Solutions for wood rot in an old tongue and groove screened in porch

5 Replies

I have a rental that was built in the 1920's.  It has a tongue and groove screened in porch that is in good condition except for some significant wood rot at the junction where the porch joins the landing to the steps.  My contractor says it is due to water/snow sitting there.  (drainage issue)  He says that it is near impossible to replace the boards in a tongue and grove porch and he proposes that we cut out the old rotted wood and try to find some sort of grate or old metal floor vent to put in its place so water can drain through the floor.  the size of the grate/vent needed is something like 12X 32 as it is right below the screen door.  We have looked at the grates that are used for sump pump driveway drains as a possibility but we are having trouble finding something this size to fit.  Does anyone have any other solutions to this problem?  Any advise would be appreciated.

There are plastic grates we use for french drains etc. Not that attractive but can be cut to fit & will last longer than cast iron.

Here is a narrow one from Home Depot but you can get larger sizes from the distributor...

I'm not sure why your contractor is having such a hard time with this. Most lumber yards are going to have the tongue and groove douglas fir flooring that you will need. Lots of folks will take a circular saw and cut a 18" or so back from the damaged end and replace. You just take out the old and can set the new pieces in. The last piece can be slid in as it is tongue and groove, but if you nail that one it will be exposed, other than that all good.

I have had TWO separate contractors that have told me that this can't be done very easily-something about it being very difficult to cut out the old pieces because of the way that nails are at placed at the tongue and groove junction.  They told me that it is not easy to cut through the tongue and groove section for this reason???

^^Usually, to replace a single piece of T&G, after chiseling out the rotted piece, you cut the tongue off the new piece and face nail it into place. If you were replacing a whole bunch of boards, the process would be the same except all the new boards would be intact except the very last board.

If your guy doesn't know how to replace a piece of T&G you probably need a new carpenter. Draining the water is not a bad idea but consider: the T&G you have has been there for 90+ years. It was probably good quality heartwood, but even run of the mill pine or oak that's properly finished is going to last a couple of decades.