Right now my basement has some inexpensive foam-backed indoor/outdoor
pile carpet rolled out, some drywall interior walls but that's it.
Joists and insulation are exposed, with hanging 48" fluorescent shop
lights here and there; exterior walls are concrete block painted (on the
inside) with UGL waterproofer (the rough white cementious stuff).
We never get standing water in the basement, and we run a dehumidifier
down there. But we do get some mildew or mold in some spots where the
cinder block wall meets the poured floor. Periodically I clean it up
wtih bleach and paint over it again with the waterproofer. It lasts
about 6-12 months and I do it again.
Does this present a problem if I wanted to have some drywall put in to
finish off the basement walls? The mildew would then be behind the wall,
so I'm guessing it would, and that's why I haven't done anything yet. Is
there some solution (dessicant?) short of digging out the foundation of
the exterior wall? (which isn't entirely possible thanks to a deck,
sunroom, and septic tank extending beyond the footprint of the house).
I would also like to avoid a French drain; we have no standing water
inside. I'm just afraid if we do nothing we'd have a huge mold problem
behind the drywall. Maybe there's no simple or inexpensive solution -
but I wanted to check to get other opinions. Thanks,
We do have working downspouts and they do get rid of water at least a
few feet away from the house.
Grading isn't perfect but far from bad. Front of house does grade away.
Back of house - generally flat. One side - driveway, graded away. The
other side is where the problem is worst. On that side, the grading is
parallel to the side of the house. So it doesn't run away or toward the
The next reply might have something to it. We get the mold even during
drought. So maybe it is fed from the inside. We do run a dehumidifier
down there but perhaps we should set it on maximum.
Is the dampness coming from inside or outside of the basement? I've
read that you can tape a sheet of aluminum foil (?) to the wall at the
damp spots and see which side the water condenses.
If you're lucky then it's just inside humidity condensing on the cold
walls that is feeding the mold. If that's the case then the proper
way to fix it will be to build framed walls with insulation and a
vapor barrier on the room side of the studs.
That would be great news. As I mentioned in a reply to the first person
who replied, we have a dehumidifier down there but we only have it set
maybe 3/4 toward the maximum. Just didn't want it running all the time,
or drying out the air so much as to hurt our pets (who sleep down there).
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