Bathroom Reno Gone Terribly Wrong

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Jedi, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. Jedi

    Jedi New Member

    Messages:
    23
    I did my research, bought all the best products, start to gut the bathroom today and this is what I find. The outside wall is totally disintegrating. In some places you can see the stucco. The house is 55 years old and the walls consist of drywall, strapping, fiber board, insulation with paper on it, 1x6 horizontally, and stucco. When I found this I just about threw up. Now I just want to close it up and run. Any suggestions?

    Henry

    Attached Files:

  2. common, and even normal, for a cold wet climate. As temperature drops overnight, the air in the wall cavity drops its moisture when the dewpoint is reached. Even a wall made of "solid" material has air in it. Moisture comes out of the air and goes into the wood. The next day the sun warms it all up a bit, and microorganisms cause rot to happen. They need moisture, food and a bit of warmth to function.
  3. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Looks almost like there was a fire and it stayed open for a long time afterward. There is a product that was sold by Min Wax I think that could be applied to dry rot and it became solid as a rock after it dried.

    I don't remember what the name was.

    After that you could glue peices of ply wood to the surface then apply corner bracing at the studs, then insulate and proceed.
  4. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    If your stucco is still intact, all you really have there is a little ugly inside the wall to remind us of our vulnerabilities. Do as Cass has suggested and apply a couple of coats of sealer to the ugly areas, then have an insulation contractor come spray foam insulation between the studs. The foam will act as an additional sealer as well as a void filler and the tie-it-all-together bracing Cass mentioned.
  5. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Messages:
    874
    Location:
    Marin Co. Ca.
    You must demo all that rot !!!

    Demo the studs and siding from the inside. With a hot glue gun adhere 30 lb tar paper to stucco from inside. Remove all rot,some floor may be affected also! Now You have to address the water problem! Could have come from inside or out! Roof detail at eves needs to be checked. stucco cracks need to be ground out with a diamond crack chaser and repaired. There is a special paint to seal stucco. I am a gen. contr. that specializes in home repairs and
    renovations.This is My 45th year doing this. My license allowes Me to do ALL the trades. I don't sub out! We do neat work, and usually above the code.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2007
  6. Jedi

    Jedi New Member

    Messages:
    23
    The top plate is black and wet but the bottom plate shows water damage but it's not black. The studs are about half wet and black on the side facing the outside wall.

    Without opening up all the walls it's hard to tell if the rot continues, but based on what I see it does. It's interesting to note that my roof is a two pitch and the water runs down the front or back. The bathroom is on a side wall. I went up to the attic and all the walls are dry. I dug my hand down through the insulation and the top plate of the bathroom feels dry to me.

    If I demo the studs how is the stucco going to stay up? Is the mesh in the stucco enough?

    I'll look for that dry rot product and having someone come in and spray foam. How would you attach the plywood to the studs? Glue to the rotten wood?
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    I think you could remove one stud, but since you have sheathing and stucco mesh nailed on, even doing one risks cracking the stucco. If this wall is bearing any roof load, I would think about any attemt to remove more than one.

    You have a lot of rot here. Seems like it may be from moisture penetrating from the inside. Was there any vapor barrier on the inside where you removed the interior wall?

    Since we can only see a small picture here, it seems like you should get a contractor in to advise you. It can be very bad to button up existing mold or rot without proper treatment, and repairs as necessary.
  8. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Messages:
    874
    Location:
    Marin Co. Ca.
    Jedi ,what's interisting is we just did this same repair last month. I mean DITTO,except it was in a bedroom exterior wall in N.Ca. cause was small stucco cracks. We do our own stucco. Yoy will have no problem with demoing the whole wall. Come in 2 ft' and build a temp wall 2x4s 2 ft. on center. This will carry the roof load. Don't remove the stucco. It's surprising when You temporaly remove a #of studs and re-frame same day nothing drops. Stucco will carry the little roof load by itself for what You need. I have several 4"crack chasers we use in a 4" grinder. This will v out the cracks. Then coat with stucco bonding glue and force in stucco. Any questions ? fire away. P s do you have a crawl space with a ft. of water? I've seen that do this also
  9. Studs are rotten too, on one side. Pictures are never good enough to replace being there. Jedi, can you tell us if any of that black stuff is carbon left after a fire? What was the smell like when you opened the wall up?

    Studs look a bit too clean, to me. Drywall wasn't around 55 years old. I'll wonder if some previous renovation long ago was designed to hide something.

    david
  10. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Pardon me for not paying closer attention, and toolaholic seems to know the thorough approach here.
  11. Jedi

    Jedi New Member

    Messages:
    23
    I think that the moisture is coming from the outside in because the studs are all wet and black on the side facing the outside wall. The only vapor barrier I saw was the paper backing on the insulation. Now after running the dehumidifier for a day everything feels dry. The boards do look like fire damage but I don't see any signs of carbon so I don't think that is the case but I don't know. There was no smell at all when we opened up the wall. Something to note is that the area around the tub was remodeled in 1999 and when I was removing the drywall I found that there was a hole punched in the fiber board behind the tub. I suspect that someone in the past did that to inspect the wall. I'm beginning to suspect that there is some sort of cover up going on.

