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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    187

    Default Might have screwed up bad, need some advice

    Today we started a new frame using the pre-cast "superior walls". I got to the job and found out the walls were 5/8ths out of level over 30'. So I called the rep, he came to the job, we went back and forth for a couple of hours, him saying maybe my level is off, it's not that bad etc. I also started a new helper today, so I got him working setting mudsills (2x10's w/ bolts every 2 feet) we fixed all of the out of level problems and got all the sills set. So I am sitting home tonight and it just hit me I didn't put any sill seal under the mudsills. I have 5 new rolls still sitting on the job. This is a garage and rec room combo in the basement area. I'm worried that I am screwed and the sills need to come up. I'm not sure what the code is on this, because we always just use the sill seal. Does anyone know if the code requires sill seal when there is a conditioned living space in the basement? Also is there anything I can do to fix the problem? The sills are shimed up about 7/16th in one area so there is a gap in a few places between the foundation and sills. Can I just chaulk w/ NP1 or another product? Any tips or information would be helpful. I don't think I am required to have the sill seal, I just feel dumb for forgetting to put it in. Thanks for any help.
    Joe Davis

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    41.88N -88.2W
    Posts
    612

    Default Re: Might have screwed up bad, need some advice

    I don't think it's a code issue. I would grout under the sill in the areas that are shimmed up. You could spray some expandable foam along the inside perimeter of the sill plate to make a seal between the sill and T.O.F.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Might have screwed up bad, need some advice

    Ed,
    Thanks for the quick response, that is what I was thinking as well. I am just irratated that we spent most of the day shimming under every joist and crush block and I got so wrapped up in that and these goofy walls that I forgot to put the sill seal down. I hope it will not be a big deal I just feel like a idiot.
    Joe Davis

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Posts
    3,846

    Default Re: Might have screwed up bad, need some advice

    Joe

    The sill seal is not really a good seal anyway and a much better job can be done with a good urethane sealant. I seal all of my plates with this and when we do blower door tests, my sills outperform any that have sill seal only.
    The expanding foam is a good idea but may have a problem with moisture saturation. I would use a solvent based urethane sealant like #900 solar seal or an tremco acoustical tile adhesive
    Mark Parlee
    BESI(building envelope science institute) Envelope Inspector
    EDI Certified EIFS Inspector/Moisture Analyst/Quality Control/Building Envelope II
    Level one thermagrapher (Snell Training)
    www.thebuildingconsultant.com
    www.parleebuilders.com
    You build to code, code is the minimum to pass this test. Congratulations your grade is a D-

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Might have screwed up bad, need some advice

    Thanks Mark, the more I think about it the more I think the seal wouldn't have done much anyway, with all the goofy gaps we have in these walls. Thanks for the advice, I happen to have 8 or 10 tubes of solar 900 laying around, I'll give it a try.
    Joe Davis

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Posts
    3,846

    Default Re: Might have screwed up bad, need some advice

    Joe

    You could use the expanding foam as a backer rod.
    I would recommend applying the sealant from the outside as opposed to the inside to minimize and migration of moisture under the plate, I know this may go without saying but want to make sure.
    Mark Parlee
    BESI(building envelope science institute) Envelope Inspector
    EDI Certified EIFS Inspector/Moisture Analyst/Quality Control/Building Envelope II
    Level one thermagrapher (Snell Training)
    www.thebuildingconsultant.com
    www.parleebuilders.com
    You build to code, code is the minimum to pass this test. Congratulations your grade is a D-

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Fayetteville, Georgia
    Posts
    346

    Default Re: Might have screwed up bad, need some advice

    I'm sorry that you had such trouble with the superior walls. The last job we used them on was within 1/8" of level and 1/4" of square. 5/8" is out of their tolerances. They should have reset the walls for you. Did your rep provide you with the bucket of bolts and sealant? The sealant that comes with the walls is very good. I hope this has not soured you on the product.

    Brian

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    White Bear Lake, MN
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Might have screwed up bad, need some advice

    This may be more appropriate for 'Exterior Details', but on this context I've often thought about setting "Z" flashing down on the block/concrete edge and nailing it to the mudsill to flash the joint between sheathing and masonry foundation, it would prevent direct contact between the two and would serve to divert any wayward water away from the joint.
    Does anyone else use a detail like this?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Might have screwed up bad, need some advice

    Brian,
    I have to be honest I was very put off by the job they did, the walls were out 9/16ths heavy, not straight, and not square, the straight and square part I don't expect to much on, and I can fix pretty easy. I am most put off by the out of level and the rep pretty much saying we are to picky and most guys would just "roll with it". I over heard him tell his boss they were out 3/8th's and his boss said "close enough". I don't mind mistakes, I make plenty, but the rep showing up saying my level is probably out and getting out a water level that he said was accurate to 1/4 over 30' and saying everything looked good, then leaving without talking to us to try and come to an understanding doesn't inspire alot of confidence. I'm sure they probably have a good track record, but I guess this is what you get when your walls are installed on new years day.
    Joe Davis

