Code of Maryland Regulations
Chapter 05.04.02 - Housing Rehabilitation Program-Applicable Codes and Standards - Construction

Universal Citation: MD Code Reg Construction

A. Objective. The objective is to assure that the construction of the rehabilitated portion of the building will provide sufficient structural strength and rigidity; adequate protection from corrosion, decay, insects, and other destructive forces; necessary resistance to the elements; reasonable durability and economy of maintenance; and acceptable quality of workmanship.

B. Structural Soundness. All structural components of the building shall be in sound condition and considered serviceable for the expected useful life of the rehabilitated building. Sagging or out-of-plumb floors, chimneys, fireplaces, partitions, or stairs, and bulging of exterior walls shall be restored as near as practical to an acceptable level or plumb position, and supported or braced to prevent a recurrence of these conditions. Stair railings shall be rigid. Individual structural members in a seriously deteriorated condition shall be replaced. Loosely jointed structural members shall be restored to original rigidity.

C. Thermal Protection. Necessary corrective measures shall be required to ensure that the building has the following minimum thermal protection:

(1) Thermal protection for glazing and doors is required for all habitable heated areas in locations having more than 4500 annual winter degree days. This will be effected through the installation of storm doors and storm sashes or inserts, or insulating glass. Material and installation may be the most economical locally acceptable, but shall meet the U values as prescribed for new construction. Storm doors need not be applied to double front doors, double French doors, sliding glass doors, or any other door for which the cost of custom manufacturing would be excessive. Casement and awning windows and other types of sash may be exempted on an individual basis in any instance due discontinued sizes, unusual opening configuration for which no storm sash is manufactured and for which the cost of custom manufacturing would be excessive.

(2) Ceiling insulation shall be provided over all heated areas in locations having 2500 or more annual winter degree days as follows:

(a) 2500 to 4500 degree days -- R-11 insulation;

(b) 4501 to 8000 degree days -- R-19 insulation;

(c) 8001 or more degree days -- R-22 insulation.

(3) In all instances the adequacy of attic ventilation must be ascertained. Exemption of the ceiling insulation requirements will be allowed for buildings having flat roofs or other ceiling areas where installation is determined to be impractical unless ceiling finish is to be removed in the course of rehabilitation. Under-floor insulation shall be required beneath all heated areas over unheated spaces in localities having 2500 or more annual winter degree days. Insulation may be installed between or under floor joists as follows: 2500 to 4500 degree days -- R-7 insulation; above 4500 degree days -- R-11 insulation. Exemption of under-floor insulation will be allowed where reflective foil insulation is already installed.

(4) When the exterior wall is repaired to the extent of removing the sheathing or inside wall covering, insulation shall be installed in the exposed portion of the wall cavity. The thermal insulation shall fill the exposed wall cavity or furring space without excessive compression. A vapor barrier shall be provided on the warm side of the cavity or furring space when insulation is added.

(5) Weatherproofing.

(a) Doors and windows shall be adequately weatherstripped to reduce infiltration of air.

(b) Loose or brittle caulking around door and window frames shall be replaced. New caulking shall be installed where none is present.

D. Exterior Walls.

(1) General. Foundations and exterior walls shall provide safe and adequate support for all loads upon them, and prevent the entrance of water or excessive moisture. Serious defects shall be repaired and cracks effectively sealed, or replaced.

(2) Basement and Foundation Walls.

(a) Basement and foundation walls should prevent the entrance of water or moisture into basement or crawl space areas. Cracks in the walls shall be effectively sealed, and loose or defective mortar joints shall be replaced. If necessary, the interior or exterior face of the walls shall be damp-proofed by bituminous coating and cement parging.

(b) Deficiencies in proper grading or paving adjacent to the building shall be corrected to assure surface drainage away from basement walls.

E. Partitions, Columns, and Posts. Partitions and other vertical supports which are to be continued in use shall be free of splits, excessive lean, buckling, or other defects.

F. Floor Construction.

(1) General. All floor construction shall provide safe and adequate support for all existing or probable loads and shall be reasonably free of objectionable vibration. A suitable surface for finish flooring shall exist or be provided.

(2) Basement or Cellar Floors. The floors of all basement or cellar furnace rooms, or basements containing habitable space, shall be paved in an acceptable manner, except, if the basement or cellar has existing wood floor construction over a crawl space which is in a sound undamaged condition, it may remain, provided the crawl space is adequately vented, and an acceptable ground cover material is installed on the ground in the crawl space.

G. Chimneys, Incinerators and Vents. Chimneys and vents shall be structurally safe, durable, smoke-tight and capable of withstanding the action of flue gases. Factory-built chimneys shall be labeled by Underwriters' Laboratories Inc., and installed in accordance with the listing.

H. Protection from Rodents, Termites, or Other Infestation.

(1) Each building and all exterior appurtenances on the site shall be effectively protected against rodents, termites, or other vermin infestation, using approved methods.

(2) Inspection and Correction. A careful inspection by qualified persons shall be made of each building and accessory structure on each property for evidence of actual or potential infestation or access channels. Existing buildings having defects that permit the entrance of rodents, termites, or other vermin shall be corrected by appropriate preventive measures. Damaged or deteriorated structural members shall be replaced.

(3) Inspection for Decay and Deterioration. An inspection shall be made of both interior and exterior construction for evidence of rot, rust, or decay damage or other hazards. If structural damage to these materials is found to exist, correction shall be provided.

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