Rotting wood beams at the base of my garage
Our garage is built up against a slight hill, so the backside of the garage has about 2-3 feet of soil sitting up against the wood siding. Obviously, the builder wasn't educated on the topic of rotting wood at that point in his career. Our neighbor's garage is directly behind ours by about 3-4 feet, but theirs sits higher as their garage is above the soil level on top of the hill.
As a result of the builders ignorance, water drainage from the soil leaks into the back of our garage where the floor meets the wall, and the 2x4's show some serious rot. So, we need to know how to replace and/or fix the rotting wood without tearing out an entire 2x4 or affecting the structural beams. This is so we don't have structural problems later on with the rotting wood, or worse yet, carpenter ants.
I need to know if this is the proper way to do this:
We were thinking of digging up the dirt behind the garage, temporarily, so that we could get a liner in between the soil and the garage.
Once we remove the dirt, we are able to access the other side of the rotting wood at the base of our garage and hopefully replace some of it. Some of the wood is vertical, and some studs are the horizontal beams. My first question is, can we just "cut" the rotting pieces out and screw replacement wood in without affecting the structural support? As far as the vertical beams, we could add a separate wood piece and attach it flush to the vertical beam and screw them in for support while we cut or saw out the bottom part of the existing 2x4, and then replace the removed pieces with good wood. Then we'd screw them all together for support. Does this make sense?
Once the wood is repaired/replaced, we were thinking of adding a thick plastic liner against our garage so that the wood doesn't touch the soil when we add it back in. We were also going to fill the top foot or so with pea gravel so that water runs off better.
So, I really have two issues here. How to replace or fix the rotting wood, and what to do with the soil that sits up against my wood sided garage to prevent further decay. We are eventually getting the garage sided with vinyl siding, but not this year.
Is this the correct way to do this? Or, can I just use bondo or wood filler on really rotted wood????
Thanks in advance for feedback.