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Old 11-11-2013, 03:54 PM   #1
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Ideas on how we can fix our enclosed patio/sunroom?


I'm new here. Also, help!

We bought a house in April with an aluminum-frame enclosed patio (sunroom). We live in Southern California. The enclosed patio was built on an existing patio slab. There is a step about four inches from our living room to the enclosed patio (separated by French doors).

The enclosed patio has been used as our family room/playroom, since weather here is typically mild. Recently I felt like I noticed an odor from the industrial carpeting and we decided we might want to replace it. We pulled up a corner of the carpet and found rotted wood underneath.


From as much as we can tell, someone glued wood or laminate flooring to the concrete, then the second owners had carpet pad and carpet installed over the wood. It appears as though water is seeping in from the sprinklers and rain underneath the patio, then pooling in the corners and creating mold.

Since this discovery, we've ripped out all of the carpeting, wood, baseboards, and caulk along the base of the room. We've discovered a decent amount of mold in all of those. We pulled down a piece of the beadboard on the knee wall and realized that the structure of the building from the outside in is siding, a section of insulation, and plexiglass, covered by beadboard and trim. Some of the beadboard also has mold so we will most likely take it all down and replace.

So, all of my questions:
1. Can we take care of these issues ourselves? Anything here that raises a red flag that would require hiring it out? We don't have the money to spare but we'll find a way if we have to.
2. What can we do about the gap between the base of the enclosed patio and the sidewalk going around it? We are sure water is getting in there and probably hanging out.
3. Is there something we can do to make the room better insulated from bugs? When we pulled down the beadboard we found a large quantity of dead and alive spiders, etc. behind the plexi. Maybe caulk all of the vinyl siding on the exterior?
4. Any other options for covering up the plexi windows below? It wouldn't be an issue if they were clear but you can see the bugs, insulation and the back of the siding from inside the room.

I will take any help I can get. My husband and I enjoy learning how to do these things ourselves and he is very handy, but we want this done right.

Patio exterior



Water gets in here (exterior)


Inside, you can see the plexi, insulation, and back of siding. And bugs.


Looks like mold at base?


One of the corners after we removed the rotted wood


We think water may be seeping in over the little sill plate (not sure if that's the right word)


Sunroom interior as it is today.




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Old 11-11-2013, 04:34 PM   #2
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Ideas on how we can fix our enclosed patio/sunroom?


A few simple rules when building something like that.
No siding within 6" of grade.
No door openings within 6" of grade (varies by local codes)
I'm not seeing any vinyl siding, Looks more like wood to me and it's to close to the patio.
To late now but that whole wall should have been built on a row of block, not attached to the brick and slab like that.
Those mortar joints are acting like channels to allow water a way in.
No amount of caulking is going to fix that.

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Old 11-11-2013, 04:47 PM   #3
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Ideas on how we can fix our enclosed patio/sunroom?


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
A few simple rules when building something like that.
No siding within 6" of grade.
No door openings within 6" of grade (varies by local codes)
I'm not seeing any vinyl siding, Looks more like wood to me and it's to close to the patio.
To late now but that whole wall should have been built on a row of block, not attached to the brick and slab like that.
Those mortar joints are acting like channels to allow water a way in.
No amount of caulking is going to fix that.
So, without me completely freaking out... WWYD? Tear the thing down? Is there anything a contractor can do to help get it right? It adds 240 SF to the house. :/
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:00 PM   #4
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Ideas on how we can fix our enclosed patio/sunroom?


Looks like a DIY or a contractor that had no clue built it to me.
Can it be fixed, yes, but by someone that had a clue this time.
Please go back and edit your profile and add your location this time.
Just go to quick links to edit.
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:11 PM   #5
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Ideas on how we can fix our enclosed patio/sunroom?


I'll try. The first thing you must do is stop the water, from what I see in the pics that looks like it may be Hardi-Plank siding. To seal under it I would try mixing some Sackete thin and use a grout bag and fill under the siding. The best floor I can recommend for that situation is tile. The thin set you set the tile in will help seal the inside.
As for your mold problem get rid of any thing that might have mold on it. What happens is bead board like many other products will work like a wick when water is present. Cure the water problem, cure the mold problem.
I really think the plexi-glass windows may be adding to your problem. They are notorious for being huge condensation magnets, this will contribute in a big way to your moisture/mold problem.
In the meantime ventilation and air movement are your friends, maybe some fans. Someone else may come along with better ideas keep your mind open. Whatever you decide let us know and we will try to help you.
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:50 PM   #6
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Ideas on how we can fix our enclosed patio/sunroom?


