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Old 12-13-2011, 03:30 PM   #1
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Exception? to using treated sill plate for basement walls


I have a relatively new house (built in 2000), and the foundation was coated with some kind of tar-like or rubber-like black substance up to about 2 feet above grade level. I am considering finishing off about 1/2 of the basement area into an additional family/rec room. The basement (concrete) walls never show any signs of moisture and are very smooth, and the floor is very smooth and level. The basement in general is very dry.

My question is: Can I use simple untreated 2x4 for the sill plate of the walls? It's a little cheaper than treated lumber. But, I am wondering if I should ere on the side of caution.

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Old 12-13-2011, 03:39 PM   #2
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Exception? to using treated sill plate for basement walls


when i was in fla they had to use pressure treated for bottom plates on the concrete but they would also let them use regular 2x4's with felt paper between the 2x4 and the concrete. depends on what the code is in your area.

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Old 12-13-2011, 03:41 PM   #3
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Exception? to using treated sill plate for basement walls


Concrete never completely dries from the day it was poured, and untreated lumber will absorb moisture. Don't cut corners here.
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:11 PM   #4
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Exception? to using treated sill plate for basement walls


Unless you can prove to the Inspector there was a plastic previously installed under the slab; 3. Sills and sleepers on a concrete or masonry slab that is in direct contact with the ground unless separated from such slab by an impervious moisture barrier. From- http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...9_3_sec017.htm

You also need to caulk the plate/slab joint as it will be the new thermal barrier; http://publicecodes.citation.com/ico...002_par027.htm

Or, just use a poly sill sealer as it will create the air barrier required by code and give a thermal break to your slab/footing/earth from the warmed wall bottom plate. No heat sink. Also a capillary break (without plastic under the slab). Treated lumber is not waterproof (unless graded such) and water will wick through it to your framing; http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...-building-code

Tar paper is more vapor permeable (5-30 perms) the wetter it gets. Composite decking is made with 50% wood pulp, it will mold.

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