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What is a capillary break between the footing and foundation wall?

Your details show a caplillary break between the footing and foundation walls. What is it? Is it continuous?

Asked by Arthur Ratner, AIA
Posted Tue, 06/23/2009 - 15:25

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10 Answers

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1.
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Arthur,
A variety of materials can be as capillary break in this location. According to Joseph Lstiburek, these materials include "dampproofing, low-permeability paint, or elastomeric paint." Some builders have used 6-mil poly, although poly isn't easy to work with in this location. Then again, asphaltic dampproofing isn't easy to work with either.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Tue, 06/23/2009 - 15:42

2.
Helpful? 1

Whatever is used between footing and foundation must not compromise the mechanical connection that resists lateral displacement, or - for practical reasons - not interfere with the subcontractors setting the foundation forms. The material should also be able to resist some hydraulic pressure.

Neither plastic sheeting nor asphaltic damp-proofing is acceptable. I use UGL DryLock latex masonry paint for this capillary break, as I do for general foundation waterproofing.

Answered by Riversong
Posted Thu, 06/25/2009 - 10:27

3.
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Robert, what's your reasoning on the unacceptability of plastic sheeting or asphaltic amp-proofing for the capillary break?

Answered by Dick Russell
Posted Thu, 05/27/2010 - 10:18

4.
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Delta has a product made for this application: http://www.cosella-dorken.com/bvf-ca-en/products/foundation_residential/....

Answered by michael maines
Posted Thu, 05/27/2010 - 11:55

5.
Helpful? 1

Dick,

As I already stated, the capillary break must not compromise the physical connection between footing and wall, which typically relies on a keyway and the friction of the concrete. If rebar pins are used, they will compromise the integrity of the plastic. A coat of hydraulic paint, like UGL Drylock will not change the bond of the wall to the footing or lose integrity with either keyway or pins.

Asphaltic damp-proofing is exactly what it claims to be, which is not water-proof.

Answered by Riversong
Posted Thu, 05/27/2010 - 22:03

6.
Helpful? 0

To follow up with this, should a capillary break be used when Concrete block is being used and not poured concrete? All the pictures I see have a Key and lock approach, that seems to me it keeps the wall from moving. But in the case of a concrete block, both surfaces (the poured foundation) and the block are flat. What would keep the wall from moving?

Thanks in advance.

Answered by Kurt Samson
Posted Fri, 05/28/2010 - 22:58

7.
Helpful? 0

Kurt,
Vertical rebar embedded in the footing. The rebar extends into block cores which are later filled with grout or concrete.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Sat, 05/29/2010 - 05:14

8.
Helpful? 1

Kurt,

A concrete block foundation is no different from a poured concrete foundation in terms of wicking ability. If there is any possibility of moisture in the ground and you want a dry basement, then a capillary break should be installed between footings and walls, on the outside of foundation walls, at the wall/sill interface, and between the walls/footings and the slab (in addition to a thermal break).

Answered by Riversong
Posted Sat, 05/29/2010 - 12:03

9.
Helpful? 0

Very interesting, and new to me. Robert: I assume these are the steps: After footers are poured and are dry, the paint is applied. You apply the paint to the footers well before you pour the foundation wall, so the paint is dry. Yes? thanks. john

Answered by John Klingel
Posted Sat, 05/29/2010 - 23:08

10.
Helpful? 1

John,

UGL Drylock Latex Masonry Waterproofing dries in less than an hour, can be second coated in three hours and is ready for foundation in 24 hours.

Concrete has a theoretical capillary limit of about 6 vertical miles. In other words, it has a high propensity for wicking moisture and requires a capillary break at each junction to prevent "rising damp".

Answered by Riversong
Posted Sat, 05/29/2010 - 23:40

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