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Wood foundation wall

Discussion in 'Residential Foundation Codes' started by retire09, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. retire09

    retire09 Silver Member

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    I have an existing residence with a wood foundation wall constructed with a treated sole plate and untreated 2x6 studs with a galvanized metal material on the outside. R404.2 requires wood foundation walls to be constructed in accordance with R403.1(3).

    Figure R403.1(3) would require treated studs with treated plywood on the outside.

    Could a wood preservative be applied to the bottoms of the studs in contact with the sole plate or some means provided to prevent moisture from being drawn into the studs?

    The existing is not in accordance with code but can it still meet the intent of the code by alternative methods?

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    Its existing.....why are you trying to make it right now?
     
  3. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    Brushing on some treatment does not provide the necessary penetration into the wood.

    The preservative is not intended to prevent moisture from being drawn into the stud but rather to prevent the growth of organisms that rot the wood. There are other mechanisms that allow moisture to get into the wood.
     
  4. gbhammer

    gbhammer Platinum Member

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    How long has it been there? If it is not rotted yet then what type of wood is it. It may be decay-resistant heartwood of redwood, black locust, or cedars.
     
  5. retire09

    retire09 Silver Member

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    The house is 4-5 years old. the studs are standard #2 Fir. Here in Alaska this would probably last forever.

    The problem was discovered by a realestate home inspector.

    The buyers are wanting the sellers to correct the problem.

    The estimated cost is $20,000.

    I'm not so sure from a code or a practical standpoint that this is all that bad.

    This was approved by the previous building inspector.

    Just looking for other opinions.
     
  6. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    I wouldn't want to sign off on it as a BO......maybe a letter from a DP would make them all warm and fuzzy?
     
  7. codeworks

    codeworks Gold Member

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    how does the real estate inspector get you reinvolved at this point? it was approved when it was built. it's existing/noncomplying ? . did it comply when (i've been out of this a while thats why i'm asking the question) it was built, or was it constructed under "approved alternative methods" .
     
  8. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    If there is no record that this deviation was approved by the building official/inspector then it could be argued to be a violation of the code.
     
  9. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

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    Whether it was approved or not is not the deciding factor. It's either a violation or it's not.
     
  10. JBI

    JBI Sawhorse

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    Don't all wood framed floors for the first floor of all wood framed homes sit on PT plates?

    The question is indeed whether or not it met code (and complied with the approved plans) at time of construction.

    Next question could be "Is this an approveable alternative method in light of the galvanized metal exterior?"

    Immediately followed by "Can they find an Engineer that will provide a sound engineering methodology to justify the alternative?"

    Nice catch by the Home Inspector for what it's worth.
     
  11. DRP

    DRP Gold Member

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    If it is exposed, which I assume since it was seen, the wood could be saturated with boracare or a similar glycol borate solution which diffuses in deeply if applied well. That would prevent decay fungi from growing as long as there is no sink to leach the borate out, which there doesn't sound like there is. Non code but it would do the job. Lots of qualifications, I doubt it would make the sale happen. Would sistering treated studs alongside existing allow you to approve it?
     
  12. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    ICE

    If, although unlikely, the building official was aware of the violation and approved it in accordance with IBC 104.11 (similar language in IRC) then it is no longer a code violation. This would require that somebody had a record that it was approved as an alternate means of compliance. On the other hand if all that exists is the approval of the building permit then it is a violation allowing the building official to take action to mitigate the violation.
     

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