This home faced an issue that is all-too typical when exterior decks are built at the same elevation as interior floors – water damage that causes wood rot and leads to an insect infestation. When the home’s new buyers received their inspection report, it noted that there was some water damage. (The home lacked a gutter, so rain poured off the roof and onto the exposed deck below.) However, the extent of the damage was concealed due to the home’s cedar siding; cedar resists rot and repels insects, so the homeowners didn’t realize that carpenter ants were eating away the rotted wood inside their walls.
- The main cause of the water damage was a lack of flashing between the house and the deck. We first removed all the rotted and missing wood and replaced it with pressure-treated materials. We then installed heavy flashing that would prevent water from seeping into the house in the future.
- Under the siding and inside the walls, we discovered a huge colony of carpenter ants that was feasting on the wet wood – to the extent that you could literally poke a screwdriver right through the wood. We removed the ants, and then rebuilt the wall, making certain that the studs were once again strong enough to structurally support the wall. We then painted and trimmed the interior wall, replaced the damaged exterior siding, and repainted the home’s rear exterior to seamlessly blend the new with the old.
- Since the door jamb under the existing nine-light wood door that led to the deck was rotted, we replaced it with a rot-resistant door jamb and replaced the door with a metal full-view French door that brings more light into the space.