    Also about 3-4 years ago I had started to notice that when it rained water would drip in from the top right hand corner of the bathroom window. When I went outside I noticed that there was no flashing around the top of the window. So I put in some flashing and caulked it and since then everything was fine.

    I'm afraid that all the stucco around the house will have to be removed, and then if I were to do that I'd want to replace the windows. The inside walls are textured plaster so I can't really open up other inspection points. It sounds like a very big expense. My wife is already committed to the idea of selling the house next year because she is afraid the it is everywhere and we would never be about to get our money back from a huge repair like this.
  12. since there was no smell, you may be lucky since it may be mostly scorched wood and not much rot. The pictures are good but can't let a viewer distinguish between black mold and black from long ago fire damage followed with a little bit of mold on top... Since the studs look so good, I am pretty sure that this is not a big mold problem -- or else the studs would look far far worse.

    if i were there i might just close it all up and call it good. BTW, did you know that foam once hardened adds a lot of structural strength ?

    david
  13. Jedi

    Jedi New Member

    Messages:
    23
    When you mention foam do you mean rigid foam or spray foam? With the fiber board and strapping gone I'm going to have to build out the studs. I was thinking of placing Roxul insulation but I will have a gap. Should I leave the gap between the insulation and the rotten boards or buy the insulation made for 2x6 walls?

    I hate to say this but closing it up will be what will probably end up happening. I was thinking or getting some sort of spray like Cass suggested adding insulation vapor barrier and drywall..
  14. i meant a spray, which hardens. Not a loose panel that you attach here and there with glue or screws and nails. Whatever all the other guys have said above is good too, and whatever they will say is going to be good too. :)

    I did say "harden" above too.

    Although Roxul is good in many ways, I'm not a big fan of anything loose here, in this situation. Instead of loose insulation and then a sheet of vapor barrier, I would use foam (spray which hardens) since it is a Fantastic air and vapor barrier too. Far far better than any sheet that will have seams to tape and get punctured here and there too.

    david
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2007
  15. toolaholic

    toolaholic General Contractor Carpenter

    Messages:
    874
    Location:
    Marin Co. Ca.
    Yes,You probably have more rot

    When we find leak damage,we guess there's more. It just hasn't made it to the inside surface yet. The stusso job was poorley done, that's been proven!!!!
    Listen to Your Wife,When I don't follow Her wisdom [ my wife] I am in trouble.
    Today ,they have mold detectors ,that read the walls!!!!! They're. used daily in
    New Orleans by home inspectors. best of luck Tool
  16. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    If you decide to go that particular route, you want an insulation contractor and not a case of cans from the box store. I do not know what the stuff is called, but I have seen it applied ... and it will seal everything up and add some structural integrity. After things have dried out, apply whatever sealer you want to use, then have the foam sprayed professionally before closing the wall and carrying on with your project.
  17. Jedi

    Jedi New Member

    Messages:
    23
    The only wood hardening product I could find was a two part process and it's meant for small applications and not a whole wall. I also talked to a spray foam company and they said it would be a bad idea to spray over the rotten wood because the foam would attach to the loose fibers and fall off. He did say that if I was able to remove the rotten wood he could spray directly on to the back of the stucco and studs but that still doesn't address where the water is coming from and how far the rot goes.

    I think I might just spray the wood with a product to treat the mold and close it up. I'll check the outside for cracks in the stucco, and look into selling next year.
  18. normal doubts

    i think it is normal for professionals to express the hesitations they have and describe problems right at the beginning. During the first phone call it is up to the buyer to open the next subject. My saying this is not a recommendation for you to do this.

    In your case it's how to anchor the foam e.g. by putting in screws here and there in all the right places.

    Then, the discussion can focus on the following subject, which is who expressly warrantees that this portion of the preparatory work is sufficient and appropriate... and once again it is the buyer who has to open this subject so that the professional is not seen as shirking his responsibility. My saying this is not a recommendation for you to do this.

    Retrofits and remodels are often a huge hassle to professionals; the jobs are smaller, more complex, with more unexpressed hidden expectations, and even the buyer may be unable to understand what the issues and concerns are. It can be a hornet's nest so a screening process goes on where they practically force you to insist you want them, you need them, you will pay them and whatever parts of the work they don't feel comfortable with you will do once they guide you a little bit. I have been in this situation myself more than once, and this is how I did deal with pro's who acted the reluctant bride part. My saying this is not a recommendation for you to do this.

    In some big hardware stores you can buy the professional sized spray foam gun kit with nozzle cleaner. My saying this is not a recommendation for you to do this.

    david
  19. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    In order for me to either live there in relative comfort or to sell with a clear conscience, I would first do all I could to discover and resolve the source of the moisture. Then I would treat the wood as you have mentioned, followed by a couple of coats of sealer and/or some "kilz" type of solid-body paint ... and that would resolve this matter:

  20. mrmedic

    mrmedic Junior Member

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    Delaware
    There was a class action suite a few years back about a type of stucco finish that was prone to water leakage. (I forget the name of it) If you have this type of stucco you might have a bigger problem throughout the house. I would have a stucco contractor look at it. Just a thought.

    Ron
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