Kitchen Remodel Day #5: The Whole Point

Friday was less interesting in terms of radical demolition, but it’s the day when the real point of the whole thing began. We started this project because we’ve been told there’s some dry rot under the corner of the kitchen. Dry rot is a fungal outbreak caused by dampness that eventually eats away at the firmness of the wood and causes it to crumble. And when the infected wood is, oh, the foundation corner of your house, it’s kind of important to address it. And we could have waited a few more years, but then the rot would have crept up and eaten more of the wood. There was also no point in fixing the dry rot if we didn’t address the fundamental issue – dampness under the house – so we tackled the drainage issue with the landscaping first. The good news is, we ran a test of our own and the new french drain seems to be working like a champ, at least when you stick a hose in it:

 

 

It’s a little hard to see, but there’s a good amount of water running out of that pipe. They were able to tie in to an existing line so we didn’t have to tear up sidewalk and re-cement it. Hooray! Anyway, the real test comes in winter during the rains but I’ve got a good feeling.

Anyway, on Friday the guys were climbing under the house quite a bit to get a feel for the dry rot under the kitchen. They reported to me that there are at least 3 dead rats in traps down there – ick – so I’ve got Terminix coming out next week to deal with that and spray for bugs. Anyway, they tore out a bit more of the stucco in the corner that has rot to see what’s going on

 

And yep, there’s some rotten looking wood down there:

The good news is that the inspector a year or so ago wasn’t sure how high the rot had crawled, and a few feet up from the corner it looks like this:

And that’s not so bad looking – some tool gouges there but it doesn’t look like there’s any rot. So we might not be in terrible shape and might have caught it before it got really nasty – there was a chance it could have crawled up into the upstairs bathroom and that would suck. They’re back tomorrow to keep working so we will know more in a day or two. But all in all it looks like it might be a pretty quick repair. Generally what you do for dry rot is cut out the bad wood, put in new wood, and then treat it with an anti-fungal. But the key is that you have to eliminate the wet, which hopefully we did. So once this is all done, we should be good for years to come. *fingers crossed*

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