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R406.3.2 Below-Grade Moisture Barrier
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A 6-mil-thick (0.15 mm) polyethylene film shall be applied over the below-grade portion of exterior foundation walls prior to backfilling. Joints in the polyethylene film shall be lapped 6 inches (152 mm) and sealed with adhesive. The top edge of the polyethylene film shall be bonded to the sheathing to form a seal. Film areas at grade level shall be protected from mechanical damage and exposure by a pressure-preservative treated lumber or plywood strip attached to the wall several inches above finished grade level and extending approximately 9 inches (229 mm) below grade. The joint between the strip and the wall shall be caulked full length prior to fastening the strip to the wall. Where approved, other coverings appropriate to the architectural treatment shall be permitted to be used. The polyethylene film shall extend down to the bottom of the wood footing plate but shall not overlap or extend into the gravel or crushed stone footing.
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