No way is thinned out Sacrete going to seal out water.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:11 PM   #7
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Ideas on how we can fix our enclosed patio/sunroom?


Sun rooms are built like that all the time. Right on the patio slab like yours. They are not intended by design to be "finished" though. All the siding, insulation and flooring was doomed from the start. If the siding is cement it will be OK but insulation and flooring must be water proof since water will on occasion get in.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:09 PM   #8
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Ideas on how we can fix our enclosed patio/sunroom?


Check out the James Hardee web site on installing lap siding, must be installed at least 2" from any solid surface at the bottom.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:09 PM   #9
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Ideas on how we can fix our enclosed patio/sunroom?


Homeowners pour/hire out a new patio without any intention of drying it in to be living space years later; no poly vapor barrier under the slab. Anything you put on top will mold if organic (wood). IMO, rip it down but the roof/beams/posts and leave at that OR start over with a building permit.

Fig.6 and you don't even have a wall/footing; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...sture-problems

Fig. 1; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...ms?full_view=1

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Old 11-11-2013, 11:08 PM   #10
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Ideas on how we can fix our enclosed patio/sunroom?


One water problem after the other by your pics.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:31 PM   #11
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Ideas on how we can fix our enclosed patio/sunroom?


So it was originally all windows and someone previously 'dressed it up' by putting siding on the outside and beadboard on the inside, covering the bottom row of windows. And left the windows in place. That about sum it up?
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:11 AM   #12
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Ideas on how we can fix our enclosed patio/sunroom?


Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I spent quite a bit of time on the phone today trying to get different contractors out here to check it out, with little luck so far.

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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
So it was originally all windows and someone previously 'dressed it up' by putting siding on the outside and beadboard on the inside, covering the bottom row of windows. And left the windows in place. That about sum it up?
Pretty much. The house was built in 1989, and the permits were pulled for the enclosure in 1990 but never signed off. (The people we bought it from obtained sign-off during escrow at our request but now I am wondering if anyone even checked the property in person, or just saw that the permits were 23 years old and signed them off). At some point the original owners had a spa in there, or planned to, because they had the wiring installed for it. The second owners did not have a spa - they put the carpet in and used the room as an office/TV room. The room was advertised as a "fully-enclosed patio that can be used as a bonus room." We didn't realize the lower panels had plexi behind them until yesterday.

Building a new room would be financially impossible right now. We have tons of yard already and don't need the additional outdoor living space of a second covered patio. Unfortunately this room (with all of its secrets) was a big selling point to us as it took the house from a little tight to just right. So we're feeling a little overwhelmed by all of this, and semi-wishing we hadn't gotten the urge to lift up that carpet edge.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:04 AM   #13
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Ideas on how we can fix our enclosed patio/sunroom?


In your situation it may be a good idea to put it back like it was more or less. Nix on the wood though. Replace the fiberglass with foam. The bead board with fiberglass or plastic panels. Get some carpet that comes pre-attached to a rubber pad and tape it down at the edges only so you can roll it up occasionally to let out moisture. Caulk the pee-waddin out of the outside seams and get back to enjoying your new home.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:44 AM   #14
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Ideas on how we can fix our enclosed patio/sunroom?


From the looks of it the fiberglass serves no purpose other than to muffle the plexiglass bass drum hollows, I'd lose that and look for an option that let that space breathe to avoid future moisture/mold issues.

Maybe something along these lines on the pad......



Give you a break between the concrete moisture and flooring (which needs to be something that will stand the conditions).

If at all possible, the one addition/ modification I would think about would be more overhang, just to move rain out further from the base of the walls.

You will never turn this into completely weather-tight space without rebuilding the whole thing, you need to modify it so water getting in gets back out and does no damage along the way.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:52 AM   #15
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Ideas on how we can fix our enclosed patio/sunroom?


I'm with Pole cat with the exception of the flooring.
I'd consider using tile instead.
Lowes and HD both stock a white dimpled finished waterproof 4 X 8' panel that would be perfect for this.
There's also PVC beaded wainscot available.
Yours looks like It's MDF which was not a good choice.

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