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Replace damaged top plate in bearing wall (pics)

Posted by orourke (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 21, 09 at 3:48

After a long diversion to remodel a babys room and replacing the back yard fences, Im back to my bathroom remodel (see older "How to address water damage post").

I think now I also need to replace the top plate, where the roof valley rafter rests upon, because, seems like, the top plate was damaged by dry rot. So I started a new thread

Here is the layout. Damage is in red. Proposed work in blue.
Bathroom floor and ceiling layout

Apparently, water from an old roof leak ran down the roof valley rafter and soaked the top plate (probably for years before I bought the house).
The top plate now looks damaged by dry rot.

Here are some pics:
Damaged top plate
Damaged top plate detail

My current theory is that the top plate and wall underneath then subsided springing up this long 3/8" wide crack on the dining area ceiling, on the other side.
Ceiling crack

Here are some initial questions:

a) How do I make sure the mold is dead?
This dry rot is 20 years old (the leak was fixed 20years ago) so everything is dry and the mold that caused the dry rot is most likely dead now. But just in case, what can I apply to the wood around it to make absolutely sure that the mold is wiped out? I heard bleach works but I also saw that bleach is pretty corrosive to nails, so Im wondering if there is something else. Perhaps something which will stay in the wood for a while (unlike bleach which seems to dissipate within a few days).

b) How much of the top plate should I remove and replace? I recall something about top plates not having any joints within xx inches from a corner ?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Replace damaged top plate in bearing wall (pics)

It doesn't look like a difficult repair. If it stays dry the mold won't grow.


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RE: Replace damaged top plate in bearing wall (pics)

I don't know about construction but I had some rotting windows replaced. I did some searching on rot and dry rot. From what I can tell there is such a thing/fungus as dry rot fungus that you can get. I treated wood where the rotten windows were with straight bleach and also saw treating with a solution made with borax was something that was supposed to work. I think you can purchase chemicals for treating rot/dry rot also. Fungal spores and remain dormant for quite a while.

I added a link but there are many other listings in google.

Here is a link that might be useful: rot


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RE: Replace damaged top plate in bearing wall (pics)

"Fungal spores and remain dormant for quite a while."

And as long as it stays dry, the spores will remain dormant.

They are in the wood to start with anyway.

It is the water that gets everything going.


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