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Old 05-19-2019, 07:57 PM   #1
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Replacing portions of bottom plate


I removed the drywall in a corner room ground floor and found termite damage. In the 2x4 bottom plate (sitting on concrete) running across the two exterior walls, a couple of short sections are badly damaged, but the rest of the bottom plate looks good (using the screwdriver test for hollowed out wood). A few of the studs also show sufficient signs of termite damage that sistering new studs is warranted. I had started a related thread on nails, but wanted to focus specifically on how to efficiently repair this damage.

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Setting aside the termites (having an exterminator come) and moisture issues (will start a separate thread on that) - let's assume both are successfully resolved. At that point, I'll have to repair the damaged framing before installing drywall.

Rather than lifting up the upper plate and removing the entire bottom plate, I'm thinking of cutting out the bottom plate immediately adjacent to the stud that sits on damaged bottom plate, installing new section of bottom plate (pressure treated, and I assume I should brush the cut ends with some copper compound to make it less susceptible to termites), then installing new stud on top of the new bottom plate and sistering that new stud to the old damaged stud.

So for example, in the worst corner:

I'd cut each bottom plate at the red line (don't think there's enough access to use a sawzall due to the baseboard heating pipe), so I'll use an oscillating multi-tool and come in from above), and the other end of each cut would be close to the next stud over (so ~14" away, but just enough away to miss any toe nails). Then I'd remove that piece of 2x4 and replace it with pressure treated 2x4, and use a hammer drill and tapcon to secure it to the concrete. In this worst corner, it looks like there is practically no bottom plate left under the corner studs, so I can cut each treated 2x4 piece 1-1/2" longer and slide them under the corner studs.

Then install a new stud next to the damaged stud (2 such studs in the above pic) and sister to damaged stud, and toe nail to bottom plate and top plate.

Does this seem like a reasonably effective solution?
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:18 PM   #2
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Re: Replacing portions of bottom plate


I think you said, it was supporting the floor or rafters above, I would build a temp wall so you can work on the whole wall with out any extra worry.
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Old 05-20-2019, 06:43 AM   #3
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Re: Replacing portions of bottom plate


Think I would take the time to remove the heating pipe. It will make your job a little easier. Replace the section that is mangled.

The red lines you have drawn in, not sure if that was just for the initial cut, but you obviously need to remove more of the base plate than what is outlined.


Have you inspected below for damage as well? If there is damage to floor joist, sill plate, or rim joist, probably best to start at the bottom and work up.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:23 AM   #4
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Re: Replacing portions of bottom plate


He said in his other thread that the bottom plate is resting on a concrete floor with tile adhered. Unclear if the tile extends below the plate, but I would tend to doubt it. So no issue with floor joists.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:38 AM   #5
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Re: Replacing portions of bottom plate


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Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
I think you said, it was supporting the floor or rafters above, I would build a temp wall so you can work on the whole wall with out any extra worry.
It's a corner room on the ground floor, so I imagine both walls are load bearing, even the one that runs parallel to the ceiling joists.

Thanks for the video - that certainly seems easier than building out an entire temporary wall frame. That said, I'm not sure it's necessary in order to replace the small sections I'm contemplating. On one wall, I'm thinking of removing 3 stud bays worth of floor plate (2 adjacent and 1 in that worst damage corner). And on the other wall, only 1 stud bay worth of floor plate (in that worst damage corner). In that corner with the worst damage, there is practically no floor plate under the vertical studs at the corner.

Maybe I'll do a smaller version of what the video shows - something to span 2 stud bays.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:45 AM   #6
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Re: Replacing portions of bottom plate


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Originally Posted by Yodaman View Post
Think I would take the time to remove the heating pipe. It will make your job a little easier. Replace the section that is mangled.
Yeah, we are going to replace the heating pipe - apparently the newer baseboard pipes/fins are more efficient, and as you note, the fins are pretty mangled in some spots, also the covers are in bad shape, so best to take this opportunity to replace baseboard heat in this room. But where the pipe goes down into the floor will remain, and that does make access in the corner a little more difficult, but as mentioned earlier, I think I can get in there with an oscillating multitool to cut the floor plate.

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The red lines you have drawn in, not sure if that was just for the initial cut, but you obviously need to remove more of the base plate than what is outlined.
I'd cut at the red lines, and then cut ~14" away from there (the floor plate at the next stud over on each wall is still good, so no need to remove/replace there). I'll dig out the debris under the corner studs (where the floor plate has been almost completely eaten away). Does that clarify what I'm trying to do here?

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Have you inspected below for damage as well? If there is damage to floor joist, sill plate, or rim joist, probably best to start at the bottom and work up.
Floor plates are sitting on concrete, so this is the bottom.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:48 AM   #7
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Re: Replacing portions of bottom plate


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Originally Posted by huesmann View Post
He said in his other thread that the bottom plate is resting on a concrete floor with tile adhered. Unclear if the tile extends below the plate, but I would tend to doubt it. So no issue with floor joists.
Correct on both counts. Bottom plate is on the concrete, and the tile in the room stops just shy of the bottom plates.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:05 AM   #8
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Re: Replacing portions of bottom plate


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Originally Posted by jbrah View Post
It's a corner room on the ground floor, so I imagine both walls are load bearing, even the one that runs parallel to the ceiling joists.

