In a rare burst of productivity, I tackled tearing out and rebuilding the garage wall, and managed to (almost) finish it in one weekend!! If you remember from this post and this post, I uncovered some pretty disgusting damage in our garage.
To see how far the damage extended, I had to open up the next stud space, which meant taking down another sheet of OSB. Unfortunately, I only have a little 5″ pry bar, which I couldn’t find, so I made do with what I had:
Not the most elegant solution, but it worked! Once I had that off, I could see exactly what I was dealing with. And it wasn’t pretty:
How gross is that!?!? EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! I hate mice!!!
…once I got over that and pulled out the bad insulation, I was able to see the full extent of the damage from the inside:
Fortunately, the studs were sound (they passed the screwdriver poke test), so I didn’t bother sistering in additional support. But since the damage extended past the height of the porch, I opened up the wall from the outside too and found another part of the problem:
Seems the garage was never house-wrapped. That explains why the water was able to get in so easily! So I pulled the siding off until I got down to the bottom. Here’s what the holes look like from the porch side:
So using the my super-awesome Sawzall, I cut away the rotten OSB, which gave me convenient access to the tools in the garage:
I did that for each of the rotten stud-spaces, and then did some creative maneuvering to get between the studs and the porch to chop out the remaining OSB. That’s when I found the cavern:
Something has definitely been excavating under our porch! Unfortunately, the camera died right after this, so I don’t have any pictures of the patching in progress. Basically, I backfilled that giant cavern as best I could, cut a new piece of treated plywood (which is so much better than OSB!) to fit in the gap I created, tacked housewrap to it, and shoved it down into the crack between the studs and the porch. I lined the bottom of the foundation wall with spray foam and hammered the plywood sheet into it, and then caulked around the remaining edges to seal the cracks as best I could. The house wrap extended onto the existing OSB walls and I taped along any open edge, so I’m really hoping that keeps it sufficiently sealed. Once the gap was sealed off, I replaced the siding, put the insulation back in place and covered it all back up!
Oh, yeah, I almost forgot: I uncovered this gem as I was pulling off the siding:
Pretty sure outlets aren’t supposed to be all rusty like that… so since I had the walls all opened up, I decided to replace the outlet, as well as install an outlet inside the garage where the previous owner had left this:
Live wires wrapped in duct tape, hidden inside a wooden box. Yup, that’s safe. So I wired that one up too. However, both of them are reading ‘Open Ground’ (the outside one was reading ‘Open Ground’ before I started and I know my wiring is right!), so my guess is that outside outlet wasn’t original to the house, but was put in by the previous owner, so I have to go up in the scary garage attic and start back-tracing the wiring until I find where the ground was interrupted.
Oh yay, more projects!