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Old 08-03-2012, 12:38 PM   #1
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How would you fix this?


Hi all, first post for me here. I started replacing a window last weekend and quickly ran into a bigger job than I started with. The original installers did a very poor job and there was a bunch of rot underneath the siding, even the rim joist itself.

Looking at this small portion of the house, it seems like someone changed their mind during construction. The joists overhang the concrete by about 2 feet, so the window is just inside the roof overhang. I initially thought it was a cheap addition done later on, but seeing that the joists are one piece and that the brick doesn't appear to be cut makes me think it's original. With no overhang, the window sees more than normal amounts of rain; there was no waterproof barrier under the siding and the siding J wasn't even caulked to the window, allowing water to get behind the siding and rot the sheathing and rim joist.

I have no problem replacing the rim joist with a piece of PT 2x10 and properly installing the sheathing, waterproof barrier, lots of flashing tape, and the window.

What I'm looking for is advice on what to do with the aluminum soffit that is nailed under the overhanging joists. It is in pretty bad shape and I'd like to get rid of it if possible, but it's not easy to put something under there, and the question is what? I'm tempted to build a small form and pour a bit of concrete, any other suggestions? Should the concrete touch the joists, or will this cause moisture problems? What would be the best insulation to use? The batts there now are pretty gross, full of mouse turds.

The aluminum pipe is the dryer exhaust; when the siding was on, there was an elbow pointing up, about 18 inches of straight, and then another elbow, just to get above the snow a bit. I don't care for this method, but I don't know what else to do with the dryer vent when the house is so far in the ground.

Thanks for any insights!
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Old 08-03-2012, 01:45 PM   #2
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How would you fix this?


It looks like the sidewalk is sloping towards the house.And there isnt much of an over hang on the sofit above the window.

I think i would figure out where the water is coming from before you put anything back.

If the joist are not treated i would not let the concreate touch them.

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Old 08-03-2012, 04:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by LucknowPaul View Post
Hi all, first post for me here. I started replacing a window last weekend and quickly ran into a bigger job than I started with. The original installers did a very poor job and there was a bunch of rot underneath the siding, even the rim joist itself.

Looking at this small portion of the house, it seems like someone changed their mind during construction. The joists overhang the concrete by about 2 feet, so the window is just inside the roof overhang. I initially thought it was a cheap addition done later on, but seeing that the joists are one piece and that the brick doesn't appear to be cut makes me think it's original. With no overhang, the window sees more than normal amounts of rain; there was no waterproof barrier under the siding and the siding J wasn't even caulked to the window, allowing water to get behind the siding and rot the sheathing and rim joist.

I have no problem replacing the rim joist with a piece of PT 2x10 and properly installing the sheathing, waterproof barrier, lots of flashing tape, and the window.

What I'm looking for is advice on what to do with the aluminum soffit that is nailed under the overhanging joists. It is in pretty bad shape and I'd like to get rid of it if possible, but it's not easy to put something under there, and the question is what? I'm tempted to build a small form and pour a bit of concrete, any other suggestions? Should the concrete touch the joists, or will this cause moisture problems? What would be the best insulation to use? The batts there now are pretty gross, full of mouse turds.

The aluminum pipe is the dryer exhaust; when the siding was on, there was an elbow pointing up, about 18 inches of straight, and then another elbow, just to get above the snow a bit. I don't care for this method, but I don't know what else to do with the dryer vent when the house is so far in the ground.

Thanks for any insights!
You have more going on they then you know.
The sheathing,insulation and siding never ever should have been installed that close to the grade. And will continue to rot out if there's not some changes made. Code calls for no closer then 6" in my area.

Without an over hang there's no way to vent the roof in that area and that window may continue to be an issue.
Was there Z moulding above the window?
I would have used brick moulding around the window, installed the Z moulding over the window, then installed the J moulding.
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:05 PM   #4
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so far Joe and scott have been spot on in my opinion ..... obviously water intrusion has been an issue

its difficult to tell from the photo if the top of the window is flashed properly or not. windows, especially with little overhang are an excellent source of water intrusion if I understand your post they cantilevered the floor two feet over the foundation wall. with it that close to the ground (as Joe said 6" minimum) its almost impossible to keep the wood from getting wet, especially when the rain hits the pavers and splashes up hitting the underside of the cantilever .....

also any leaks in the dryer vent will put moist air near the exterior wall where it may reach its dew point in winter and may condense back into liquid, again cause a problem with water intrusion.

