Water Damaged Subfloor - costs?

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CRC301
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Water Damaged Subfloor - costs?

Post by CRC301 » Tue May 14, 2019 7:26 pm

My wife and I are in contract to purchase a home (not a new home). The inspection revealed a few things and the seller has agreed to fix all but one thing we requested. The one thing they are not going to fix/address is a small area of wood rot in the OSB sub-floor directly under the front door. According to them, they can't seem to find someone to do the work. The small area of wood rot (about a 6 inch by 6 inch area) is visible from the basement. The basement is not finished and there are no signs that large amounts of water have entered the home from this area. I do know that the sub-floor has two layers of OSB/plywood and there is luxury vinyl plank on top of that. I remember the inspector showing us this and we went to the exterior of the front door and noticed small cracks between the bottom door sill and the stone/concrete underneath it but the inspector couldn't/wouldn't say if that was the source of the water entry.

Anyone experienced this before and have an idea how big of a deal this is? I'm not thinking it's something to let the deal fall apart over. I'm pretty handy so I feel I could easily replace a small section of the sub-floor myself and the LVP will make it even easier IMO. However I know things aren't always as easy as they seem. Any wisdom would be appreciated :happy Thanks!

megabad
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Re: Water Damaged Subfloor - costs?

Post by megabad » Tue May 14, 2019 8:43 pm

CRC301 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 7:26 pm
Anyone experienced this before and have an idea how big of a deal this is? I'm not thinking it's something to let the deal fall apart over. I'm pretty handy so I feel I could easily replace a small section of the sub-floor myself and the LVP will make it even easier IMO. However I know things aren't always as easy as they seem. Any wisdom would be appreciated :happy Thanks!
The floor work will be simple to DIY assuming you have clicklock LVP installed directly on top of subfloor. I would just expose it to the seam and replace the whole piece if you can.

Fixing the other things associated with this may be more involved. Is the door frame also damaged? How confident are you in finding the source of the leak and being able to fix? As long as you are pretty confident that there is no additional damage and you can fix the leak, I would be too concerned though.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Water Damaged Subfloor - costs?

Post by Sandtrap » Tue May 14, 2019 8:49 pm

This is the type of repair where there can be at least 2 repair scenarios and each one starts with it looking the same as it is now.
1. OSB and surface plywood/flooring damage. Tear and replace. (reasonable price)
2. #1 plus damage to the joist and rim joist below and also the transition area between the inside to door frame to outer.
(materials would be not too bad, labor would be high as it would be time consuming to do a good job) (really bad if the area below the threshold and the lower end of the door frame is bad)

3. You can do all this yourself with patience and diligence. Be sure to prevent future water intrusion.

silverlitegs
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Re: Water Damaged Subfloor - costs?

Post by silverlitegs » Tue May 14, 2019 9:00 pm

megabad wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 8:43 pm
CRC301 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 7:26 pm
Anyone experienced this before and have an idea how big of a deal this is? I'm not thinking it's something to let the deal fall apart over. I'm pretty handy so I feel I could easily replace a small section of the sub-floor myself and the LVP will make it even easier IMO. However I know things aren't always as easy as they seem. Any wisdom would be appreciated :happy Thanks!
The floor work will be simple to DIY assuming you have clicklock LVP installed directly on top of subfloor. I would just expose it to the seam and replace the whole piece if you can.

Fixing the other things associated with this may be more involved. Is the door frame also damaged? How confident are you in finding the source of the leak and being able to fix? As long as you are pretty confident that there is no additional damage and you can fix the leak, I would be too concerned though.
Some of the LVP, coretec I thought, was a one time click and reusing it isnt possible. I would also seek to find my own contractor to fix the damage and get a quote

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Water Damaged Subfloor - costs?

Post by jabberwockOG » Tue May 14, 2019 9:07 pm

More important to fix what is allowing the water intrusion into the house. It could be a very simple lack of caulk around the threshold causing water intrusion, or the real problem could be something more complex and lot more expensive to really correct. Tough to tell without a very detailed examination of the inside and outside of the door and surround/jamb/molding, threshold, subfloor, and the quality of construction/materials used for and around those items.

Almost nothing damages a house worse than water. A minor water leak does not normally rot out a subfloor. Find out what the root cause of the subfloor rotting out is before you close the deal and pay the price.

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CRC301
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Re: Water Damaged Subfloor - costs?

Post by CRC301 » Tue May 14, 2019 10:06 pm

Seems like it could be really easy or really hard/expensive.