Thanks for the video - that certainly seems easier than building out an entire temporary wall frame. That said, I'm not sure it's necessary in order to replace the small sections I'm contemplating. On one wall, I'm thinking of removing 3 stud bays worth of floor plate (2 adjacent and 1 in that worst damage corner). And on the other wall, only 1 stud bay worth of floor plate (in that worst damage corner). In that corner with the worst damage, there is practically no floor plate under the vertical studs at the corner.

Maybe I'll do a smaller version of what the video shows - something to span 2 stud bays.
If you do the wall like in the video the box frame that is the floor above with rim joist will look after the end wall for 4 or 5 ft from the corner.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:50 AM   #9
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Re: Replacing portions of bottom plate


Be sure to use coated fasteners for anything penetrating treated lumber. It'll eat up uncoated steel in short order.
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Old 05-20-2019, 12:35 PM   #10
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Re: Replacing portions of bottom plate


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrah View Post
I'd cut at the red lines, and then cut ~14" away from there (the floor plate at the next stud over on each wall is still good, so no need to remove/replace there). I'll dig out the debris under the corner studs (where the floor plate has been almost completely eaten away). Does that clarify what I'm trying to do here?
Just to be sure we're all on the same page...you do need to remove the rotted sill from under the corner studs and replace the sill so those studs are sitting on a new sill that can support them. Sistering studs and having those new studs be the only support for that corner is not sufficient.
Supporting the floor above while doing this is extremely important! Do not halfass it.
The whole house probably won't come crashing down on you if you mess it up, but you will for sure wind up out of level and with some cracks if that corner isn't properly supported.
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:22 PM   #11
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Re: Replacing portions of bottom plate


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If you do the wall like in the video the box frame that is the floor above with rim joist will look after the end wall for 4 or 5 ft from the corner.
Not sure I understand this, but you may already be answering the following question I have:

I get how the temporary support wall supports the ceiling joists running perpendicular to the temp wall. So if I set that temp wall a few feet from the exterior wall that is perpendicular to the ceiling joists, the joists will be supported, removing the load from the vertical studs and therefore the floor plate, which I can then cut out and replace.

But how would that work for the exterior wall that is parallel to the ceiling joists? Seems I can only support one joist, and if I support the nearest joist, I'll barely have any room to work. Seems like I'd have to build some kind of support for the top plates in order to deload the vertical studs and floor plate on that wall.
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:45 PM   #12
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Re: Replacing portions of bottom plate


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Not sure I understand this, but you may already be answering the following question I have:

I get how the temporary support wall supports the ceiling joists running perpendicular to the temp wall. So if I set that temp wall a few feet from the exterior wall that is perpendicular to the ceiling joists, the joists will be supported, removing the load from the vertical studs and therefore the floor plate, which I can then cut out and replace.

But how would that work for the exterior wall that is parallel to the ceiling joists? Seems I can only support one joist, and if I support the nearest joist, I'll barely have any room to work. Seems like I'd have to build some kind of support for the top plates in order to deload the vertical studs and floor plate on that wall.
Depending on how far you have to go around the corner with everything connected the first temp wall with take the weight off the side plate for a few feet.

If you need more than that you screw a timber on the side wall to the studs and lift that wall at the same time
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:51 AM   #13
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Re: Replacing portions of bottom plate


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Depending on how far you have to go around the corner with everything connected the first temp wall with take the weight off the side plate for a few feet.
The exterior wall parallel to the ceiling joists is ~10ft (in this room) and a section of the bottom plate on the far end of that wall has some damage (though not as bad as the corner where the two exterior walls meet). I'm thinking of replacing the entire length of bottom plate for both exterior walls.

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If you need more than that you screw a timber on the side wall to the studs and lift that wall at the same time
So I screw a 2x4 horizontally across the vertical studs on the side wall - at the very top of these vertical studs? How would I lift this while still having access to remove and replace the bottom plate?

Sorry for all the questions; first time doing something like this.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:57 AM   #14
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Re: Replacing portions of bottom plate


Prop up your (green) horizontal bar with some (purple) vertical ones (number depending how big a span you need to support).

If you find that the (red) studs sag a little, use a bottle jack under an additional vertical member to raise your horizontal bar in the (blue) location you're working at.
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Old 05-30-2019, 12:29 PM   #15
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Re: Replacing portions of bottom plate


[QUOTE=jbrah;5844067]The exterior wall parallel to the ceiling joists is ~10ft (in this room) and a section of the bottom plate on the far end of that wall has some damage (though not as bad as the corner where the two exterior walls meet). I'm thinking of replacing the entire length of bottom plate for both exterior walls.

So I screw a 2x4 horizontally across the vertical studs on the side wall - at the very top of these vertical studs? How would I lift this while still having access to remove and replace the bottom plate?

Sorry for all the questions; first time doing something like this.[/QUOTE


For a gable wall do the timber up high lay a 2x4 on on the floor perpendicular to it and cut the stud long and hammer it in, You only need to lift that wall in three places. Some times you need a bigger hammer.


If you are going to be tight for space just tack the new plate to the wall out out of the way.
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