all of it.
Once removed your very likely to find more rot behind it that will also need attention.
Once all that's repaired, you can prime and paint the cut, add Z molding, and replace the old wood with PVC lumber to prevent future rotting.
 

pbellamy

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Thanks. I’m discovering lots of superficial/cosmetic repairs done to the house by the previous owners… this might keep me busy for a few days…

Thinking I may have to lift the paving blocks and drop the entire grade. I’ll have to check where the house foundation is height wise… test hole tomorrow!!!
 

pbellamy

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OK Folks…

I started to dig a test hole and I’m very confused by what I see. It looks like the block patio was built to the wood siding above grade. Hence the rot an water ingress below.

i’m confused by what looks like a concrete beam latex in front of the wood below grade. Shouldn’t I see the foundation concrete? It seems like the siding is below grade by a lot…

Previous poster suggested cutting the wood siding back above current grade but there is wood behind it not concrete… thoughts?appreciated
Previous pos
 

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pbellamy

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Ok Day 3 and I’m digging…

take a look at the images. The previous owner put a patio way above the foundation level and left the original siding below grade to rot.

there is a concrete beam against the house.
Thoughts guys? Do I remove this as I lower the entire grade and start new siding at the original level. The concrete beam has to go for me to get to the nailing behind it!!!
 

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Steve123

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You got a mess there.
So the house is built with a slab foundation?
Top of the slab should be 8" above exterior finished grade. What height is the top of the slab ? Is it just your siding that is undergound, or your framing too ?
You got that all the way around the house, or just in one area ?
Slab Foundation.jpg
 

pbellamy

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Yeah framing is below grade. I’m about to remove siding to check (but the concrete beam is in the way!).
House is built into a hill. This is the highest elevation so particularly at risk of water running to it from higher up the hill.
Yes it’s a slab but this will be a concrete wall with wood framing.
2 options. I regrade to the appropriate level or I rip out the front of the house (1 story atimage.jpgat this level) and raise the base to accommodate the levels…

I think option 1 is the only real solution..
 

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bud16415

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You need to remove at least one section of the T1-11 siding and if not the full sheet then the bottom up above the rotted wood. I would pick a sheet with out a window and take it off to see what you are dealing with below.

My guess is there is block or concrete behind it for a ways up the wall and just the siding was buried. At least lets hope that is the case.
 

pbellamy

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I think you may have a more optimistic outlook than I!

:) yea tomorrow I’m going to remove some siding and check behind…
 

pbellamy

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OK busy day…

I took off a large section of siding and a 4 x 8 ply board.

I also decided to lose the concrete beam as it was bugging me and it came out with a fair amount of levering and did no damage to the base concrete.

so here I am… thoughts

wooden beam has some ant damage… I guess I could repair with wood resin.

I’m thinking the wood behind the ply is not terrible… but here’s my question…

could I replace the base beam with concrete blocks to effectively allow me to re lay my patio at it current height or do I still have to buy the bullet and drop the whole thing down 12-18 inches?

Thoughts much appreciated folks2E39E7FB-6217-4FED-BC8E-9FDE1F9E806F.jpeg
 

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Steve123

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...could I replace the base beam with concrete blocks.....
You mean the 2 x 12 ? Isn't that your rim board, and don't you have floor joists nailed to it on the other side of the 2 x 12 ? Or do the floor joists run parallel to it ?
 

pbellamy

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Great questions… I’m assuming it’s a non starter… I’m just dreading digging out the patio to the right grade…
 

tomtheelder2020

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I'm wondering what the purpose might have been for the concrete beam you removed. Someone put time and money into building it so (even though that might have been a blithering idiot) THEY thought it did something important. You want to be sure that whatever it was is OK. My best guess is that a first idiot poured it so they could raise grade to a few inches below the top of the beam, then another idiot raised the grade further and buried the beam.

