Help floor rot at back door

wolfy528October 15, 2013

I was tearing up old laminate flooring and going to install vinyl at my back door. I removed the laminate and found sheet linoleum, then a thing piece of plywood and then the sub floor. At the back door on both sides about 1 inch inside I can push a screw driver all the way thru.
If I replace the floor I am looking at maybe cutting out 3 inches wide by 4 foot long.
Here is my dilemma I am a 50 year old single lady and have no idea how to do this and cannot afford a major repair at this time. Is there something I can do temporarily to keep it from rotting further. I think the back door was left open during rain one day last year. Can i fill it with caulk or paint it with primer until tax time and then hire someone to fix it right?

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Paint and caulk will solve nothing but leaving it as is will not nessarily cause it to rot farther,UNLESS THE WEATHER STRIP around the door is leaking. The damage might be years old and caused by a door that was repaired or replaced since. What I suggest is leave access to the decayed areas so that you can touch them with a finger. After every rain and esp wind driven rain from the direction of door,feel the spots to see if they are wet. If water isn't finding it's way in any longer,you might do the caulk/paint and leave it as is without ever repairing. If the spots get wet,the first order of business is stop the water coming in.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 8:58PM
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I'll bet your door is improperly flashed, causing the leaking that is causing the rot. Don't fix the floor before the door.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 10:21PM
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Definitely look into fixing the door.

I don't know if this would help you, but we had wood
rotting problems on our exterior windows, and therefore
the paint would not hold for longer than a few months.

We used a wood restoration kit that we got from Lee
Valley tools and it was an epoxy that soaked into the
soft wood and gave it strength. We had to apply it
several times until it stopped soaking into the wood.
After doing that, I found that the wood was no longer
soft, and it took the paint well. It has held up for about
5 years now.

I think that the kit we bought might do an area the size
that you have, but I'm not sure. Also, maybe other
companies might have similar products. It was called
a Wood Restoration Kit.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 11:43AM
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I would use the same approach as daylily suggests. Use a stop-rot product on the wood and then a wood filler. You can buy individual cans of stuff, or maybe a kit like this from Home Depot.

You should figure out what's causing the water to come in, but this is the fix for the rotted wood.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rotted wood repair kit

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 1:09PM
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another product to try once you resolve where
water is comming in from.
Durham's rock hard water putty.
I've used it to repair window sills.
apply, let dry, sand & paint.

caulk won't fill a gap over 1/4" without
a backer rod.
caulk is a good product as it expands & contracts
with movemen of wood.
backer rods are in weatherstripping section
of box stores.
caulk should be paintable, have a long life
& second fill of caulk once first layer dries
is needed.

your repair isn't a big deal to a carpenter.
they would measure thickness of existing wood
on floor, cut the floor out to floor joist centers
then install plywood in opening...and caulk it
to seal.

maybe $200, less than the cost of new vinyl.

before doing anything...find the water source
& fix that...then proceed with the repair.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 7:36PM
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