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Old 11-03-2011, 04:02 AM   #1
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Need help on exterior wall repair


How's everyone doing? Good I hope. I need to do some wall repair asap before the weather here in northern Canada will not permit. I need some help on how to go about repairing rotted out bottom plate on an exterior wall. The area is in the lower corner of the house. It's about 8ft wide and about 2ft high from the foundation. The OSB behind the parging was rotted only on the bottom. I figured out how to fix that already. The studs are ok except for maybe a few inches from the bottom. What I need help with is the bottom plate which is 2x4 on top sandwiched with either 2 more 2x4s or a 2x4 and 2x6 on the bottom. So theres 3 pieces, it seems, attached for the bottom plate. ( see pics ). The thing I noticed is that the very bottom of the plate seems to extend further in the wall so it must be wider than a 2X4 or even a 2x6. I can't really tell how much further it goes in. The wood is rotted all the way in. I hope it's not part of the flooring material extending all the way out. Can I just take out the 2x4 plate, clear enough room on the bottom rotted plates and just replace them with 3 2x4s sandwiched to make the bottom plate? Also would I need to anchor it to the foundation or can I just PL400 the bottom plates to the foundation? There are nails protruding out of the foundation used to attach the plates but it seems the nails were put into the foundation so that the plate could be hammered on top of them to secure them to the foundation. Another dilemma is that there's a concrete block put in place near the corner so it's gonna be hard to redo the parging. Luckily the area i need to repair runs past the block about 6 inches so maybe i can squeeze a nail gun in between to fasten plywood that i will be installing in the area I cut the rotted OSB. (pic will explain better ). My main concern still is the bottom plate. Any help will be greatly appreciated as I need to get this fixed fast because the weather is getting cold fast. Thanks again.
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Last edited by Spydey; 11-03-2011 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:13 AM   #2
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Here's two more pics.

The studs, don't seem that bad. Only slightly rotted on the bottom. The second pic is where the rot is most evident. The bottom plate extends further inside so it's wider than a 2x4. I'm not sure how far it's rotted in. Crumbles pretty bad where you can see. I forgot to mention that the part I have to repair is towards the right of the concrete block about 6 ft. Can provide more pics if need be.
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Last edited by Spydey; 11-03-2011 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:21 AM   #3
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Need help on exterior wall repair


When you replace the sill plates, you will have to install the anchor bolts, usually every 3' I believe, as well at corners and where plates end. Use PT plates or a sill gasket as well. Make sure to stagger the plate joints. Those studs are rotten too, you can cut out the rotten sectons, sister a new stud on and replace the rotted section.

You may want to do the repairs from the inside, if there is any rot behind the concrete. Also if the wall is loadbearing then you should shore appropriately before removing plates, or you will have a hell of a time getting your new ones in, among other worries.

Try and address why it is rotten to begin with, it may be worth flashing the area, or otherwise water proofing.

For the size of the plates, you should expose everything and see how it is framed, replace the plate with the proper size needed. From the pics it looks like the plates are the same size, to me.

Last edited by chrisBC; 11-04-2011 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:06 AM   #4
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Hi Chris, thanks for the info and reply.

Regarding the studs, I can only sister about 2ft up. I can't go all the way b/c the wall isn't opened up. I don't want to open the wall all the way up to the rafters just before the roof. The rotted area is only about 2 ft up. Above that, I can see that the studs and OSB are fine. ( check pics below to see what I mean)

I don't want to rip apart walls inside at the moment as I plan to do more renos in the near future. I just need to repair this area as I only have about a week or so before it gets too cold to put on parging. I feel like kicking myself for waiting till the last minute to make repairs. I believe the wall is a load bearing one as its an exterior wall but it seems the area needing repairs isn't holding that much weight b/c it's only about 8ft wide. Beyond that is the concrete foundation that runs up higher with I'm sure another wall that's helping with the load. (see pics below) I'm not sure I can shore the wall even if I wanted to as only the bottom 2 ft is exposed and only that amount of area needs to be repaired. The plates in that area are rotted pretty bad as you can see but I don't see any sagging. I plan on quickly cutting out that area and replacing the plates. Is anchoring the plates in that small of area really necessary? If so, what size bolt do I need and will a regular hammer drill do or do I need a rotary to get through the concrete? You can see from one of the pics above that there's nails sticking out from the concrete. I think those were used to anchor the plates.

I know why that area is rotted out, it's b/c my girlfriend's mom used to plant bushes and flowers there and she would spray water very liberally. I didn't notice it was that bad till the snow melt from last season. The carpet in one of the basement rooms directly below that area was drenched from the melting snow. I did some investigating to see where the water came from and sure enough when I checked the wall outside in that area by feeling the wall, the parging just started crumbling away. I started to remove the parging and saw how bad the wood was rotten. Thats when I knew I found the culprit. We had an exceptionally large amount of snow last season which made it even worse.

