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Sheathing Rot about Fireplace

TL;DR - Is it possible to replace the rotted sheathing from the inside behind the brick fireplace and behind the header above the mantle

So, my wife and I purchase a house about a month an a half ago and it had wood paneling all over the place. Before furnishing the family room I figure I would take the paneling down so that we could finish the drywall behind it. Not the smartest thing to do right before the holidays, but I'm a little past that point right now :-) Anyhow, while tearing the paneling out I noticed a hole in the drywall near the floor on the left side of the fireplace. Upon closer inspection I see that the wall stud is completely rotted out at the bottom and not even connected to anything. The rim joist and sill plate in this section are also completely gone in a roughly 8" section.The drywall right over the fireplace was bulging out a little and I figured it was probably from the second floor sagging since there was nothing supporting that stud. Luckily the surrounding areas look good. I've got a pretty good idea where the water is coming in. The gutter on the outside is hanging because the fascia board is rotted out. I'm pretty sure the gutters have clogged causing water to over flow. When it rains water is hitting the chimney where the brick begins to step. I'm going to seal this off with some Vulkem polyurethane sealant and try to get someone out here ASAP to fix the gutter. As I start tearing out the drywall I see the sheathing completely rotted. The attached pic is what it looks like after scraping away the rotted wood. I poked my pry-bar, then the end of a fly swatter behind the header and it seem that the sheathing is rotted all the way down the brick. The three cripple studs don't seem to be connected to the brick at all. Two of them were seated only halfway on the header. Since this is a load bearing wall I know I can't just rip out the header and studs. Does anyone know if there is a way for me to replace this sheathing from the inside. I'm not sure how to even clean out the rotted crap behind the header. I really don't want to have to tear the fireplace down. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance

  • Can't see your pic, but I'm not sure it matters... If you have massive rot in a structural wall, that requires major surgery. First step is removing drywall to see what you actually have. Then you can decide if it's a diy thing or if you need a real licensed contractor. (My gut says the latter, but I'm not looking at your wall.) – Aloysius Defenestrate Nov 21 '15 at 22:26
  • Sorry about that. I have it in Google Photos and I guess only I could see it since i'm logged into Chrome. The pick should be visible now. The studs themselves look to be OK on the back side, it just seems to be the sheathing that is rotted out. I don't know what the back of that header board looks like though. All that crap on the mantle is what fell from the sheathing when I started poking and pulling at it – user2872989 Nov 21 '15 at 23:18
  • Pictures help. If it's just the sheathing, I don't see why you wouldn't put carefully cut sheets of 1/2" ply into the stud bays. (This assumes you've sealed everything outside and that none of the sheathing is subject to any weather/water/anything.) Still, poke at the framing members (knife/awl/...) and try to get a sense of whether any of the wood is soft. – Aloysius Defenestrate Nov 22 '15 at 0:04

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