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Ligonier Pennsylvania
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Might have screwed up bad, need some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by wirerat99 View Post
    Brian,
    I have to be honest I was very put off by the job they did, the walls were out 9/16ths heavy, not straight, and not square, the straight and square part I don't expect to much on, and I can fix pretty easy. I am most put off by the out of level and the rep pretty much saying we are to picky and most guys would just "roll with it". I over heard him tell his boss they were out 3/8th's and his boss said "close enough". I don't mind mistakes, I make plenty, but the rep showing up saying my level is probably out and getting out a water level that he said was accurate to 1/4 over 30' and saying everything looked good, then leaving without talking to us to try and come to an understanding doesn't inspire alot of confidence. I'm sure they probably have a good track record, but I guess this is what you get when your walls are installed on new years day.
    Joe Davis
    Joe
    We framed on them twice
    First time out about 1 3/4 and we shimmed and backcharged the next time I checked and it was 2" out in 190' and they came out and shimmed. Actually its not the product but the way they installed it. The only advantage would be the quick install in bad weather. By the time you give them your plans they price, design and fabricate and install you could have any other foundation done.
    Don't you think its terrible that you have to shim brand new work?
    I call them Inferior Walls.
    Rick

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    4,685

    Default Re: Might have screwed up bad, need some advice

    Couple of thoughts come to mind Joe:

    1) You can easily verify your level's accuracy, and I don't mean to be cocky, but if you use one, you should know how to check it: Simply shoot the foundation wall from one direction, note how much out-of-level it is, then shoot it from the opposite direction. If it's the same, your level is accurate over whatever distance you're shooting. If you get different readings, the true reading is the average of the two.

    2) Sill plates are meant to take the bearing load of the house, and even if the foundation is out of level, I don't think you should have shimmed them. You are introducing another material, maybe more than 1 type, if you then go back and add some kind of sealant/foam/whatever at the gaps. You should set the plates on the foundation, then shim between the joists/rim joists as needed, CONTINUOUSLY for proper bearing, and back-charged the builder. IMO.

    3) If the sill-seal was on-site, I'm assuming it was on the plans, therefore it needs to be installed unless the builder/arch/inspector allows otherwise.

    4) What is your own tolerance for a 10' wall being out-of-plumb? Personally I shoot for dead-on, but it requires a level foundation, since I square my walls and sheathe on the deck. But I would suspect that 3/16" out-of-plumb over 10' would be within most builders' tolerance, which would equate to almost what you've got with the foundation being off by 5/8" over 30'.

    Tom
    1) Unconsciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows not that he knows not. He is a fool. Shun him.
    2) Consciously Incompetent: He knows not, and knows that he knows not. He is simple. Teach him.
    3) Unconsciously Competent: He knows, and knows not that he knows. He is asleep. Wake him.
    4) Consciously Competent: He knows, and knows that he knows. He is wise. Follow him.

    May we all endeavor to progress from not knowing that we know not, to knowing that we know.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    North Central Vermont
    Posts
    1,866

    Default Re: Might have screwed up bad, need some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by wirerat99 View Post
    the walls were 5/8ths out of level over 30'.
    From what I've seen and heard about Superior Walls, you got a great installation. Most are out much more than that since they are set on compacted stone and it's nearly impossible to level a crushed stone base.

    Carefull shimming and sealing with urethane on the outside and foam on the inside is the way to go.

    It makes no sense to shim between silll and band joist, as someone suggested, as that toe-nailed connection is far more sensitive to spacing than the bolted connection of the sill-to-foundation. The band joist serves as a header to transfer the floor loads over any irregularities in the foundation.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    North Central Vermont
    Posts
    1,866

    Default Re: Might have screwed up bad, need some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Parlee View Post
    I would use a solvent based urethane sealant like #900 solar seal or an tremco acoustical tile adhesive
    Tremco is not a tile adhesive, its a non-hardening acoustical sealant (butyl rubber caulk) for a multitude of applications. In addition to acoustical assemblies, it's the prefered sealant for the Air-Tight Drywall Approach.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Might have screwed up bad, need some advice

    Tom,
    Thanks for your thoughts, to answer your questions, I did shoot the walls from two different sides and got the same measurements both times, plus my level is fairly new so I would have been surprised if it was out. I wouldn't have even considered it if the rep hadn't asked. We shimed at every joist, squash block, and point load. I like to keep things as close to perfect as I can get them, it doesn't always turn out that way but I try. We set joist today and so far I am happy with the way things are turning out, we are back level and square and for the rest of the frame we should have to fight it. Also the sill seal wasn't on the plans, I just add it as force of habit. On the job we are going to add foam bracker rod on the inside and a sealer on the outside, I think it will accually work out for the best. I just I have just gotten spoiled because the masons we use are excellent and close to perfect everytime. Thanks to everyone for their comments and suggestions.
    Joe Davis

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Posts
    3,846

    Default Re: Might have screwed up bad, need some advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Riversong View Post
    Tremco is not a tile adhesive, its a non-hardening acoustical sealant (butyl rubber caulk) for a multitude of applications. In addition to acoustical assemblies, it's the prefered sealant for the Air-Tight Drywall Approach.
    I knew that but misspoke while I was doing the hyperlink
    Mark Parlee
    BESI(building envelope science institute) Envelope Inspector
    EDI Certified EIFS Inspector/Moisture Analyst/Quality Control/Building Envelope II
    Level one thermagrapher (Snell Training)
    www.thebuildingconsultant.com
    www.parleebuilders.com
    You build to code, code is the minimum to pass this test. Congratulations your grade is a D-

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