basement foundation question

When the inspector did the check out of the house he mentioned the basement foundation had evidence of water problems. We talked about it with the seller and agreed that his fix prior to selling was adequate for my purposes. Anyway, the inspector pointed out these chalky deposits on the concrete walls of the foundation and that he sees this all the time with water problems. It looks exactly like chalk or lime is sitting on the surface of the concrete and if you poke at it the white chalky substance flakes off.
I guess my question is, what is the white chalky stuff? The inspector said something akin to the concrete materials were leaching to the surface, calcification I guess.
As a follow on, assuming the water problem has been resolved does the presence of the chalky stuff on the concrete indicate that I don't have a hope of sealing my basement against further water, should the problem come back in the future? The original owner put down a tarpaper, 2x4, plywood floor on the foundation as the flooring material and I'd like to remove it and put down something a bit more roomy - like all-weather carpeting or tile.
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Eigenvector wrote:

the white substance is called efflorescence. punch it into google.
does the efflorescence continue to appear after you clean it off? if so, then yes, water is still moving through your foundation. what did the original owner do to resolve the water problems?
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If you have moisture migrating through basement walls etc, I wonder how the subfloor you describe looks underneath. Sounds like perfect mildew and fungus producing environment. Before making any plans you need to assess and develop proper countermeasures to achive perfect dry basement used as livingspace. Dont be ignorant about mold and such; not fun if they find you!
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OMG. Your seller's repair is laughable, there could be a musroom farm down there.
You definitely should not put down anything on the floor if there's a moisture problem. Carpet will turn to a mold substrate, tiles will come unglued.
I would rip out the seller's craptastic effort, and then find out what is causing the moisture. Could be bad gutters, bad drainage, or sometimes that's just the way it is.
I fyou used a Realtor when buying this house, and they thought tarpaper and a wood floor was ok, then they, like most Realtors, are an idiot.
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I think you misunderstand. I don't actually know why the seller put down that flooring material, and more than likely I shouldn't have even mentioned it as it seems to be causing a sidetrack to the real issue.
The solution to the water problem was adding tiling and a drain system in the crawlspace adjacent and uphill from the basement. I'm comfortable that the tiling system is working and I haven't seen any evidence that water is leaking through, but the rainy season hasn't come yet. The tarpaper and 2x4 flooring may have only been put down to hide the damage caused originally by the water leakage. I haven't torn it up yet, too many other projects.
But at least I know the name of the chalky stuff.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
"craptastic" ?
Now that's a word of the day that has lots of uses.
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