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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought an old multiunit home in Chicago and was trying to chip the tile trim in the basement to install some wooden trim instead. When chipping the tile away, I noticed that the wood behind the drywall was rotting near the bottom. The base plate also appears to be completely rotted away, and I'm not sure what is underneath (will have to do some digging later). Lastly, there are concrete blocks that are extended from the wall. It seems like this was used to wedge the studs into.

Our thought was to chip away at the concrete blocks, and dig out the rotted base plate and install a new pressure treated baseplate. We would then saw off the rotted portion of the studs (perhaps 2 feet or so) and place cut to size studs to fill this space. We're not entirely sure on how to connect the new stud section to the existing undamaged stud section. Any advice/thoughts on any of the discussed topics would be greatly appreciated. We're still trying to figure out the best way to approach this, and are open to suggestions. Please see photos attached for clarification

Thanks
 

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retired framer
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Open up a hole 24 1/2" above the floor cut the insulation at that height, clean out all he crap so we can see what they were doing and why.
I have never seen concrete poured like that, looks like there were blocking water with it.
 

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Time to check you real estate contract, this is on the declaration pages every where I have bought a home. Call your agent that sold you the home, only if they are not the listing agent.
If they are the listing agent contact your local building department and have them do an inspection. Sure hope this is not a structural wall.
You may need an attorney.
 

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The first thing you need to do after getting rid of the rot is figure where the moisture is coming from. If you didn't have a proper vapor barrier on the inside of the insulated wall, the moisture may be from the house going outward. Generally, the classic way to test this in the basement is to put some foil against the wall (you can just use stout tape to fix it in place). After a day or so if there is water on the face of it, you've got condensation. Reinstall the wall with a proper vapor barrier. If the moisture accumulates on the wall side, you've got leakage through the wall. There you're going to have to investigate further as to the cause and remediation.

From your pictures, I can't say one way or the other, but you do have a pretty crappy job of insulation/vapor barrier there. The other possibility was that the basement flooded at some time in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, I'll try that out, and I'll get some more photos up this weekend for clarification.
 

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Hammered Thumb
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Also what is on the other side of the wall. It's almost as if there was an existing stud wall, they poured a raised slab next door and let it fill between the stud space.
 

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You may need a perimeter drain cut into the floor along that wall draining into a sump. Replacing that mess with just treated wood will not fix your moisture problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here are photos attached for more reference. Looks like there is the stud wall, and concrete behind the studs. as 3onthetree mentioned, it looks like the concrete was poured to fill the space in between the studs, but there is also space between the studs and the concrete wall. Underneath the concrete ledge there is rotted baseplate mixed with soil, and concrete base underneath all that. Likely the baseplate was sandwiched between two layers of concrete. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks.
 

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Outside of fixing this moisture problem from outside that wall (preferred method) which is not always possible to get at. You can also Check and fix any gutter or downspout problems you may have outside that wall. If you cant fix it from the outside,remove the drywall and studs and cut a trench in the floor as close to the wall as possible and drain said trench into a sump. Anything else is a half measure. Any kind if insulation is useless when wet and a mold hazard. Iv already done this in my own basement. Even building a new wall of water proof materials will set up a mold factory behind it if you dont have a way to drain away any water entering behind it.
 

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That's what those of us in the trades refer to as "craptastic". LOL

As Nealttw said in post 2, you should probably snap a chalk line 24 1/2" above the floor. Cut and remove the drywall along that line. Cut the 2x4s with a sawzall nice and square and remove all the framing below. Take a sledgehammer and bust out the concrete between studs. Then dig the rotten bottom plate out. Once you get all that out you might need to clean up the surface of the concrete foundation (where you busted the concrete out) and a grinder and cup wheel would be good for that... or just chisel it with a cold chisel as needed. You just don't want that concrete interfering with the 1" space behind your wall.

Once its cleaned out, maybe you could determine if the wall is wet, and if it is, that should be addressed before you go any further.

If its dry, put a treated plate back down, anchored to the slab every 4-6 ft, and then sister the wall studs, overlapping them as much as you reasonably can.
 

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retired framer
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I think there is a drainage problem and this was some ones idea of a fix.
646411
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
There are sump pumps located around the basement, but unsure if these are functioning, I will have to do some investigating into that as well. Are the presence of pumps indicative of a drainage system being installed already, perhaps beneath the base layer of concrete underneath the baseplate? Albeit, it's likely that even if there is a drainage system, it's a poor functioning one.
 

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retired framer
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There are sump pumps located around the basement, but unsure if these are functioning, I will have to do some investigating into that as well. Are the presence of pumps indicative of a drainage system being installed already, perhaps beneath the base layer of concrete underneath the baseplate? Albeit, it's likely that even if there is a drainage system, it's a poor functioning one.
Just a guess but I think the added the sump with out the drain in the hope it would drain the hole area. Plaster on the wall is an attempt to seal the wall and the concrete behind the wall was to stop the water from coming up. I think it is bad news for your situation.
 

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See if there are drain pipes terminating just inside the sump basket. When i get a good soaking rain i can hear water pouring out of mine into the sump. Still my walls and floor are bone dry ,the drainage system collecting water from under the slab and pumping it out.
 

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. Are the presence of pumps indicative of a drainage system being installed already, perhaps beneath the base layer of concrete underneath the baseplate?
The pump should be in the sump basin itself connected to a pipe that travels up and out into your downspout system. If there is no standing water in your sumps the water may just be an exterior downspout problem rather than a rising water table issue.
 
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