We're headed for a November 3 showdown in commonwealth court with a
scam artist who convinced an elderly family member he was an expert at
all sorts of home improvements. To make a long story short, he
constructed a room addition two feet below grade BEHIND a ranch home
on a slope, and with a rear septic system, and never laid any drain
tile around the periphery. He tore up the back yard, laid cheap black
drain tubing he called drain tile at arbitrary distances from the
addition, and ripped out thirty year-old existing tile that had worked
expertly prior to his arrival. The yard alone is a disaster.
Above the SHINGLED <1/8" addition roof (that cracked and leaked less
than a month after he was finished), he built a 12' x 24' deck.
Because the roof was so close to the underside of the deck, the
underside could not be reached or treated until the addition was
demolished this past month.
My questions: 1) How do you clean the dirt and mold that has built up
in pressure-treated wood so that you can stain it? 2) Is
"waterproofing" of any benefit to bare exposed wood that endured one
of the snow-iest winters on record? 3) Since this home is in the
Northeast (Pennsylvania), and since I'll be doing this work myself, is
it feasible to undertake this job at this time of year, or will the
cleaning/washing/prep work on a deck this size (with a dozen
ornamental railing spokes between every six-foot newell post) be
time-consuming enough so that painting/staining in November will make
the work pointless?
Thank you for reading and answering or emailing.
You probably didn't get a response because we can't see the problems you
described, and personally, I couldn't follow your description too well.
An addition was built, then the roof shingled, and then a deck built
right over it? How? Were the deck posts nailed to the shingles? Plastic
drain pipe is commonly used for new footing drainage. My 20 year old
house has the white rigid plastic perforated pipe laid in gravel around
the footings. 2 years ago, the local highway department put a drainage
pipe under the foot of my driveway because of an underground spring that
would freeze and crumble the end of my driveway and the roadway. They
used the flexible perforated and corrugated black plastic pipe.
I am not an expert, but I thought pressure treated wood was supposed to
inhibit mold. Last year, I tore up a 17 year old PT deck that was, at
the highest, 1' off the ground. There was no mold anywhere. The fact
that there is mold on a structure that is that new leads me to believe
the wood was not PT. BTW, I'm close to you in SE NYS and about a half
hour's drive down I-84 to Matamoras, and I get the same weather.
As for the yard being messed up, that is what happens when there is
construction. The contractor is only responsible for the construction,
rough back filling and clean up, not landscaping, or returning the yard
to the way it was before the construction, unless it was specified in
All the problems your family member is now having is the reason why
building codes are established, permits required, and inspections
conducted. I suppose that there are no building codes where your family
member lives, or if there are, no one bothered to follow them.
Good luck in court. It seems like that is your only recourse at this time.
I wouldn't bother cleaning it up until after court. Perhaps the judge
may order that it be repaired or taken down.
Pennsylvania Lady wrote:
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