As for the size, I think you are right. It probably is the same size, but I can see more wood extending inwards. Maybe it's part of the subflooring inside the house extending out? I think I will be ok to just replace the plates with PT 2x4s. I already bought several 8 ft ones at HD. What do you think?
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:25 AM   #5
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Need help on exterior wall repair


well personally-with that many studs rotted at the bottoms- I would sister studs on more than 2' up. The anchor bolts are easy to get, they come in boxes. You will need a hammer drill and I believe a 5/8's bit. Since you will have to redo the exterior anyways, remove the stucco and osb up from the rotted area, and replace the studs, full length, then resheet. Either that or remove the drywall inside. It may be more work but a half ass repair is what it is.

I would not do that without shoring the joists above, if that's the way they run. You will have a hell of a time getting your new plates in, and probably damage the hell out of the drywall trying to bash them in, as the wall would probably drop slightly. For the five minutes it will take why not. Just take precaution not to damage the ceiling.

If you don't have time now to do properly I would cover it up until you have time.

Last edited by chrisBC; 11-04-2011 at 02:28 AM.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:50 AM   #6
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I'm thinking of cutting out the rotted bottom part of the studs and fitting plates up to the good part so I don't have to rip the wall like 10ft or more upwards. So I should shore it from the inside then? The walls are covered with some tile and drywall inside. How would I shore it? Thanks for your input so far.
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:09 AM   #7
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your welcome

Well, all I can say is that whenever i've done this on the job-with 8' worth of studs with rot at the bottom, we've never just scabbed pieces on the bottom. So personally, this is what I would do, as this is the structure of your house. I would remove the stucco up to the top plate and replace the studs, or sister ones on, cutting out the rotten area at the bottom and filling with new. If it was only 1 stud I wouldnt' go to this trouble, however if there are several that are damaged then that is what I would do. The stucco will need to be fixed anyways, so it will go from a 2x8 patch to a 8x8 patch. You will need 2 sheets of plywood instead of one.

With the shoring-which I would do it the joists are running perpendicular to the wall you are working on-I would just nail a couple 2x4's together, put then on edge against the ceiling (you may want to protect the ceiling at this point) and support with doubled 2x4's, 2x6's would be better if you have any around. Keep in mind what is under the floor-joists, concrete. Make sure it's supported properly, throw up some cross braces if it seems flimsy. I can't say for sure what needs to be done without seeing it first hand, however.

That is how I would do it anyways.

Last edited by chrisBC; 11-04-2011 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:38 AM   #8
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Seems you're the only person on this forum helping. Lol, much appreciated!
I just checked which way the joists run, they run parallel to the wall so I'm guessing the load isn't that bad where I have to make repairs. There's really only 2 of the studs that are rotted, the other 2 in the pic is just blackened but is actually solid. The ones that are rotted are only rotted less than half the width of the stud. More than half is still solid on the bottom. It's the plates that I must really tend to. I know what you mean about doing it proper. I don't like doing things half-ass too but in this case it doesn't seem all that bad to have to tear so much of the wall apart. I'm lucky that when the melting snow seeped through into the basement it didn't cause a fire b/c the main electrical panel is against a wall on that same side.
Anyways I really appreciate the input. Thanks a bunch!!!
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:41 AM   #9
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no worries, good luck with your project
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:20 AM   #10
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Hey Chris, I might not have time to do a scratch coat for winter on the exposed area. What can I use to cover up the area for winter and prevent water getting in? I plan on sheathing it and having double layer of felt for cover. Would that be enough?
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:30 PM   #11
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Yeah I think that should work fine, sheet it and put some building wrap/tar paper over it, just make sure theres no room for water to get in at the top. A tarp could always be an extra layer of protection if needed.
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:59 PM   #12
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The winters get down to minus 20s to sometimes 30s out here in Edmonton, AB. I might have to use a tarp also just for the added protection. What's the best way to fasten a tarp to an area like that? Thanks again for your help!
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:45 PM   #13
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what i've done in the past is put the tarp up as high as you can and still get coverage-right under the soffit preferably. I'd fasten it using lengths of 1x2 or 1x4 material tacked along the top edge horizontally, down the corners as well.

yeah out here in bc we get a lot of rain and more rain, doesn't get that cold here though.
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:21 AM   #14
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Ok, nice to get input from a pro. I'm actually from Vancouver, BC, born and raised. I know what you mean about the rain. The house I'm fixing is my girlfriend's. I don't really have to worry about wetness over winter here cause everything will be frozen. I will post some pics on the repair to show the comparison.Anyways, I really appreciate the info you have provided.

Best Regard,

Rob W
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:58 AM   #15
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No worries Rob, glad to help. Hope things go well for you

Chris

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