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Unread 01-09-2020, 02:06 PM   #1
Theproj
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Shower wall leak damage/ demo. Wet studs

Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida
House built: 1970
Shower walls/ceiling: 2"+ plaster metal lathe, concrete boards, and drywall. PITA
Shower base: Mud pan, failed liner, black mortar??, tile, on concrete

After several loose tiles, slight wall bulge, and wet smell decided to demo the shower. As far as I can tell all the fur strips need to be replaced, at least one stud will need a sister studs. But my current primary concern is the sill plate on the wall as the stud that needs a sister studs.

I am currently running a heater fan pointed at that of the wall and exhaust fans.
However I am concerned the base stud is possibly a load bearing wall and it is just soaked and kinda soft. Hoping it drys out and returns to solid but with my luck...

Anything I can provide i will but can anyone tell if it is load bearing?
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Unread 01-10-2020, 07:30 AM   #2
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Welcome Eric,

In the last picture I see part of a truss assembly, and the way it is oriented makes me think that wall is indeed load bearing.

If there's enough water in those studs and bottom plate to make them soft I kinda doubt they are going to return to normal after drying out, but you'll have to assess them once they are dry.
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Unread 01-10-2020, 12:37 PM   #3
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Wet wood is still very firm and solid as the carbon grain/fiber structure is still fully in tact. There is no such thing as wood "firming up" if it's soft then it's rotted. The easy way to tell is to poke at it with a screwdriver. If the screwdriver just digs right in and starts tearing bits out then it is rotted and needs to be replaced or supported. You can compare that with poking a solid piece of undamaged lumber, the difference is not subtle. Looks like there is definitely some rot in there that will require repair before you close it up.
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Unread 01-15-2020, 10:17 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input!

So I left a heater fan oscillating the area to help speed up the drying. When the bottom board was wet, it felt as though you could push a screw driver right through it if I tried so I stopped. Now that its dry it definitely is not soft and definitely cant push a screwdriver into now like when it was wet and feels solid.

I was afraid it may be a load bearing wall but 1 of the 3 studs are essentially "floating" as they are not really making contact with the bottom (previously wet/soft) board as they rotted out and only a small corner piece is making contact. Should I amputate, add prosthetic, and then add a sister board? Or just sister stud all three for peace of mind and so that I can have an already level for the durock stage?
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Unread 01-15-2020, 10:31 AM   #5
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Finishing up removing the shower pan (not as difficult as I thought it would be) and saw the drain for the first time and seems as though it's metal with a ring.
Any idea on the kind of drain it is? I assume this would keep me from having a curbless and/or relocated drain easily? Planning on using redgard for waterproofing because kerdi pricing and drain location.
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Unread 01-15-2020, 10:38 AM   #6
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Eric, I looked at the last pic I previously referenced and I still think that wall is load bearing, regardless of if one or more of the existing studs are resting on the bottom/sole plate.

The bottom plate, though now dry to the touch, still looks iffy to me from here, it kind of looks dry rotted when I enlarge your most recent photo.

Because that wall is load bearing you cannot simply cut off the last foot or two of the bad studs and then nail, or even screw, short pieces to the sides of them. You'll either need to remove the bad ones completely (preferable) and replace with new ones that are tight against the top and bottom plates, or add new studs along side of the bad ones that also are tight to the top and bottom plates.
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Unread 01-15-2020, 11:42 AM   #7
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Thanks Dan.


Just to clarify I originally meant in cutting off the bottom 2 feet and replacing it (Kreg joint not on the side) new 2' stud directly in its place and then add a new full length stud next to it. However I agree and prefer to remove with new studs also just didnt think the old stud should be removed for reason.

Any suggestions on replacing that portion of the bottom plate?

Blue = Stud width
Red = Cut and replacement portion(s) of bottom plate
Green = Replaced studs
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Unread 01-15-2020, 02:30 PM   #8
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Or maybe create a frame, make it a tad taller (1/4"'sh) maybe, slide it up behind the blue line stud, cut that portion of the bottom plate flush with the middle stud, than start tapping in the bottom portion of the new frame while it pushes out the cut base plate to the garage. The garage is on the other side which you can see the drywall that needs to be replaced.

Red = Wall in question
Black = Window
Blue = Side garage door
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Unread 01-16-2020, 07:03 AM   #9
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Eric,

No, you cannot...well, should not, cut the bottom of the studs off and then try to join a new piece to the bottom of them at the cuts. Regardless of what type of joinery you employ you are effectively creating a hinge at that joint. If you were having it inspected it wouldn't pass.

IMO, if you're going to replace the drywall on the garage side anyway, just remove that drywall all the way to the top, which will give you easy access to the top plate from the garage side and you can easily replace those three compromised studs. Attached garages are, I think, required to use 5/8" X (fire rated) drywall so double check what you remove.

If you decide to replace that section of sole plate it'll be in your best interest, and that of the building, to add a couple of temporary studs from the floor to the bottom of the roof truss(s), as close to the wall as possible, before you cut out the bad stuff.
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Unread 01-16-2020, 08:42 AM   #10
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What Dan said. Also, that drain will need to be replaced. I don't see any weep holes in that old drain and could be why you had a damp smell in there. You mentioned using Kerdi, if you do then using a Kerdi drain would be best in that situation.
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Unread 01-16-2020, 02:53 PM   #11
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Dan,

Gracias senor. I will see what it looks like on the other side of the wall and decide if I need to call in a carpenter. Will check on the drywall and replace accordingly as you suggested. Thanks for the help sir!

Davy,

To replace the drain would require me to break out a rotary hammer, with a pointed tip, and chip around the drain to get to the p-trap? Or is there a particular way the drain is unscrewed? Thank you for you assistance!
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Unread 01-16-2020, 03:18 PM   #12
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New picture of the drain. I found a either a lip (mini pry bar) that may be corroded or it's a ring and I happened to chip that part of the old mortar?
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Unread 01-16-2020, 03:39 PM   #13
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Eric, whatever that drain actually is, you've got to replace it. It's not suitable for use in any style of shower receptor construction.

If all the plumbing below it is also cast iron, 'specially the trap, you may want to consider replacing more of it. 50 year old CI P-traps are certainly suspect and you may find that you can poke a steel rod down that drain and right through the bottom of the trap.

Yes, it will involve chipping some concrete any way you look at it.

And it would be very helpful if you'd put your geographic location into your User Profile so it appears in each post and folks don't need to search for it.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 01-16-2020, 04:24 PM   #14
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De nada, Eric.

Calling in a carp isn't a bad idea if this is beyond your comfort zone, but this repair is pretty much just basic framing. A tape measure, pencil, saw, level, some 3" or 3.5" construction screws, a drill/impact driver, maybe a Sawzall for the sole plate, but if you remove the drywall a hand saw will suffice. Some 2X4's, a sheet of drywall, drywall screws.

Sometimes we spend more time contemplating how to fix something without tearing stuff apart than would be spent actually tearing stuff apart. BTDT.
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Unread 01-16-2020, 05:50 PM   #15
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Thank ya'll. Added the location to my profile also.

I am IT guy and am comfortable with framing/carpentry (even framed, insulated, etc a garage wall as a future work area before this occurred) but the load bearing part. I have read and watched the internets on it, Its just figuring out where and how to support it since splicing and strong tie mend is a no go. Will see what I do this weekend.

On the drain note ... take a look at the pics. Will pick up a Bosch hammer this weekend also.
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