Capillary break under PWF walls in Saskatchewan, on finished build

Is the capillary break “required” by code on the concrete footing under PWF basement walls in Saskatchewan Canada? It’s not like it can be repaired so if nothing can be done about it then why even mention it?

A local CMHC inspector flagged this an an issue on 5 new houses, which is understandable because it’s a valid concern, especially on a new build, but the houses are already done. Is it a code requirement? Can the customer decline payment?

A capillary break is any gap or physical barrier that interrupts the flow of liquid water through the microscopic fissures ‘or capillaries’ of a material. As to the best of my knowledge, yes, capillary breaks are required.

I was just informed by an inspector based in Alberta who also serves Saskatchewan that the capillary break in the Canada code requirements only requires some sort of fibre gum which I think means butyl or mastic. I have to investigate that. But it is not required to lay down the foam sheet style capillary break that I learned about in the InterNACHI training.

David, A capillary break is ‘any gap or physical barrier’ that interrupts the flow of liquid water through the microscopic fissures ‘or capillaries’ of a material.
So to answer your question, yes they are required.

Ok, just to clarify:

  1. since you are in Canada and I’ve been told it’s not required by Canada code, could you provide me a link to a source that states this is a requirement for Canada?
  2. would you consider roof tar or fibre gum a capillary break?

Builder Guide to Site and Foundation Drainage, which has been commissioned
by BC Housing.
Footing/foundation capillary break.