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Old 05-04-2009, 10:02 PM   #1
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Sill Plate replacement Thanks Termites :-O

A recent investment house got nasty when we found the spongy living room floor was thanks to years of T's munching happily while the previous owners covering up the proof. So... My delemna... I have already removed the flooring, joists and have jacked up the corner of the front living room. The sill plate and front plate fell apart. Part of the problem is they were too cheap to put one more run of block and the front left edge of the house is 4" below grade.

My questions are:

The old system had one vertical 2X8 and one horizontal 2X4 in an L formation. The 2X8 joists were notched down to 6" to fit in the slot. Oh, and unless I remove an 8' deck on the front, I can't get to the face plate from the outside. I will have to nail them together and slide it in as one 10 section. Is there an easier way? Shouldn't there be two vertical boards?

There was no bolts in any blocks to the rotten sill plate. Should I fill a few with cement and put in a few bolts?

I have heard there is a caulk or foam you can use on top of the block, would Lowes or HD have this?

I also have a lot of moisture wicking up the cinderblock. Should I dig out the front deck and treat the block? Rubber or paint?



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Old 05-05-2009, 09:05 AM   #2
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Again, this is one of those post where pictures would certainly help. I have replaced many sills in my area but none that sound like that one. My two cents based on your info: I would look into getting the floor of the affected area of the house as level as I could by putting 4 x 4's under the existing floor joist, perpendicular to the run of the joist. Using a hydraulic jack, or more would be better, jack up the floor slowly in different areas, add bracing underneath the jacked up area, right next to the jack, with good footings until you have the floor level. Then decide how much sill you will need to put in, don't be surprised if your new sill is tapered due to your current footings having settled. I would use two pieces of 2 x something as sill, stacking them together to get the required thickness and standing them up vertically, I always bolt mine together using lag screws on 24" centers. I try to work in sections when working under a house, no longer than 10 ft., this just makes them easier to handle. If I use more than one section, I overlap each section and bolt together. I do not use pressure treated lumber, a sill should not be getting wet, and PT in this area shrinks really bad as time passes. AND it sounds as if you need a vapor barrier on top of the concrete block, sheet metal to me is the only way, aluminum roof flashing works well, let it hang over the sides of the block at least two inches or so. I have never seen a sill bolted down in this area, weight holds them down. I have no knowledge of any type of foam to use on top of the block, doesn't sound good to me. A picture would help understand the notching of the 2 x 8 joist to fit into what slot? Good Luck , David


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Old 05-05-2009, 09:23 AM   #3
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Thanks for your reply!

There are no joists in the living room at this time. The dirt crawlspace (which will get a vapor barrier sheet before plywood goes down) is all that you see in the living room right now. I have jacked up the corner of the house by angling three 2X8 in the corner and lifted about a quarter inch. You say you do not recommend PT wood, but on other posts, it looks like everyone uses PT wood near the ground. I will get the aluminum flashing as you recommend. I will try to get some pictures as I have never seen this extensive damage on any other properties I have rehabbed. The 2X8 joists were pancaking and there was hardly any strength left in them. The main support in the living room floor looks to have been the 3/4" hardwood flooring. Even they have termites in them, so they are all getting trashed as well.

The biggest problem seems to be that the front left edge of the house is actually below the dirt line. I will excavate out a French drain to get the water to move around the house, not through and under it. I also want to make sure there is no dirt to wood contact.

So… Would PT plywood be the thing to use along the front edge of the living room on top of the PT joists?
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sill plate , termite damage , waterproof

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