Rotten Fascia

Entropy and rot are a constant enemy to the homeowner.  There is no perfect prevention, only a delay of the inevitable, and dealing with it when it strikes.  I noticed the corner fascia on my porch  looked a little funny.  A bit of probing revealed a lot of water damage.

This is one of those few situations where an oscillating multitool comes in a lot of handy.  I made plunge cuts far away from the corner to give myself space to install new boards.  Chopping that out with a chisel would have been a chore.

Not great, but only the ends of those boards are rotted.  There is a bit of cross bracing behind those beams to give support for the motion light below, so it should be fine structurally.  I noticed the way the drip flashing was folded allowed for a big hole.  I bet water runs back under via that entry point.  I soaked all the surrounding wood in a few rounds of wood preservative to stop the rot and prevent further damage.

A few custom cut boards made a nice looking miter.  I filled the drip flashing hole with white caulk.  It looks funny, but it should act as a noticeable reminder to pay attention to that area in case the hole opens up again.  Multiple rounds of primer and paint later, and it is back together.  You can definitely tell something happened.  Just the texture of the wood alone is drastically different.  It beats a creeping decay of the roof line though!

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While on the subject of things needing painting, the number sign on our mail box was in poor shape.  All the finish was coming off the numbers and the fasteners were getting really rusty.

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I wanted to get new ones but the PVC board they were on had faded where the sun was exposed.  Even with a bit of sanding I couldn’t get past it.  They don’t sell this particular style any more, so I wire brushed the old finish off the numbers and gave them a new coat of black paint.

I found stainless steel screws that were close enough to the originals to fit in the numbers.  It ended up being a cheap fix if somewhat time consuming.  Can’t have the mail person judging our letters to be in disrepair!  Oh the joys of homeownership.

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Hurricane Shutters

As a wise hurricane guide once said, winter is a great time to think about hurricane season.  Two major issues were highlighted during our last Irma encounter.  Not being able to see out back was maddening, and I had no shutter plans for my garage window.

The window to my garage has a big honking AC unit in it for the summer.  The thing is too big and heavy to move when hurricanes come, so I need a custom shutter.  I wanted it to be made out of a single sheet of plywood, but the threaded studs are 4 feet apart at the outside edge.  I could have shifted the whole thing over, but instead I cut the sheet in half and did it in pieces.  It makes for an easier installation.

I used 3/4″ plywood which ended up being too thick, I couldn’t get enough purchase with the wing nuts.  I used a forstner bit to relieve the area enough for the nuts to hold.  Two cleats above the AC help stiffen the part and give a resting point for a center patch that ties the two halves together.

Everything got a coat of primer to make sure they stay in good shape while waiting out in the garage.  I reassembled everything to make 100% sure it all fit, and marked up some basic instructions.


20171231_114218On to the back porch.  I found polycarbonate panels that are similar to the metal ones we already have.  They don’t come in the right sizes, but with careful sawing they can be made shorter.  A center punch and 1/2″ drill bit put holes where you need them.  They aren’t as easy to see through as normal windows, but at least some light can get in and you could tell if the shed is still there or not.  Our back kitchen window has a full complement of clear shutters, and each back set of french doors has a single clear panel.