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Any ideas on how to fix this?

Alan B | Posted in General Questions on

I discovered this last year, but have not come up with a suitable way to fix it besides jacking up the house and replacing the sill plate, which is way, way beyond my budget. For now i have lowered the ground around it but i would like a more permanent fix (heavy rain still leaks downstairs because of the depression made to keep dirt away from this). The grade about covers this corner in dirt (the ground slopes downward so a few feet east the wood is above grade.
On the west side the grade would be above this level, it looks like many years ago someone installed a concrete wall about two feet high to protect that side of the house.

I have had suggestions of filling it with concrete (i assume that would lead to future rot from wet concrete), thoughts?

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Replies

  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Alan,
    There are two possible solutions:

    1. Lower the grade around your house so that the grade is at least 8 inches lower than the lowest wooden components of your building. Replace any rotten wooden components. (This repair may require the house to be temporarily jacked up a fraction of an inch.) Make sure that the grade slopes away from your house.

    2. Jack up your house so that the grade is at least 8 inches lower than the lowest wooden components of your building. Replace any rotten wooden components. Install a perimeter sill beam to ensure that the house stays above grade when the jacks are removed. Make sure that the grade slopes away from your house.

  2. Alan B | | #2

    I find your second answer a bit confusing, but i was hoping i could clean it out and put a water/vapour impermeable coating on it, maybe something like a spray on rubber to prevent further deterioration. Would this work?

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    Alan,
    Your house is too close to grade. Either you need to permanently jack up your house, or you need to get an excavator (or shovel and wheelbarrow) to remove enough dirt from around your house to lower your grade.

    You wrote, "I was hoping I could clean it out." What is "it"?

    A spray-on rubber coating will not stop the rot.

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