Keeping the Rain Out in Astoria

Good-bye wet nest. Hello comfy haven.

With a grown daughter and son in college, Peter and Patricia Roscoe were anticipating an empty nest not a flooded one. In 2005, the Roscoes bought what the locals call the “Parpola House.” Perched low on a hill on Young’s Bay in Astoria, Oregon, their 1950s ranch is within battering range of the 85 inches of rain and wind that comes off the water every year. “The weather just pounds the house,” Peter Roscoe said.

One damp “Man Cave”

So when Peter converted his son’s basement room into his “Man Cave,” he soon found the carpet soaked and nerves frazzled. To combat the water flowing into the finished basement, Peter used a sponge mop and a shop vac twice a day to suction the water out, which took time away from running his restaurant, Fulio’s. “It’s a real inconvenience,” he said. “All that infrastructure that’s getting hit by dry rot is really bad for the house.”

Enhabit to the rescue

One day, Peter was asked to cater the Enhabit program launch in Astoria, spiking his interest. “I jumped on it,” he said. Through the 100 Point Performance Check, the Roscoes discovered the windows had never been caulked and flashing was nonexistent. After a thorough assessment of the home, P&L discovered the mud sill, the bottom horizontal wood member of the exterior wall that rests on top of the foundation, was also rotted. With multiple ways to get into the house, water overwhelmed the drain and flooded the basement. Upstairs, the Roscoe’s beautiful views of the bay were a little too realistic, letting cold air in the living room and providing another outlet for water.

A dry proposal

Enhabit estimated an energy savings of 30 percent and proposed upgrading the weatherization of the house, as well as replacing all windows and installing a ductless heat pump. The Roscoes decided to focus on keeping the rain out first and went with rain-resistant upgrades. “You could pick as much or as little of the program as you want, and that’s the appeal,” he said.

Uplifting upgrades

To combat moisture, contractors raised the house, and completely replaced the mud sill with pressure-treated wood and custom-fitted metal flashing to prevent moisture from contacting the wood. New triple-pane windows were installed on the side of the house exposed to the harshest weather. A new sump pump was installed to catch water should it seep into the basement again. The house got a fresh look with new siding.

Rain, rain, went away!

With all the improvements, the Roscoes report a warmer, dryer house. Now that the drafts are gone, they can better enjoy the room with the beautiful bay views. “You can really feel a difference,” Peter said. The biggest improvement may well be peace of mind. “We just had big heavy winds and rains last night, and don’t even have to think about it,” Peter said. “It [Enhabit] is the best thing that ever happened to this house.”

Projected energy savings: 30%

Home Performance Upgrades:

  • New triple-pane windows
  • New siding
  • New mud sill
  • Custom-fitted metal flashing
  • New sump pump

Results:

  • No more moisture or flooding
  • Improved weather resistance
  • Improved year-round comfort
  • Improved peace of mind