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Bath Floor Dry Rot

I remodeled the bath in my 73 year old home last year. The shower was freezing up and I got a couple guys to go into the crawlspace to check it out. They found completely dry rotted beams and subfloor and were surprised I didn't fall through the floor. The crawlspace is SO small that it took a 10 year old skinny boy to fit into the space. How can I fix the support problems? Is it better to just fill it in with concrete and build the bath in another room? I don't have endless amounts of money to work with, so I'm looking for a solution that won't break me. HELP!

A. Spruce
Re: Bath Floor Dry Rot

If it were me doing the repair I could tell you that I'd be doing it from the top, meaning the bathroom floor would be demo'd and the sub area accessed from there. I'm actually looking at one now that has no access at all, which means the only way to get there is from inside the bathroom. Since the floor is shot anyway, this will be the easiest and cheapest means of accessing the sub-area.

Re: Bath Floor Dry Rot

Ditto what Sprucey said.

I would also add that simply renewing the structural supports and sub-floor wouldn't likely be advisable.....without determining why this happened and correcting it.

When you say the shower was/is freezing up....we don't know if you mean the water supply lines, the waste pipes...or both. Split/burst pipes as a result of freezing *may* be the source of the water which caused the rot. If so, something must be done to prevent a repeat performance in the future. Insulation around the foundation perimeter would probably be a good starting place, but adding a heat duct under there might also be necessary.....as well as some rigd insulation on the floor of the crawl to both insulate and to act as a vapor barrier against ground-moisture migration. Would advise the use of treated wood for the joists this time along with stainless-steel hangers, screws, and nails.

If the supply pipes are in the exterior wall, this will need a remedy also.....if they are freezing. The insulation needs to be behind the pipes (toward the exterior side) as the pipes are therefore kept (more or less) inside the building envelope where the warm air is. Burying the pipes inside the insulation prevents this and allows pipes to freeze more easily. It's even better if you can move the pipes so they are not in an exterior wall at all (or in an unheated attic space).

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