08:05AM | 04/06/05
Member Since: 04/05/05
2 lifetime posts
One corner of my basement (about 16 LF) has approx 4' high poured concrete walls and framed knee walls above that. Problem is the sill is below grade and has become very soft. Even though I have diverted outside drainage, still when it rains (or snow melts) water comes (an brings the sandy dirt with it) into the basement from between that concrete foundation wall and the soft sill.

I am confident I need to jack this section up and replace all or portions of the knee wall, questions are:

1) Can I replace this with new treated wood amd if so, how do I seal the joint (between concrete and treated wood)

2) Can I do this from the inside...without trenching the outside of the house

3) Should I consider capping with concrete block and is there any reference material to help me with this

I know this is a big project and needs to be done; however, I am comfortable with jacking a house just don't know how to attack it from there and can not afford to pay the $6,000 estimate.

Thank you for your input. ...brhuck


06:06AM | 04/07/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts
any interior approach regards to removing/replacing wood structural members below grade would only be a temporary solution at best as any wood below grade will eventually suffer similar effects over time PT or not. Sounds like you need to resolve to improve and/or correct those grade issues long-term before determining your "plan of attack" exacavation and correction of the exterior grade sounds to be an eventual long-term necessity.

A qualified structural engineer can best advise you and detail the specifics regarding your best long-term solution regarding grade issues, and how to most easily, cost effectively, and safely correct your problem. He can also "spec" the jobs involved, and even consult as an independent reviewer of the contractors or your work. Good, certified, experienced structural engineers can cost anywhere from $95 to $200 dollars an hour for their time average in the US but when it comes to major structural issues of one's home it can be the best money ever spent regards to such issues, as doing it right the first time (and not doing unnessary things) can prevent thousands of dollars of expense/loss from doing it wrong.
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