I have a house that I swear was designed and built by an idiot. It is now 22
years old and literally falling apart at the seams and everywhere else. The
question/problem I have today that I can't figure out is this.
The house is build on a cement slab, the slab extends out from the foundation on
two sides (side and back of house) and is level with the foundation. This means
that the sill of the house is sitting at the same level as the "outside" slab so
when it rains the water runs down the house, hits the slab and rolls under the
sill and rots out the sill, the siding, and the trim that have all been
installed down to the slab. I hope this is understandable I have added pictures
Now I have removed the rotting trim, siding, etc and can see rot of the sill
board happening. What can I do BEFORE I replace the siding and trim to keep
water from running under the siding and trim and rotting it AGAIN and further
rotting out the sill board, etc?
Any idea without just demolishing this whole stinking house?
Probably best thing is to regrade in front of the slab so the water at
least from the surrounding area is diverted. What lands directly on the
slab itself there's not much to be done about, unfortunately.
That's what I was thinking too. The house needs a "skirt".
I'll guess there were no plans, no permit and no building inspector involved
in the constsruction. To the OP: it sounds like you've owned the house for
a while. Didn't the construction raise some flags when you bought it?
Yeah. Build a short concrete wall outside of that part of the house, but
replace all the wet material before doing so. You know, mold and all that.
You'are right. That house was built by an idiot. No wooden construction
should ever be built at ground level or below, or where water may
Maybe the GC thought he was building a shed.
That would never have passed inspection where I live.
Contact the TV show 'Holmes On Homes' (Canadian). Maybe they will fix it
for free if they can use it on their show.
A ground level gutter system?
Would some sort of roof flashing work? Example here:
http://tinyurl.com/kf9n6wv Slip part of it under the bottom piece
of siding. Use some sort of water sealant under the part on the
On Saturday, August 3, 2013 7:03:07 PM UTC-4, Dean Hoffman wrote:
I would cut off the concrete patio from the house and then
demolish it. Re-grade so that the wood is 6" min above the soil
and so the area outside the house slopes away. Then if she
wants, she can replace the patio with whatever she chooses,
eg pavers, concrete, stamped concrete, etc. Short of that, it's
just a lot of wasted time and money replacing wood that is going
to rot again.
You are right about the idiot.
There should have been a foundation that puts the wood off the slab.
I would consider the stuff they are using for truck beds...
spray some on the concrete around the walls. Re-sheathe the outside
after replacing whatever sills need replacing. Then spray the material
again and join with the foundation. That stuff is being used in
buildings now... while this may seem like BS, I don't see another
solution.. to preventing any water intrusion, even if you cut the slab
near the foundation, you need to seal it from any water intrusion...
I would consider cutting the slab and creating a boundary... I hope that
idiot knew to make the slab drop 1/4" per foot away from the house...
that is a basic... but that is just wrong the way it was done.
On Sat, 03 Aug 2013 21:44:02 +0000, 1HandyWoman
You have to cut that slab away from the outside of the sills.
Yep, it's terrible design.
Every sided house/barn/garage I've ever seen has the bottom of the
siding shedding water away from the sills and dropping to lower
That ground is graded away from the building so water won't pool up
higher than the foundation/slab and get to the sills.
It's a house, not a boat. Maybe the builder failed at boat making and
tried his hand with houses.
You may have a house that was part of a government program to build
low-cost housing that could be purchased by people with limited means.
They were designed to last 20 years. I forget the HUD program number.
Section 140, or something.
If this is what you have, it has exceeded it's design life time.
I can see four choices:
1. Demolish the slab and grade surface down and away from house.
2. Extend house over outside slab. You'd probably have to install
supports - piers? - for the outside slab and you'd still need to grade the
perimeter down and way from the outside slab.
3. Cut the oudside slab free and raise the entire existing house and slab
4. Sell the house.
On Sunday, August 4, 2013 8:44:50 AM UTC-4, dadiOH wrote:
While option #2 would help, it's not a real solution because
it still leaves presumably untreated wood on top of concrete.
And from a practicality standpoint, I think only #1 and #4
are viable. How much #1 would cost depends on what is around
the house, eg landscaping, sidewalks, driveway and also how
the existing natural grade goes.
First, the rotted portions of sill plate, etc., have to be replaced with
PT. This won't remedy the problem of rain water running down the wall,
getting behind the siding and rotting out the new sill plate, but maybe
this minimal (and probably the cheapest) fix will last another 22 years.
Maybe the PT will last longer than the original lumber that is in there
now. This has to be done, no matter what else is done.
Second, there are two slabs here. First, there was a slab floor (and
footings?) that was possibly up to code. Then, later, somebody poured a
second slab out in the yard. (You can see in the photos that the yard slab
and the floor slab were two separate pours. Maybe the idiot didn't build
the house. Maybe the idiot came along later.) It makes sense to rip the
idiot's yard-slab out and grade the yard. Doing this might produce a house
that is salable. It would be very difficult to finance a sale if this is
Finally, if the second fix, above, is not done, it might be possible to use
a concrete saw (while the siding is off) to cut a deep groove in the edge
of the yard slab as close as possible to the joint with the floor slab.
Poke one edge of a long strip of flashing material that is several inches
wide into this groove, then tack the strip of flashing to the (new, PT)
studs and/or sill plate. Caulk the groove in the yard slab then complete
the repair by replacing the siding, etc. This fix probably won't last
forever, but it may last a little longer than the first fix, above. I'm
82; it will see me out. There's a comfort to that.
Concrete cutting and grinding equipment is readily available for rent
that can cut/grind a reasonable slope into the concrete so water drains
away. Most concrete contractors could do the job fairly inexpensively as
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