Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A look at the roof, boxgutter, and floor joists.

Well, the roof work has begun and last Saturday the fellas from Benchmark started working on the box gutters. Woot!

Much of the framing that the gutters sit on was just total rot, so the first thing was to firm up the supports.

The guys made quick work of replacing the bad wood and set up these new frames, seen from the inside of the third floor at the roofline.

I gotta say, they worked all day and into the night when they couldn't work any longer due to darkness taking over.

So far so good. There are actually 2 gutters that need repaired, one on the East side of the house, which is shown below (nice work on the molding, guys!) and the second is perpendicular to this one, and just above the left side of this box gutter where the two angled rooflines meet in the center of the house. That one's still a work in progress... (but what isn't?)

At this point I want to point out that the box gutter on the front of the house is still in decent shape, but we did have one little problem: The electric lines coming into the house from the street were intertwined with the downspout at the front of the house. Matt Maynard (of Benchmark Roofing) pointed out that this could possibly be a danger to him and his crew, justifiably so!

So off we went to put a call in to Duke Energy to resolve the problem. After a quick conversation we were assured that they would send someone out to inspect the lines. Well, I gotta give them credit, they were quick about it.

They came and took down the downspout while we were out.

I think we'll be calling Duke back.

OK, now on to the floors:

On the first floor, in the Northeast corner of the house (red arrow in above image), we have a pretty bad rot problem due to a defunct (aka rusted through) vent stack between the first and second floor.

In case I'm not being clear here: Hole in roof --> cast iron vent pipe--> hole in pipe dumping water into the wall and onto the second floor joist, down to the first floor joist, maybe for years now.

After pulling up the floor boards on the first floor where the rot started (trying to preserve as much as I could fo the good sections for use in the repairs we'll be doing in the front 2 rooms) I discovered this:

The top center of this image (Northeast corner of the house) is where the vent stack was dumping water into the house. You can see that the far left joist is gone and some previous repairs were attempted to shore up that corner, but they forgot to fix the problem (the stack pouring water into the house) so it's all still a mess.

But here's the killer.... the floor joists themselves.

Let me start with the history of the house. The east side of this room (about 6'x15') was once an outdoor area with basement access from the outside. (see image below) You can see the framing for the door in the floor in the Northeast corner of the room. Since this was once an outdoor area, the floor joists are pretty stable where they once stood under the exterior wall, about 6 feet in from the current East wall.

To support the floor when the original owners decided to expand the back room and encompass the basement access, (expanding the room by 6'x15') they sistered some beams to the existing joists and supported them on the existing foundation.

But then, someone decided to dig.

They dug out a lot of the dirt and half of the wall that was once supporting the exterior wall. They put in some lovely duct work that now is total cr@p.

So now we have this:

Yes, these joists (a solid 3"x10" beams) are only connected by three nails each and overlapping by only 4 inches with no support whatsoever underneath.

The scary thing is, they're REALLY stable.

We'll be shoring these up with a 2x6 crosswise underneath where the joists are joined together and support them with a metal post underneath.

The we'll be placing 2 layers of .5" OSB on top for the flooring.... as soon as we have a roof that doesn't dump water back into the house. :-)

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