Brick will allow water to penetrate, was there an air space on the back side with a weather barrier (building wrap or tar paper) applied to the wood sheathing? were there weep holes/screens at the bottom of the brick to allow water to escape? How were the brick supported at the bottom (it appears in the other section I see brick going below grade) and attached to the wood framed walls? I'm thinking from your OP this section is cantilevered where you are having the problem. Curious what held he brick in place.

what is the possibility of regrading in this area? best fix is prevention, you can fix what you have but if the conditions remain you'll have the same problem in the future ....

just some initial thoughts and questions ....
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:17 PM   #5
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If that area is cantiliever then it should never have been enclosed like that.
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:27 PM   #6
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I agree Joe!
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:22 AM   #7
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I concure as well....looks like someone blew out part of the wall and decided to move the room out about 18".....No easy solution.....

Was any of this permitted?
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Old 08-04-2012, 07:43 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies so far!

Scott, you have sharp eyes, the patio (picture is cut off) does slope a bit or is maybe just level. This is one thing the home inspector mentioned that should be fixed and is on our to do list. Funny (or not so funny) it's the only thing he mentioned in this area. The water was definitely coming in underneath the window looking at the water damage. It was obvious why too, the siding J was not caulked to the window at all, and there was no water proof barrier under the siding.

Joe, no Z moulding above window, no siding either. Just some tar painted on the wood and nailing fin, a piece of fibre board, another piece of wood, and some aluminum to cover it all up. We can lower the grade a bit, but not much without making a ditch in the backyard!

Gary, no brick on this piece, just siding. At the bottom, there was aluminum flashing that extended down into the sand that the pavers sit on. This would have prevented rain from splashing against the wood directly.
Regarding the dryer vent, how would you vent it so that it is high enough off the ground for snow clearance? I don't like the current method, but not sure how to fix it. One thought I had was to run it up into a kitchen cupboard (under the sink for example) and then 90 through the wall.

How are cantilevers normally closed in from the bottom side? They obviously still need some sort of air barrier and insulation.

Ddawg, no idea if this was permitted or not, but since it was put in when the house was new (32 years ago), it almost had to have been there when the later inspections were done, but who knows what went on.
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:07 AM   #9
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You have alot of things going on there.Just make sure you get every thing fixed before you button the patient back up.

The j-channell around the windows should not have to be caulked.
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:36 AM   #10
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what is the possibility of regrading to provide proper separation from ground to bottom of cantilever floor and to slope grade away from foundation?
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:38 AM   #11
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There is only enough fall to the backyard to slope the patio a bit, not provide much separation.

Why shouldn't the J be caulked to the window? Without it, the water is free to get behind the J and go at the sheathing (when there is no water barrier of course).
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:49 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by LucknowPaul View Post
There is only enough fall to the backyard to slope the patio a bit, not provide much separation.

Why shouldn't the J be caulked to the window? Without it, the water is free to get behind the J and go at the sheathing (when there is no water barrier of course).
If your talking about where the j-channell meats the window.If it does get under the j than run around the window and out the bottom.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:35 PM   #13
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Sorry, I didn't make that clear, the J that leaked was along the bottom of the window, covering the top edge of the siding.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:26 PM   #14
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The vinyl "J" should be hung on the house (to expand/contract), same with the lap cladding. http://www.abtco.com/kp_abtco/docs/A...tructions_.pdf

The WRB repels the wind/water getting past the vinyl, the flashing directs water from the window, the bottom window flange directs water onto the WRB; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...researchreport

Use two layers of Tyvek; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...d-wall-systems

You'll need to reinstall the window for the pan flashing, think about adding foamboard, though it may be too tight considering the gap behind the fascia board to blackboard....add 2x2's in the corners against the brick, after some backer-rod, then caulk it for the hour-glass shape you need because of the dis-similar materials moving with different times/rates: pp. 25: http://books.google.com/books?id=fDs...page&q&f=false

Insulate with foamboard to stop radiation coupling under the cant., cover with plywood against rodents/insects, no vinyl flooring above: http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...n-crawlspaces/

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Old 08-05-2012, 06:40 PM   #15
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Two layers of Tyvek, where do you see that?

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