Really bad house design

1HandyWomanAugust 3, 2013

I have a house that I swear was designed and built by an idiot. It is now 22 years old and literally falling apart at the seams and everywhere else. The question/problem I have today that I can't figure out is this.

The house is build on a cement slab, the slab extends out from the foundation on two sides (side and back of house) and is level with the foundation. This means that the sill of the house is sitting at the same level as the "outside" slab so when it rains the water runs down the house, hits the slab and rolls under the sill and rots out the sill, the siding, and the trim that have all been installed down to the slab. I hope this is understandable I have added pictures below.

Now I have removed the rotting trim, siding, etc and can see rot of the sill board happening. What can I do BEFORE I replace the siding and trim to keep water from running under the siding and trim and rotting it AGAIN and further rotting out the sill board, etc?

Any idea without just demolishing this whole stinking house?

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It appears in the picture the bottom plate sits 1&1/2 inche higher than exterior slab. If so,flash the plate with uv resistant moisture proof material such as epdm roofing material , stop the siding before it toutches slab to prevent water wicking. If indeed the interior slab and exterior slab are level with one another,that's a problem with no conventional solution.
One goofy idea is nail one thickness of 2x4 atop bottom plate between studs. Put a masonary product like floor leveler or thin set at top of bottom plate then taper out 2 or 3 inches. Once again install flash on the false plates you added atop existing plate and extending to barly break on top of new masonary. Stop siding just short of new masonary and bottom edge of flash to discourage wicking. I would resist temptation to use caulk as a solution because that causes any water getting behind siding to stay much longer before air circulation can dry it out.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 2:47AM
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Jack it up. pour a concrete curb 6-8 in high and put your new sill on top of that? Might be easier (and more satisfying) to tear the house down if this is typical of the issues you have.

You need, one way or another, to get the water flowing away from the building. Something like EPDM up the side of the wall under the siding and extending over the concrete extension (sort of a mini-roof at ground level) to shed the water where it will drain away from the house.

Or get someone with a concrete saw to cut the extra slab off and then re-grade so that you have proper clearance between the ground and the wood.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 8:36AM
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Consider cutting a kerf in the concrete close to the framing right along the bottom plate of the wall. Use a diamond blade.

Slide a strip of membrane (like EPDM or equivalent, 6"-8" wide or so) into the kerf and seal it in the kerf. Then run the membrane up the wall, on top of the sheathing but under the siding.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 7:05PM
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