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Old 11-30-2013, 05:13 PM   #1
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Replacing Exterior Wall from the Inside...


The tile wall around our second story bathtub was starting to give way. I am led to believe that this is original construction (1973) and has never been renovated. Before the problem got any worse, and mold developed, etc., I figured it was best to put in a tub surround.

I'm not much of a handyman but this is one project I *have* done before (with help) at our previous house, so I had some idea what I was getting into. My wife gave me permission to start the demolition, and then if things got out of hand, to call in a professional. The bulk of the demo took about 2 hours, and I uncovered some issues which may require professional help, but are not related to the reason for this post.

The "foot" end of the tub is against an exterior wall; this naturally was the only wall with insulation. The studs were somewhat dark and I decided to replace the insulation (which didn't look so great, either) and then figure out how to treat the studs. Upon removing insulation, the Tyvek (or similar) wall behind it was entirely rotten -- damp to the touch, and it gave way rather easily. Beyond this wall is only the siding.

I removed the damaged exterior wall (an area approx. 32" wide and 60" high, with a vertical stud in the middle), so now only the siding remains in that area. I later thought that perhaps I should have left it there to be part of whatever solution was concocted, but it was in *VERY* bad shape and I have a hard time believing it could have served any further value.

It is possible / practical / recommended to replace the wall without accessing it from the outside? If so, what material should I use? Or is this where I call 911 and say to the contractor, "just don't hurt me"?

These are 2x4 walls, I found no other such damage elsewhere, including higher up on the same wall, or on the floor below, so I'm fairly certain that the moisture accumulated from the tub and not from the outside.

The good news is that we have two other showers in the house, so we can all stay moderately clean while the tub is out of commission. The bad news is it's nearly December in Pennsylvania and I'm missing part of my wall. Help, please!

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Old 11-30-2013, 05:30 PM   #2
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Replacing Exterior Wall from the Inside...


Not a chance of fixing this from the inside.
Siding has to go, house wrap and OSB also need to go.
While it's out replace any rotted studs.

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Old 11-30-2013, 09:45 PM   #3
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Replacing Exterior Wall from the Inside...


Tyvek is a brand of house wrap (water resistive barrier) that came about later than your house build, was it inside on the studs? Describe the siding/wall make-up, please....

Gary
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:59 AM   #4
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Replacing Exterior Wall from the Inside...


Gary -- I'm not sure it was Tyvek; it was pretty poor quality to begin with and the piece I removed was so deteriorated I couldn't read the brand name. I was just using the brand name to refer to the fact that it was some type of exterior sheathing.

That being said, the aluminum siding is in fairly good shape, so it may have been added since 1973, and it's possible they replaced some or all of the sheathing at that time.

In any case, beginning outside, you had the siding, then the wrap *mounted on the 2x4 studs* (to answer your question), R-11 insulation, and then backing board, plaster, and the tiles facing interior.

I noted this morning that some condensation had formed on the inside of the siding. I'm assuming this is normal when they are exposed to a warmer interior when it's about 35 degrees outside overnight.

Hope this helps. Thank you!
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Old 12-01-2013, 03:14 PM   #5
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Replacing Exterior Wall from the Inside...


What I've often see on older aluminum sided homes is what looks like aluminum foil with paper backing.
With aluminum siding the just became a whole lot harder to do.
There is no just popping off a few piece like with vinyl siding.
You have to start at the top and remove all of it. Near impossible to remove that first piece with destroying it.
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:30 AM   #6
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Replacing Exterior Wall from the Inside...


Joe -- You accurately described what I found. Obviously this will be a big job. I've improvised for the time being but I have a feeling we're in for a major exterior overhaul in the spring.

My question is -- what would account for the water saturation? Is it fair to assume the shower / tub / bathroom is to blame? Or can it be an exterior problem, or another problem?

In my repair work, I started to remove part of the wall (just to the studs) behind the adjacent toilet and discovered similar moisture patterns there. This is also against an exterior wall, so I'm thinking the problem extends at least that far. Next to the toilet is an interior wall, but on the other side of that is the master bath (en suite), where I've not noticed any damage but, again, has a similar 40-ish year old tile wall.

Thanks again for your feedback!
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:29 AM   #7
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Replacing Exterior Wall from the Inside...


What was the tile laid over?
Was there what looked like concrete or just plaster?

Years ago there was no tile board, no waterproofing before tile was installed, people did not know that grout is not waterproof so it never got sealed or never reapplied it again if it did get sealed.
Someone may have used grout at the tub to wall joint instead of silicone caulking, or the joint failed

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