Man, it's been wet lately. The basement on a house I own isn't exacty
wet but it's definately damp and has that basement smell. It's mostly
concrete block that looks like it replaces the original laid up stone.
From the ground level down, the old paint (which appears to be old
Drylok) is pretty loose. I'm having my teenager blow it off with a
garden hose and a little light scraping. Above grade it's in pretty
My first thought was to scrape it down and re-drylok it. It's really
not a bad option. But I was wondering what other people where doing
and how things worked (or didn't work) for them.
get a interior french drain, so water is no longer trapped in wall,
then drylock again and perhaps a top coat of exterior gloss regular
paint wiuth added mold preventer.
its very hard to sell a home with a wet or damp basement
Nothing you put on the inside of the wall is going to eliminate the
problem. You have a bigger problem than most. Just scraping and
scrubbing is not going to get your walls in the right condition to use
the paint on stuff, even if your situation might be added by it. You
would need to sand blast it clean and I would not want to do that. I
have done it once in a special case, it was a pain, but I knew it
If the original paint failed, the same conditions, even after
sandblasting, would also fail.
I suggest you start by determining if you have moisture condensing
or coming through the wall. Use some duct tape to tape a square
(about 1 foot on each side) to the wall and another on the floor.
Come back the next day. Is the moisture under it or on it?
If you are finding moisture under it, then you need to work from
the outside and move the moisture away from the wall. Lots of work,
but it works. The next bet is the French drain idea. It may well
If the moisture is on the side towards you, the moisture needs to
be removed from the air using a dehumidifier or better ventilation.
In part what works best depends on local conditions. For that
reason I suggest you contact some of your neighbors and see what, if
anything, has worked well for them.
The moisture, water, dampness is coming;
1) Through the wall from outside due to a) Lack of or a deteriorated
membrane on outside of wall. And/or b) Poor, or lack of weeping tile
to drain away ground water.
2) It is due to condensation on the cool basement walls, which are at
ground temperature, when warm outside and house air reach them. We
have a dehumidifier running continuously in our basement in this
Or both 1 and 2?
Without fixing the problems smearing paint or whatever on the inside
of the concrete or block walls wont' do much good!;
If it stinks its got mold, use a garden sprayer and kill the mold with
laundry bleach first, get the humidity down with a dehumidifier, UGL
is ok and may take 7 coats for leaks, you do need a dehumidifer.
Did the block replace the stone or is it built against it?
One solution I tried once that worked - pressure injection of liquid
silicone. Rather expensive. Quantities difficult to calculate as it depends
on the pososity of the masonry, and whether there is a void to exploit, eg
between block and original stone, and/or the nature of the fill behind the
There's also asphalt tanking :-O
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