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porch board replacement fiasco

Help! We had a handyman replace the rotting porch boards on our back porch which lie above a lower entrance to our basement (it's a small unfinished vestibule that leads to the finished basement). The deck boards lie above plywood (the latter being the ceiling of the vestibule).

We had been in the house for 12 years and never had a problem with water leakage but since replacing the porch boards we have had a deluge of water coming in every time it rains. Our best guess is that he removed something that sat atop of the plywood. Any ideas what it might have been and/or what can be done at this point to rectify the problem short of ripping apart the whole very expensive porch (which we just spent 3 days sanding and staining)?

Re: porch board replacement fiasco

If he easily removed something, you were darn lucky to not have had any leaks as any primary waterproofing should be very well bonded.

You need some sort of primary waterproofing.

Then you need to figure out how to apply the decking without penetrating the waterproofing.

Re: porch board replacement fiasco

Thank you for your response. We don't really know how hard he worked to separate/remove whatever was there as we left for the day and by the time we came home it was completed.So if I understand you correctly, we do need to rip up the entire porch and waterproof. I had hopes that perhaps we could use some spray rubber (rubber in a can) on the inside of the vestibule ceiling to keep the water out. But perhaps that would just create a new problem by redirecting the water who knows where. I'm sure you can tell I haven't got a clue about renovations, lol!

Re: porch board replacement fiasco

Why can't you simply ask the handyman what he did, what he removed and so on.

There is no way we can guess, we don't know what was there before and after.

Since this deck acts like a roof for your vestibule, so as all roofs, it has to be water tight.

So the bad news is: yes, you will need to expose the deck down to the plywood. You can't water proof from underneath.

Next time try to be present when a contractor works in your house.

Re: porch board replacement fiasco

You're so right - we will be there from here on in. Unfortunately my husband doesn't want us to ask the handyman as he wants nothing to do with him from this point on (and doubts we would get a straight answer, as the handyman will probably be afraid that he'd be culpable). Well, thank you for your answer - we'll get to work on that right away....

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