The Joys of Homeownership, Part 4

Most of the issues in our house stem from the previous owners, but I uncovered a problem last night that I think goes back to the way the house was constructed.  I was working out in the garage when I caught a whiff of something awful smelling.  I eventually traced it back to the wall by the door to the house, which had an ominous water stain on it.  After pulling off the pegboard (oh yeah, our garage is covered in OSB and pegboard, complements of the previous owners), this is what I found:

Yup, that’s definitely the source of the stench I was smelling!  I’m not sure how I managed to completely miss the water dripping down the concrete- I blame the spider webs.  I’m also fairly certain the damage extends into that stud bay on the right, but half of the screws on the OSB board are stripped, so it’s gonna take me a little while to get it off.  Here are a few close-ups:

There’s a hole in the plastic that looks suspiciously like it was created by teeth.  The OSB on the outer wall is definitely rotted, though I’m not sure of the extent of the damage because on the other side of that wall is our poured concrete slab porch. You can see it peeking through here:

Here’s a look at that last stud before the OSB that I couldn’t get off:

I’m hoping the damage stops there, but I’ll open up the rest of the wall tomorrow and find out.  So, what’s going to be the easiest way to fix this wall?  I’d rather not have to demolish the porch, but I want this fixed right.  Any ideas?

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6 Responses to The Joys of Homeownership, Part 4

  1. I am not a carpenter but I think the best–cheapest way to repair is to find on the outside where the moisture is leaking behind the porch or steps. Clean out any trash that might between the concrete and the wall. Get a bucket of a gray sealer and stuff it in between the concrete and the wall. You could also put some heavy aluminum foil which won’t rot and put the sealer in between. Hard to really judge without seeing but your pictures are good. If you don’t understand all my suggestions let me know.
    Take Care
    Al Sonnenberg

    • Rebecca Lynn says:

      I’ll snap a few pictures of the other side of that wall. Anywhere else on the house and I’d just take down the siding and after bracing the ceiling, reframe that section of wall, and then put some sort of barrier on the outside, but this wall butts up against our porch, which is a giant concrete slab, and I have no access to the exterior portion of it as it’s “below grade” (under the level of the porch). I like the idea of using aluminum foil and sealer though- some critter is trying to make its home under our porch and I don’t think it’ll chew through the foil.

      Regardless of how we end up fixing the wall, I think we’ll be using your sealer/foil method to protect the new wall from moisture from above. Thanks!!

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