Rotted wood repair/prevention - multi part problem



Ok, this may be a bit long winded, so bear with me:

I am renovating a house we have recently bought and fixing many many of
the previous occupant's 20+ years of "fixes" and additions. The
current problem is, he has built an addition onto the house, but the
addition is built on top of part of an outdoor deck. Two of the Three
walls sitting on this deck are flush with the edges of the decking, but
the deck extends under and beyond the third wall. The bottom of this
third wall is rotten, most likely from rainwater getting between the
deck boards and the wall. I can put some temporary jacks under the
wall (bearing the load from the roof rafters) and replace the rotten
studs and plate, but two problems still remain that I think I have
solutions for and want to see what others think about them:

1) the sheathing looks like it's not in great shape, not as punky as
the 2x4's but not great, I'd like to just seal it up with a resin "wood
hardener" that is available (I've seen it by Minwax, but I'm sure
others sell it too) instead of having to rip off siding and sheathing
and goodness knows what else. Anyone ever try this and does it work?

2) I'm thinking of cutting a 1/4" or 1/2" gap in the decking flush with
the edge of the wall (outside). It'll probably mean having to put a
pair of joists on either side of the cut (the joists run parallel to
the proposed cut). If I did this, put flashing under the plate, gob
the heck out of it with caulk - what do you think?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts/advice.




You need to deal with the rot first, or it might continue underneath
the coating you apply. a) You could apply a product called Termin8t
[something like that], which is a solution of copper naphthenate that
will kill any rot-causing organisms it contacts, and then coat over
that. b) If you are near a coast, you might be able to find some epoxy
coal tar coating in a marine supply store, and just apply that alone.
It is not allowed in inland water boats, though, and it is hard to find
In the good old days, there used to be a number of good compounds that
would do the job, but the enviroweenies and safety nazis have stopped
most of them.
Best wishes with your project.-Jitney


<You need to deal with the rot first, or it might continue underneath
the coating you apply.>

Thanks, I hadn't thought of that. I also had a thought that the resin
probably wouldn't help if the wood was still damp (it is). I'll have
to dry it out first

<Before doing anything, I suggest that you consider if you should try
"fix" the problem at all. Was the foundation and the deck really
and built to support a room? I suspect you will have continued
problems and
you may someday face a building inspector that tells you to tear it
Was a permit give for the original project?

I would tend to believe the best thing is to tear it all down to
ground and build new from the foundation up. Doing it right means doing

Believe me, I've thought about it, and I agree that it would be the
best thing. Money and time are the two things restraining me from
doing exactly that (mainly money). I plan next summer to put a block
foundation under the portion of the house supported by the deck
(currently just posts and joists like most decks). As for the building
inspector, well I don't know if there ever was a permit, though I doubt
it. Since I don't have the money now to handle a job like that, I'll
have to take my chances with any future problems. I don't normally do
half a job, but I can't see any way to afford a job of that magnitude
right now. In the future, it might be possible. I may have to set
aside a savings account for just that sort of problem.

Thanks for your answers so far.


1) Sealing up potentially wet sheathing in what will be a heated space
is just asking for trouble. To avoid future problems, remove the
plywood to make sure the framing is sound. Replace ALL soft or rotted
wood. Make sure everything gets to dry out and treat with some sort of
pesticide that contains borax or boric acid. This will not only kill
any existing pests, but also ward off fututre infestations of anything
from fungus to termites. There are many different brands, see what
your local landscaping supplier has. Also check out this info:

2) Sounds iffy. Keep an eye on it and re-caulk when needed, I guess.
It's not the right way, but if you're looking for a short term


You might want to drill a narrow but deep hole in the affected area to
see how deep it goes, and to check for structural integrity. If it is
dry rot, drying it out will not help.
It sounds like you need to buy some time. Believe me, I know about
money problems, and a quick cheap fix is better than none at all. Dry
it out, caulk and waterproof as best you can, and apply the Termin8t
(Hardware store, under $10/quart). Some well placed mothballs placed at
or very near the rot will slow down, but by no means stop, the
deterioration. Save your nickels for replacement the proper way later




I would replace the rotten wood with pressure treated wood that I put 3
layers of oil based poleurathane on first.


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