Rule of thumb (and code) say grade should be 6 inches below top of the exterior footings, then slope away at a 2% grade. If I remember right, that 2% grade is supposed to be at least 6 feet wide, where a drainage swale running parallel to the exterior wall can be placed. Lots of people have violated those requirements to gain usable space, sometimes intelligently and successfully but more often like the previous owner(s).
 

Steve123

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Yes, it would be interesting to understand the reasoning for putting in that concrete. But that person also decided it would be a good idea to cover the the framing with a foot and a half of dirt.
 

bud16415

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If it were mine I would likely rebuild it with a well like a long window well along the whole side with gravel and drainage laid in the gravel and not change the grading at this point. It could be similar to the beam you took out only wider and higher and away from the wall about a foot. If you are worried about someone falling in it a grate could be fabricated to cover the top to within an inch of the house.



Another method would be to rebuild it with a water proof membrane bonded to the wall and extending above grade. I’m not exactly sure what that would be without doing some looking.

I think you are lucky as it looks like you caught it soon enough that there wasn’t major damage in the framing.

On edit: Actually both of my above suggestions could be done together for a best result IMO.
 

BvilleBound

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I definitely agree with posts above that recommend reducing the grade along the side of your house. This is a must-do, or your new repairs will suffer the same fate. Also examine other areas around your house -- the previous owner may have added soil there too. If there is any water in the area, e.g. gutters that drain from the roof or runoff, adding a 'french drain' along the bottom edge of the wall connected to a dry well would also be a very good idea. Finally, it looks like the beam at the bottom that rests on the concrete slab (the sill plate) may have been damaged by termites. They can quickly riddle wood framing -- so you should check thoroughly for damage, with a sharp tool like an icepick. It is likely that the sill plate will need to be replaced; "filler" cannot repair this type of structural damage. The wall will obviously have to be supported while the sill plate is replaced; there are guides online describing this process, e.g. from Fine Homebuilding.
 

Sparky617

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Having non-pressure treated wood below grade is an invitation for termites to begin eating your house. I'd drop the grade of the patio down below the wood framing. Alternatively, jacking up the house, which can be done, but it isn't cheap.
 

pbellamy

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So here’s the plan…

im super pleased I took out the concrete beam. I could not have removed the rotten siding and plywood with it in place.

there was a carpenter ant infestation which I’ve dealt with but obviously need to assess damage to the beam. It think I got it in time…

I’m going to replace the siding with stained cedar… I think it will pop against the blue vertical siding…

I’m going to drop the entire patio down to below grade… I’ve thought it through and I just don’t want to bodge this… I feel it’s just going to be worth the work to breathe easy afterwards… I literally just finished patios and decks at the rear and sides of this property and was hoping to take a break outside while I focused on some inside projects.

Lots of French drains and water down spout going to go in I’ll keep some updates going as this was such a mess I’m sure the surprises are not yet done coming!’n

It’s a lot of work but at least the corner of my house hasn’t slid down the hill!!!
More updates to come…

thanks guys!!!
 

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Sparky617

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I'd look at using Hardi-panel T1-11 instead of wood when you replace the T1-11. It is much, much easier to paint and won't rot. You still don't want it below grade though.

Sounds like a good plan to lower the grade around the house. I'd get the wood treated for termites before closing it back up.
 

tomtheelder2020

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So here’s the plan…

...Lots of French drains and water down spout going to go in I’ll keep some updates going as this was such a mess I’m sure the surprises are not yet done coming! ...
The typical french drain can put more water into the ground than is diverted from the area. Water has to pool in the gravel up to the flow line before the pipe even starts removing water. If you use them, make sure the base of the trench and the pipe have a 2% grade. Downspouts should discharge into solid pipe, or onto grade sloping at least 2% away from the structure. Perforated pipe is an invitation for roots to grow into and clog the pipe. - install cleanouts if you use them. If you drop grade through the entire area and slope it away from the house french drains should not be needed. If you use an impermeable surface (concrete, plastic sheeting under pavers, etc.) you can use a flatter grade - as long as it slopes enough to drain.
 
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