Poorly constructed sills destroy three season room

Customer Robin calls me, says the vinyl siding has nothing behind it in places. I investigate. The window sills were either flat or sloped TOWARD the house, forcing rain water to run into the walls. The vinyl siding did not let the water evaporate, so the water rotted the walls and a good portion of the floor framing. All three walls needed to be removed, as well as the outer portion of the floor framing, including joist ends, band joists, and sill plates. I added “sister” joists to most of the joists after removing the rotted ends. I installed sill plates. The walls were reframed, windows and vinyl siding re-installed. Some of the pictures show the roof of the room being supported by “stiffbacks”, after I jacked up the left side about 2.5″.  This job shows the kind of damage that water can do if allowed time to do it.

The detail pictures show the 10 degree slope of the window and lower band sills, and the drip grooves in both, which are essential in order to keep water from running laterally back toward the house. The grooves cause rain water to bead up and drop to the ground – outside the house.

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This picture shows how the left corner of the back wall settled after all the wood rot compromised the structure. The drop in elevation is visible by the sight lines of the window sills and the siding. They curve down, and there is a huge gap between the two on the back side at the corner. It was about a 2.5 inch settling.

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Again, the curvature of the windows’ sill indicates the settling due to loss of structural support.

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This a a picture of the window sills at the corner. It's a poor picture because it doesn't show the top surface, which is sloped 10 degrees away from the house, just like the band sills in the two previous pictures.
This a a picture of the window sills at the corner. Notice the 10 degree slope on the underside and the drip groove.
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Note the 10 degree slope on the top of the continuous window sill, which is under all four windows. It is enough for rain water to run off.

 

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Another view after caulking. The slope is a little more noticeable in this photo. The chief cause of the destruction of the entire room was the window sills 1) having no slope, 2) not being caulked, 3) not having overlap with other parts of the window. Notice that the trim board sits on top of the sill. Water running down the trim board will hit the sill and run off. The drip groove and slope of the underside of the sill will ensure that there will be no capillary action of water running back to the house. Water cannot get in.
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Finished the job with a landing and steps.

The moral of this story is to fix water ingress as soon as possible, because water will decompose the wood structure of your house. The vinyl siding on this house hid this decomposition from my customer, and she did not discover the damage until one day she happened to push against the vinyl siding, and it “gave”.

Call to talk about your repair or remodel project.

Patrick 207-577-9765