Rotting frame, water damage!

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20190901_150043.jpg 20190901_150154.jpg 20190901_150103.jpg Hi all,

I am in the process of redoing the floors of a house I just purchased. In doing so, I notice (1) there are a TON of ants; and multiple nests in the house. And (2) there is rotting wood and water damage in some of the base of the frame; which is undoubtedly leading the ants to nest there.

Now I have two problems:
1. What is the best way to replace the damaged wood from the frame and
2. How do I seal the outside of the house so water no longer gets in?

The wood is flush on the concrete subfloor; 2x4s all around the base of the frame. There is water damage in a couple specific locations; see images.

You can see the 1" gap between the drywall and the floor; there is a 2x4 that is rotted. The picture outside is where the water is likely coming from.

Any suggestions, what are the best ways to (1) replace the rotted wood that is behind the drywall and (2) how to ensure water doesnt keep leaking into the subfloor from outside?

Thanks
 
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Snoonyb

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Welcome.
1st, ants are termites greatest natural predator, so their presents should be investigated in those areas.

The tile are obstructing the water from draining away, were it I, I would cut and remove the tile 1" away from the wall, which will also allow the weep screed to work correctly.
 
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Thanks. I was guessing the tiles probably had something to do with it; it makes sense now that the tiles are raising the water level during rain and it would seep in the house.
Is there anything else needed to do to seal the outside to make it more waterproof?
Thanks
 

nealtw

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I would remove the bottom 2 ft of drywall so you can inspect the inside of the sheeting behind the stucco and have the insects dealt with and the look at what needs to be done with the bottom plate of the wall.
The problem started with the patio to close to the same elevation as the floor.

This is what you might find in a house built today.
 

Snoonyb

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When the tile is cut & removed that should take care of the intrusion.

Stucco is by design, water resistant.

You can test for damage to the bottom plate by inserting an ice pick, which is also one of the methods used by fum-i-pest inspectors.
 
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Thanks all for the responses. How much of a height difference should there be between the lower lip of the stucco and the ground?

@nealtw Yes...I was afraid I would have to take down the drywall but I dont see any other option. I guess I need to in order to take care of the ants that are nested in there too...it appears they are nested in the walls.
 
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Snoonyb

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When the dwelling was constructed, the structure was 6" above natural grade, by code.

It's a good Idea to maintain enough clearance to allow for drainage.
 
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So is that 6" between the lip of the weep screed and the ground? I can see that on the other sides of the house, there is 6+" between the bottom of the weep screed and the ground.

The previous owner must have added dirt/concrete to bring the backyard to the level of the house. House is not too old, 1991 so it should have complied with all modern building codes when it was built.
 
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So it looks like I have rotting wood on two sides of my bottom floor (both places I found ants nesting). See below image; the wood has certainly been damaged.
2019-09-02 (5).jpg

On one side, this makes sense since the tile is too close to the stucco. But on the other side of the house, there is plenty of clearance between teh weep screed and the ground:
2019-09-02 (1).jpg
2019-09-02.jpg

What could be causing the wood to be retaining so much water?? Could it be a leaky pipe (the house's main water supply is running through the wall here...)? But, even areas that are not close to the pipe show signs of water damage.

Any other ideas what could have caused it?

Thanks all for the advice.
 
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Alright, sorry for posting back to back...but I may have found the problem here. Looking for confirmation.
On the side of the house that has water damage, it looks like there is stucco covering the bottom of the weep screed:
2019-09-02 (6).jpg

On the other side of the house with no water damage, the stucco is only partly covering the weep screed.

Does this seem like it would cause water damage to the wood frame?

Thanks again
 

Snoonyb

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The, what appear as patterned chisel marks in the sole plate are from the pressure treating machine.

In tract homes stucco is often placed with a compressor driven applicator, with little or no hand troweling, and this can be the result, and unless the screed is full, it can be easily chipped away and the bottom cleaned.

Those mission sandstone pavers were likely placed over a mortar bed which accounts for the finished elevation.

What was likely done, was that some jack-leg laborers were hired without any real regard for the consequences of their actions, other than the finished appearance.
 
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Thanks for the info. So; could this cause water backup if the stucco isnt cleaned off the bottom of the screed? Thanks

Im learning just how cheap the previous owner of this place was.
 
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Snoonyb

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The short answer is yes.

The previous owner had little or nothing to do with the stucco. That was entirely the fault of the builder.

Here are a couple of videos that explain the stucco process, no the way I learned and practiced, but close;


 

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