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Old 09-07-2013, 05:01 PM   #1
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Rotted Baseboard


This is a section of the baseboard that is partly rotted. If I touch it feels a bit spongy.

The entire baseboard is long and the far end goes inside a tight area hard to reach.

It is obvious water has penetrated from the outside wall, through the door jamb and leaked into the back of the baseboard. Not sure what I will find once I opens that up.





I would like to get some advice on how best to address this.

Let me detail my current plan and please let me know if you see any issue or if you have any better idea.

1. Use a screw driver or utility knife to poke at the baseboard until it is solid dry wood. I would make a straight vertical cut there. I plan to use a Dremel Multimax with a wood blade to make a clean cut.

2. Pry out the rotted section and examine what's behind the baseboard. I am afraid I might see badly rotted furring wood strips that cannot be used to nail the new baseboard section onto.

3. Obviously I need to resolve the water penetration by doing some waterproofing on the outside.

4. I am not sure if I will be able to find a perfectly matching baseboard profile. If I don't, do I have to go to a custom baseboard maker to have it made? Anyone recognize this is this a generic Home Depot baseboard?

5. If I can get a section made, what is the best way to joint the new piece in? The seam will always be visible, yes? Or will it be OK if I leave a small gap, after securing the new section, fill with wood filler, sand smooth and paint it should look good?

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Old 09-07-2013, 05:28 PM   #2
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Rotted Baseboard


You're not going to know what you have without digging into it. I'd pop off that piece of base and the door trim for starters. I wouldn't cut it unless I had to.

A couple of pictures (standing back) from the outside would help.

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Old 09-07-2013, 05:34 PM   #3
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Rotted Baseboard


That looks like a pretty standard MDF baseboard. MDF of course doesn't like moisture.

Ron's right. Pop off the whole thing, don't cut it.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:19 PM   #4
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I am not sure I can pop off the whole thing.

The damaged section is so soft and spongy if I pull it off I am sure some material will stay and will just disintegrate. What is the benefit of popping the whole section off versus cutting the bad section only?
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:36 PM   #5
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I am not sure I can pop off the whole thing.

The damaged section is so soft and spongy if I pull it off I am sure some material will stay and will just disintegrate. What is the benefit of popping the whole section off versus cutting the bad section only?
So you can just replace that piece of base. I's not like you can go out and buy a 2' piece. Why have a joint if you don't need one? Of course the rotted stuff will likely fall apart.

Why can't you pull it off, what's in the way? This is why close up pictures rarely help with the scope of what needs to be done.

You can't make the repairs without getting things out of the way. You may have to remove siding and pull the door to solve this.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:42 PM   #6
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Rotted Baseboard


I would think the typical repair would be to remove that section entirely and replace it with new. No issues with mismatched base or having one custom made to match it.

I would also make sure you solve the water problem or you will be doing this yet again.

as mentioned already more pics would help.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:02 PM   #7
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Rotted Baseboard


I think you are going to find much of the structure behind that wall is rotted. Once you have it open and address the water intrusion issue then you can determine the repair.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:03 PM   #8
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The entire piece the far end of it goes into and behind the kitchen cabinets.

Normally you don't need baseboards behind kitchen cabinets since its not visible but these cabinets are the modern kind that rests on round stainless steel legs. These legs are in the way of pulling the baseboard off entirely, and in the way of putting new pieces in. I don't want to pull the cabinets out. What I can do is to find the most convenient spot under the cabinet closer to the front side to make the cut so the joint would be in the least noticeable spot.

As to the source of the rot that's not an issue. Rain (yes we have this 365 a day in Miami LOL) that sprayed on the outside wall which is concrete block stucco, some of that water got into the wood door jamb (not painted and sealed properly). This is compounded by a badly installed sprinkler head right next to the door spraying directly onto the door step! Anyways this is not an issue and is already being address. My focus is now on the inside damages.

I suspect part of the sheet rock may be damaged too. I will have to get some strong bleach in case mold buildup is found.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:14 PM   #9
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The entire piece the far end of it goes into and behind the kitchen cabinets.

Normally you don't need baseboards behind kitchen cabinets since its not visible but these cabinets are the modern kind that rests on round stainless steel legs. These legs are in the way of pulling the baseboard off entirely, and in the way of putting new pieces in. I don't want to pull the cabinets out. What I can do is to find the most convenient spot under the cabinet closer to the front side to make the cut so the joint would be in the least noticeable spot.

As to the source of the rot that's not an issue. Rain (yes we have this 365 a day in Miami LOL) that sprayed on the outside wall which is concrete block stucco, some of that water got into the wood door jamb (not painted and sealed properly). This is compounded by a badly installed sprinkler head right next to the door spraying directly onto the door step! Anyways this is not an issue and is already being address. My focus is now on the inside damages.

I suspect part of the sheet rock may be damaged too. I will have to get some strong bleach in case mold buildup is found.
Interesting post...Everything you list as "not an issue" are the issues. Stocking up on bleach is not the way to go.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:23 PM   #10
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Rotted Baseboard


When I say "not an issue" it does not mean I am not addressing it. I mean it's being dealt with, and I want to isolate this thread to the baseboard issue.

For example, if I found a crack under the window causing water to travel down on the inside I would post in the concrete masonry forum and ask for advice. If they ask me if the inside baseboards could be damaged I would say "yes its being address and it's not an issue" because it's tangential to that specific problem. I have an outside problem that's being address independently with a strategy, and an inside problem that is this rotted baseboard that's fitting for this forum. I hope this explanation is better. It seems easier to break a multi-facet problem into pieces because the way the forums are structured.

Bleach is only what I planned to address the mold issue if there is any. I don't smell any mold and there is no black spot I can see, called the mold company for a mold test they quoted me $495.

Behind the baseboard is sheetrock which may be damaged. Behind the sheetrock is strips of vertical 2" wide 1x furring strips which the bottom are probably rotted as well, behind that is the 8" thick concrete block. I am hoping there is no fiberglass insulation between those furring strips,. if there are and they are soaked with water then this will be a big mess, then I will have to take out more sheetrock than I wanted.

Last edited by miamicuse; 09-07-2013 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:25 AM   #11
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Rotted Baseboard


I suspect that when you take that trim off you will find that it is actually two separate pieces. One being the flat board and the other the decorative trim on the top. If this is the case you may only have to replace the bottom piece.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:09 AM   #12
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Rotted Baseboard


Post picture of the outside so we can see what's causing this.
If it's anything like all the other hundreds of post like this there's a deck, stoop, porch, grade sitting to high on the other side of that wall.
No amount of "fixing" on the inside is going to fix the real problem on the outside.

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