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Old 09-10-2010, 06:46 PM   #1
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Rotten Sill Plate


Hi everyone & thanks in advance for taking the time to reply.

I think my 1st question here is going to be a lulu.

I have a 57 yr old house built on a pier & beam foundation....mostly

Sometime in the 1970's The previous owner added a bathroom & dressing area to the back of the house that is on a slab.

Ok here it comes...........I just had to take down the sheet rock in this bathroom which abuts the back side of the fireplace in our office. When I did I found that about 4' of sill plate is dry rotted.

SO! Since I can not get under the house (because of the fireplace) to jack up the wall can I chisel out 4" to 6" at a time & drive new 2"x6" into the void?
Obviously I can see the Pros of doing that but I suspect there are several cons to this method that I haven't thought of.

All thoughts & opinions Welcomed

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Old 09-10-2010, 07:28 PM   #2
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Rotten Sill Plate


Lag bolt a temporary beam to the studs above the dry rot, and remove all the damaged wood. You may need to cut out and replae a portion at the base of the studs too. Jacking loadbearing walls scares me since I haven't been around it much, and its dangerous to screw up. I try to hire a pro and then save $$ working as their "crew".

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Old 09-10-2010, 08:08 PM   #3
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Post some pictures---might be a job you can do--need to see the actual problem---Mike---
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:18 PM   #4
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Rotten Sill Plate


Ok lets see if I'm Smart enough to get these pics uploaded

Wow I passed......Wheew

Ok 1st pic is almost floor level & shows pretty well that the actual sill Plate is severely deteriorated. Just to the left of the frame the wood is solid. However you will notice that the rot runs all the way to the corner. And yes that corner is an outside wall.

Pic 2 is from higher elevation and shows the rubble fill on the back side of the fireplace. below where the 2x4 in the center of the frame is looks wet in the photo but is not. (at least not anymore) The 6x6 beam above the sill plate is also solid. (Thank God)

P.S. Remember the house was built in 1952 what you are looking at was originally an exterior wall & the foundation footing. The slab I'm standing on was added sometime in the 1970's
Attached Thumbnails
Rotten Sill Plate-sill-plate-1.jpg   Rotten Sill Plate-sill-plate-2.jpg  

Last edited by Scottrik; 09-10-2010 at 09:37 PM. Reason: Add Pics.
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:26 AM   #5
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Rotten Sill Plate


So there's some rot there. Are you sure that sill is SO BAD it needs to be replaced? It's a 2x6 right? What's the load on that 6x6 and how well is it supported on either side of the rot area? If there were NO sill plate, then would the 6x6 be cantilvered over the (missing) sill plate...and if so, is the 6x6 enough to carry the load over that cantilever distance? If yes to both, would you really HAVE to replace the sill?

I'm on thin ice here. That was intended as questions you can pass to others, not answers.
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:34 AM   #6
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Just an idea... Assuming earthquakes and shear and hold-down are not a material issue, and your 6x6 beam has integrity, you may want to chizel or sawzall out 1' (or more if no wall movement is noted) sections of that rotten sill as you propose.

But rather than trying to force a 2by new sill under it in sections (with attendent projecting nails or anchors and irregularities, you might want to dry pack it with a high compressive fast cetting cement. Rapid Set comes to mind. You can force it in with a trowel and form fit it. Mixed dry, it won't slump on you and it has hugh compressive strength. Sets in 15 minutes.

Looks like maybe that area was below grade many years ago before the SOG was added and water infiltration is no longer a problem.

Looks like a PITA job, but at least you'll have a firmer foundation under that beam.

Good luck
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveel View Post
What's the load on that 6x6 and how well is it supported on either side of the rot area?
..and if so, is the 6x6 enough to carry the load over that cantilever distance? If yes to both, would you really HAVE to replace the sill?

Steveel I just have no way to know "How Much Load" is on it but given that the wall was framed up & then the fireplace brick & mortar are packed into the framing (see pic 2) I suspect there is a considerable amount of weight sitting on it.

The other unknown is just how far that rot goes. As I said that corner in the right edge of the picture is an outside wall & "outside" is sandstone brick. Way beyond my skill set to remove & replace just to look at the sill plate. If it come to that I will have to get a foundation specialist

And don't worry about the thin ice some times you have to get pretty far out to catch the best fish

Last edited by Scottrik; 09-11-2010 at 12:15 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTN REMODEL LLC View Post
Just an idea... as you propose.

But rather than trying to force a 2by new sill under it in sections you might want to dry pack it with a high compressive fast cetting cement. Rapid Set comes to mind. You can force it in with a trowel and form fit it. Mixed dry, it won't slump on you and it has hugh compressive strength. Sets in 15 minutes.

Looks like a PITA job, but at least you'll have a firmer foundation under that beam.
See ....I knew posting this question here was a good Idea. That my friend sounds like a fine Idea & definitely one I had not thought of.
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Old 09-11-2010, 01:17 PM   #9
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Before you do anything to this wall, you need to address the problem that caused this in the fiirst place. Is the outside ground level above the sill plate? If it is you need to address the drainage and the ground level. Ground level should at a minimum 1/2 below the sill plate. The more the better. If you can't lower the ground level, then install some drain tile to direct the water away from this area. The drain tile should be below the sill plate. If you don't correct the problem on the outside, the same thing will happen again. I have a home repair business and have encounterd this problem before. If you correct the problem on the outside, I agrree with previous post and not mess with this area. It does not look like any structural issues are present(cracked studs,sagging framing etc.)
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by kskier View Post
Before you do anything to this wall, you need to address the problem that caused this in the fiirst place.
Yes Sir the problem has been taken care of.....Till next time
Ground level is not the issue in this case. I'm 99.7% certain water got to that sill plate a few yrs ago when I had some roof issues around that chimney.
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:38 PM   #11
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Keep it dry or treat it--- #6: http://bct.eco.umass.edu/publication...ns-about-wood/

The 6x6 will span the damaged sections (6' span, 172# per foot load), do not add water with a cement product.

Gary

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