Is this normal or is it a sign that I need to do something. I bought
the house last year and the house inspector didn't mention it as a
problem but now I read online ads from waterproofing companies that
it's a sign that moisture is seeping through my foundation. I'm going
to have a contractor come in to look at it this weekend but I
understand that there are a lot of scare tactics employed by these
folks to get people to overspend on waterproofing so I'd appreciate
some education on what's normal and what is a problem.
Before the contractor arrives, test for damp. This is done
by taping 8x11-inch sheets of plastic to various spots on
the wall, and seeing how many days it takes before
drops of moisture appear between plastic and wall.
Dry efflorescence from masonry is hardly ever structurally
important -- usually just a nuisance (an extra source of
dust.) If you do not like to see it, think about having the
basement drywalled. Your contractor can estimate costs.
Also make sure it is not as simple as an exterminator doing a
"baseboard" treatment and the clay in the mixture is just showing up as
would dirty water stains. It would wipe off and not return...unless of
course the same exterminator came back...
Yes, wise to check. Tape some plastic over the affected spots and see if it
gets really wet. If so, you have some seepage.
This is normal so dont panic unless it's right on a wood support member.
Chances are, the most you need is some basement grade water sealing paint
If the one fellow tells you that you have a major problem, get *multiple*
estimates because uness you have alot of crumbling mortor (would be obvious
to the eye that it's falling out), you probably just have a little damp.
Make sure water drains well around the outside of your house. Wait for a
dry spell, then wire brush basement walls and apply a sealing plaster, I
used a wallpaper paste brush. This will reduce basement moisture and is
something you should do before ever finishing a basement.
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