Friday, October 22, 2010
removing rotten floor joists
You may recall from the December 2009 posts that approx 200 sq ft of floor and floor joists in the storefront were rotted and had to be removed. In December (10 months ago now!) we removed the rotted floorboards. This week, a crew removed the rotted joists and opened up the entire 1st floor. They'll be rebuilding the floor joists and laying a new plywood subfloor over the next week.
The problem of rotted floor joists appears to have originated from the tear-down of our former neighboring building - the one that used to sit on our now vacant lot. I don't know exactly when this building came down, but filling in its footprint with soil is the culprit of our rot. The vacant lot has soil that has been sitting above our rock foundation line, covering several courses of our building's brick. This is 1870s (or older) brick and is porous, as it was originally made for an interior wall (party wall shared with former building). So our porous brick has been absorbing all of the water from the soil covering it, causing extensive mold and rot in our floor joists. This is just another example of why OTR buildings NEED to be preserved instead of torn down.