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    Thread: Repairing bathroom water damage, subfloor replacement tips?

    1. Member redshift's Avatar
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      10-25-2005 11:50 PM #1
      OK, so this is what happens when water leaks from inside the wall.

      The story:

      When we returned from Spain, I sat down to go to the bathroom and noticed a noise that sounded faintly like water running. Not seeing any water, I decided it was probably the toilet tank leaking into the bowl and a new gasket would fix it. I went on my merry way and didn't give it another thought.

      A week later, I noticed a small flood on the floor of the room directly below the bathroom (which, incidentally has our main electrical panel in it), dripping from the thankfully open ceiling. My fears were confirmed, there was water leaking from inside the bathroom wall.

      After pulling up a bit of the linoleum, we discovered the putrid odor and soft black wood that meant this had been going on slowly for a long time. As an added bonus, I later found that the wax ring under the toilet had long since been distended to the point of leaking a little into the subfloor whenever it was flushed.


      So... after a bit of demo, here I am with a rotted subfloor, some sticks and some pipes (fixed now, thankfully). I've had the opportunity to rip out the old crap electrical and re-wire it correctly, and I'm ready to start rebuilding after the subfloor is fixed.

      That subfloor needs to come out, and the bathroom will be fully remodeled (I figured as long as I'm doing a bit of demo, might as well do the whole thing up nice )

      Does anyone have any tips on how to cut out and replace that subfloor? Should I be concerned about going under the existing wall (not really an option, unfortunately), or should I just sawzall as close to the walls as possible and throw down some 3/4" ply or whatever width is already there? I'm also going to have to sister some more joist material to the joists below, I think, since they're a bit water-damaged and fire-damaged from a previous house fire (thanks for sheetrocking over the top of that one, previous owners )

      Does that sound like the right way to do it? I'm pretty good at wiring and I can find my way around most carpentry tasks, but I just want to know I'm proceeding in the right direction before I tackle anything like flooring and support.

      I'll be sure to take more pics and update as the bathroom gets remodeled.

      Good night Austin Texas, wherever you are!

    2. Member tjm0852's Avatar
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      10-26-2005 08:51 AM #2
      Sawzall around the outside edge of the floor like you said is the best idea. Before you put any plywood down make sure that your floor joists are level. After you shim your floor joists, use some construction adhesive and screws to attach the plywood, there is less chance of squeaking later on.
      Sounds like you got the right idea. I would not be to concerned about the wood under the wall studs, unless it is moldy. When I did my bathroom, I cut the floor out like you said. The remaining plywood was delaminated, but not moldy, so I left it.
      Good Luck, it is a lot of work

    3. 10-26-2005 09:44 AM #3
      i had a similar problem when i tore out my old bathroom. just sawzall the floor out and slap in new plywood. make sure you have a cats paw. they are great for digging out nails.

    4. 10-26-2005 10:24 AM #4
      use a circular saw set to just slightly deeper than the subfloor instead of a sawzall and cut it up in sections then use the sawzall to trim it closer to the wall. its a lot easier and faster than trying to do it all with a sawzall

    5. Member redshift's Avatar
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      10-26-2005 01:36 PM #5
      Thanks for the tips, guys. I'll be tearing into this saturday morning, hopefully I can have the subfloor replaced and some sheetrocking done by the end of the day.

      Man, after having the linoleum off for 4 days, that weird stink that bathroom always had is gone. Wonder how long this has been going on? Yech.

      Good night Austin Texas, wherever you are!

    6. Member redshift's Avatar
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      11-02-2005 07:31 PM #6
      Here's some updated pictures of the project:


      After ripping out the 4" concrete slab that the shower was on, found this fire-damaged sheet metal underneath it.



      Here's what the flooring underneath looked like. I nearly fell through into the basement.



      Better pic of the fire damage. I can't believe the fire inspector signed off on that (must have been at least 15-20 years ago, from what I can determine from previous owners) because this is some serious structural damage. I had to add new joists and replace the flooring.



      The new stuff.



      Tuned by Home Depot




      Here's how it sits now, with new 3/4" ply subflooring installed. The closet flange is done as well. Now I've got to get my shower drain roughed in and prepare to start building back up to something usable. I can't wait to use the damned thing.

      Good night Austin Texas, wherever you are!

    7. Member vwgtipowr's Avatar
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      11-04-2005 10:37 AM #7
      Nice work!

      I had to do this when we bought our house, cause the subfloor was rotted right through. Major pain in the butt!


    8. Member veedubbin's Avatar
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      11-04-2005 11:13 AM #8
      Looking good

    9. Member redshift's Avatar
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      11-04-2005 01:25 PM #9
      It's coming along. I'm doing the sheet rock tonight.
      Good night Austin Texas, wherever you are!

    10. 11-05-2005 11:21 AM #10
      Wow...that's a real pain in the ass. Looking good though

    11. 11-09-2005 12:00 PM #11

      The silver lining is that you didn't just dismiss the leak and then a month later doe in a cave in when the floor collapsed.


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