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Old College Try 06-02-2010 09:27 PM

Covered Porch over Basement leaks/rotting/repair
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A couple of years ago we opened up our front porch that had previously been enclosed. The house is 80 years old and the porch sits over 2 small rooms in the basement (previous coal room / cold room?) Since we moved in 5 years ago I haven't been able to keep paint from lifting off of the porch floor (t&g decking running perpendicular to the front of the house over 1x6 pine laid diagonally over the floor joists) and have noticed a couple of times that water leaked in at the corner of the porch into the room in the basement when blown in snow melts or when overspray from a heavy rain enters the porch. I've been noticing a strong musty smell in the room, so I pulled down the insulation from the underside of the decking in the basement to find that several areas of the decking are rotted, along with a nice carpenter ant nest (I wondered where they were coming from). The ants had been tearing up parts of the rotting deck. I also found an existing vent in the foundation wall in one of the rooms that had been blocked up by a previous owner and opened it to bring in some fresh air. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas of how I can replace the decking to create a more watertight situation over the basement. Thanks in advance for suggestions.

stadry 06-03-2010 01:34 PM

replace the rotted wood w/p/t as nec,,, should you not be able to install a waterproof membrane ( underneath / behind ), you'll need to change the slope of the porch ( not a bad idea in any event.

paint won't stick - after the usual p/t aging process, try aspecto-coat instead [no financial interest ]

leaking water has forever to cause damage !

Old College Try 06-03-2010 08:48 PM

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My initial idea is to strip it down to the joists which seem to be in good condition, then lay down exterior grade plywood, a layer of ice and water shield and then put down t&g pine or something like that. I'm not sure if I can lay the decking directly over the ice & water, and I can't use sleepers as I'm restricted by the elevation of the front door threshold. 2 complications I can think of is that the existing decking runs under the porch exterior walls meaning I'd have to tear them down and rebuild, and somehow temporarily support the overhanging roof while I remove the posts along the front railing. I may also have difficulty removing the existing decking where it meets the house wall. Any thoughts?

jibby 09-10-2010 09:58 PM

Any luck?
We have a similar issue with our front porch. I'd love to hear if you've had any luck with yours, Old College Try.

Old College Try 09-10-2010 10:09 PM

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I decided to place that project on the back burner for now. Probably won't get back into it until Spring.

Old College Try 07-14-2011 08:17 PM

Waterproofing Porch
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So I'm getting back into this project and I really need advice. One thought I had is to rip up the t&g, lay down plywood and then EPDM with something on top. Problem is that I can't raise the elevation of the decking because the finished floor of the house is at the same level as the porch floor. I thought about outdoor carpet over the EPDM, but have concerns about wear on the EPDM and carpet can be tacky. I know there are some products out there that may work, but my budget is limited and I'm cheap. Any thoughts?

Old College Try 04-02-2012 07:17 PM

Still looking for ideas to fix my leaking front porch over basement
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Ok, so I came across an option that may be quite expensive, but guarantees to fix the leaking porch decking. There is a pvc t&g decking product that can be installed directly over ice and water shield, over 1/2" treated plywood fastened directly to the joists. Silicone can be applied to the grooves to create a water tight seal. The next issue I'd be facing is the slope of the existing decking. Since the porch decking is at the same level as the door threshold, I can't think of a way to increase the slope of the porch to comply with the 1/4" per foot requirement for the guarantee. I currently only have about an inch of slope over 8 feet, with some areas being less. I'm assuming that the foundation that sits under the house settled more than the foundation that only supports the front of the porch over the last 80 years. Any other suggestions for fixing my leaking porch?

oh'mike 04-02-2012 07:27 PM

How would ceramic tile look out there?

Proper joist strength--3/4" b/c exterior ply and Ditra or Noble seal membrane (extended up the walls 6 to 8 inched) would work--use porcelain tiles

Old College Try 04-11-2012 09:20 PM

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I'd be somewhat concerned about ice and snow on the tile in the winter. I'm trying to stick with somewhat of an original look as well. I did a little more investigating and found that the end of the joists that rest on the outer foundation of the porch are notched on the bottom to provide some slope. One thought I have is to remove all of the decking and notch out the joists more (like another inch) to provide more slope. This would involve somehow supporting the roof so that the outer walls and rim joists could be removed allowing access to the joists for notching. I suspect that the outer walls may need to be rebuilt. I'm not sure if providing deeper notches would weaken the joists too much, but I supposed they could be reinforced with plates on either side or something like that. The other option is to not increase the slope and just put down the decking. Another concern is the treatment of the porch decking at the outer wall. Right now drainage simply flows toward the outer walls. There are 2 cutouts about a foot wide in the walls that would allow a buildup of water to outlet. Would running the ice/water shield up the wall (except for at the openings) provide sufficient waterproofing? I look forward to any other suggestions.

JohnMargaret 11-05-2013 03:10 PM

[QUOTE=Old College Try;450865]My initial idea is to strip it down to the joists which seem to be in good condition, then lay down exterior grade plywood, a layer of ice and water shield and then put down t&g pine or something like that. QUOTE]

This is the current setup of my porch. The flooring was redone in 2001 and recently started showing signs of major rot. Joists and plywood seem fine. Contractor is suggesting I enclose but I do not want to lose the look of the 1920s house. Going with adding a new water/ice shield (on top of the existing one), adding sleepers, and adding new fir boards on top to replace the old ones. Hoping this gives me at least 10 years.

What did you end up doing?

Old College Try 11-13-2013 09:37 PM

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I still haven't done anything with the porch floor. The only thing I did was build panels using pine frames with clear vinyl sheeting to enclose the porch (except for the opening at the steps) during winter months to keep snow out. It looks ok for the 4 months they're in place and they work well to keep the water off of the floor. Even after I do replace the decking I may continue to use the panels to keep snow out. I hope to get to the decking next summer. I'd be interested to find out how your project works out.

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