I own a 50-year old Cape Cod house in Long Island. My basement is
currently unfinished, and I would like to reduce the dampness issue
before I finish it off. My walls have a heavy case of efflorescence,
which flakes off onto the floor. I have also seen small pools of water
on the floor (near the wall) in one corner. There are also several
craters in the wall & floor where the poured concrete has apparently
fragmented. Here is what I am planning to do to resolve the situation,
but would like some feedback to make sure I'm on the right track:
1. extend drainpipes further away from the house (already started
2. vacuum the walls/floor
3. use drylock etch (muriatic acid) to clean entire wall/floor area
4. use ajax with bleach to further clean walls/floor and to kill any
5. patch craters/cracks with drylock fastplug
6. paint walls with drylock latex
What I am wondering though is should I also drylock paint the floor as
well? I was thinking of at least painting the floor six feet from the
walls, just in case dampness is seeping in from there.
Any feedback will be appreciated.
Drylock wont cure your problem but will help, Ive needed several times 7
coats to stop moisture. Acid fumes, and is real bad for the lungs you
need a respirator and major ventilation exaust fans, Bleach kills only
mold. Use a oil paint on the floors. You need to stop moisture from
outside, finishing the walls should wait till you use a moisture meter
to be sure mold wont grow behind the walls.
50 yrs ago on LI, there may not even be any footer drain tile.
Keeping that foundation dry may be an uphill battle.
My main remarks though are about the Muriatic and bleach.
Both release chlorine which is a major lung irritant
and can have long-lasting effects (ask me how I know).
You will be spreading these chemicals over a large surface area
which means lots of vapor release.
You *may* want to consider how you will effectively ventilate while
working and what type of respirator to be wearing.
You may want to check the gutter and downsprout near that corner. The
gutter may be stuffed with leaves, and the downsprout may be throwing
water right at that corner instead of pouring the water far away from
the house foundation. Better yet, clean all the gutter and downsprout,
and check if the gutter and downsprouts function well in a heavy rain.
I find that using a water hose to simulate raining just doesn't show
all the problems in the gutter and downsprout -- nothing shows all the
shortcomings in the gutter and downsprout like a heavy rain.
I was told that you need to extend the downsprout far away from the
house foundation. I extend mine to 5 feet away, other people said that
10 feet is better.
People also suggested to make sure the grade around the house
foundation is sloping away from the house, not directing the water
back to the house foundation.
If you still have water problem in your basement after you have done
all these, you may need to ask your neighbors to see if the ground
water in your area is high.
If I remember this correctly, the manufacturer only recommends people
using DryLock on the wall; they don't say anything about using it on
the floor. I am under the impression that DryLock is not designed for
floor application. Moreover, you may need to remove the DryLock if you
need to use thinset to put ceramic tiles over the basement floor, and
removing any paint from floor is a "tough" job. Therefore, my
suggestion is to explore all the other alternatives before you paint
I used to have water problem in my basement. After I had painted
DryLock on my basement wall, I still had water coming through from
where the wall meets the floor. I finally fixed the problem by
directing the downsprout at least 5 feet from the house foundation
(and I also use a dehumidifier). I still have one more thing to fix
(the downsprouts that pour water from the roof to the first floor
overhang); nevertheless, the basement water problem is pretty much
email@example.com (Jay Chan) wrote in message
You're absolutely right that the only way to know what's going on is
to put on a raincoat on and take a look around the house during a
heavy rain. I just had a problem with water showing up in the
basement and couldn't figure out why. Turns out one of the 4" pipes I
had slipped over the end of the leader was leaking there big time
during heavy rain. Using a hose, you'd never see it.
Glad to hear that you fixed your basement water problem (I know you
are not the OP).
Water is very hard to predict its behavior. For example, my house has
two floors. I have downsprouts pouring water from the roof onto the
overhanging area in the first floor, and then the water is supposed to
flow into the gutter of the overhanging area of the first floor and go
down to another section of downsprout and onto the ground. That is the
design. But in a heavy rain, I saw water throwing out from the
downsprout in the second floor in such a strong force that the
downsprouts were like large water hoses shooting water a good four
feet out, and totally bypassing the gutter in the first floor and
landing on the ground at the house foundation. Of course, I had water
in my basement on that day right at the corners where the water was
shooting at. If I was not at home at that day to witness that, I would
never know the water in the basement had to do with the downsprout in
the second floor, and had nothing to do with the downsprout in the
first floor, and I would have spent time and effort trying to extend
the first floor downsprout further and further away hoping that this
would fix the problem, and I would still have water in my basement in
the next heavy rain. Really, seeing is believing.
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