The interior of the rim joist and all of the floor joists are visible from the basement and they did not show any signs of rot; it was very localized to the OSB subfloor. I do remember looking at the door sill plate and area around it from the topside and I couldn't see any visible water damage but the LVP and some molding would need pulled up to get a good look under there.

We ended up accepting $500 in lieu of them not repairing it and if all I need to do is buy some screws, OSB/plywood, and exterior caulk then we made out on the deal. If the leak has damaged the area underneath the door sill then we may have lost out on the deal. Going to try and see if they'll let us have a contractor that we can find take a look for an estimate before closing. We'll see. I'll try to remember to update what ends up happening.

Thanks for the comments! :sharebeer

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Sandtrap
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Re: Water Damaged Subfloor - costs?

Post by Sandtrap » Tue May 14, 2019 10:08 pm

CRC301 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 10:06 pm
Seems like it could be really easy or really hard/expensive.

The interior of the rim joist and all of the floor joists are visible from the basement and they did not show any signs of rot; it was very localized to the OSB subfloor. I do remember looking at the door sill plate and area around it from the topside and I couldn't see any visible water damage but the LVP and some molding would need pulled up to get a good look under there.

We ended up accepting $500 in lieu of them not repairing it and if all I need to do is buy some screws, OSB/plywood, and exterior caulk then we made out on the deal. If the leak has damaged the area underneath the door sill then we may have lost out on the deal. Going to try and see if they'll let us have a contractor that we can find take a look for an estimate before closing. We'll see. I'll try to remember to update what ends up happening.

Thanks for the comments! :sharebeer
Glad it worked out for you.
Good call.
Onward!

Nowizard
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Re: Water Damaged Subfloor - costs?

Post by Nowizard » Wed May 15, 2019 7:15 am

If it is simple, then why does the seller refuse to fix it? Any Realtor has a stable of people who do repairs and can recommend one. If you have a realtor, they will do something simple and pay themselves in order to get a sale. Have an expert determine what is the issue. Water is a major issue, as mentioned by others.

Tim

carolinaman
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Re: Water Damaged Subfloor - costs?

Post by carolinaman » Wed May 15, 2019 9:01 am

The water damaged subfloor is the symptom. The root cause is the source of the water. It is most likely leaking around the door. Perhaps this only occurs with hard rains. I have had this problem a couple of times and the solution both times was to reinstall the doors, making sure it was sealed correctly to prevent water leaks.

It also involved replacing the damaged subfloor and floor in the area damaged. Since your wood rot area is so small, you might be able to cut out and replace that area without disturbing the surface flooring. You also might be able to fix the leak by caulking around the base of the door.

If simple fixes do not work, reinstalling the door and making it water proof requires a skilled carpenter. That is what I did.

GrowthSeeker
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Re: Water Damaged Subfloor - costs?

Post by GrowthSeeker » Wed May 15, 2019 9:03 am

I would guess that once a diagnosis of exactly why that part got wet is made, the fix is probably straightforward.

Maybe the door was left open or ajar during one rainstorm. I'm not sure if a one-time water leak would have rotted out the subfloor: maybe it would given that it is probably OSB, some grades are better than others, and maybe just one soaking would mess up the glue. Is a better material needed for the subfloor there (like the kind that goes into bathrooms)?

Or maybe there was a chronic leak under the door during every rainstorm. What way does the prevailing wind blow most of the time? How closely does the bottom of the door fit into the sill/threshold? Could there be water leaking under the sill/threshold? When the door is closed, does it rattle in place (which might let water leak in around the sides too).
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.

Hockey10
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Re: Water Damaged Subfloor - costs?

Post by Hockey10 » Wed May 15, 2019 3:26 pm

Before doing any repairs, find the source of the leak and fix that. Maybe you could stand outside and spray the door with a garden hose and have someone watch for water on the inside.

I once had a door that leaked. Water was somehow getting in through the corner of a window pane in the door. I fixed the subfloor myself, but the problem turned out to be a lot more significant that I originally thought. There was a squishy section of floor immediately next to the door, but when I ripped up the floor, I discovered that a section about 4 times larger than the squishy section was starting to show sign of rot.

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lthenderson
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Re: Water Damaged Subfloor - costs?

Post by lthenderson » Thu May 16, 2019 8:27 am

Having replaced subfloor rot near doors, most often the cause is an incorrectly installed door, i.e. they didn't use sealant under the threshold. But since you mentioned there is LVP flooring, I would first check the bottom seal on the door that seals up the gap between the door and threshold. If it has gone bad, it could possibly let water in during hard rains and because your flooring if vinyl, any water intrusion settles through the cracks in the flooring to the subfloor and nobody is the wiser until they go to the basement and look up.

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