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Old 10-24-2017, 02:22 PM   #1
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Default Crumbling block wall

Customer has some kind of waterproofing paint on basement walls. It is peeling and block underneath is soft. Is there some kind of primer that could penetrate in and stabilize that so paint will stick?
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Old 10-24-2017, 02:42 PM   #2
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Customer has some kind of waterproofing paint on basement walls. It is peeling and block underneath is soft. Is there some kind of primer that could penetrate in and stabilize that so paint will stick?
Scrape it, grab a wire wheel and get it to a sound surface, vacuum and use hydrolic cement to float anything that needs it. Especially if there's an active leak. Then you can use loxon or whatever masonry primer ya want and top coat with drylock or an equivilant.

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Old 10-24-2017, 02:53 PM   #3
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Customer has some kind of waterproofing paint on basement walls. It is peeling and block underneath is soft. Is there some kind of primer that could penetrate in and stabilize that so paint will stick?
The system LPC mentioned, seems like a good option. However, the problem with these basement masonry walls, that don't have a moisture barrier on the exterior grade side, is that they will continue to drive the masonry alkalines to the interior side during ground saturation, causing efflorescent blooms, which contributes to coating breakdown.

Short of digging out the exterior side and installing a moisture barrier, you can suspend drywall over the interior side of the block wall..

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Old 10-24-2017, 03:05 PM   #4
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The system LPC mentioned, seems like a good option. However, the problem with these basement masonry walls, that don't have a moisture barrier on the exterior grade side, is that they will continue to drive the masonry alkalines to the interior side during ground saturation, causing efflorescent blooms, which contributes to coating breakdown.

Short of digging out the exterior side and installing a moisture barrier, you can suspend drywall over the interior side of the block wall..
Yes. That is the likely culprit. Might need a French drain, might need a back hoe, might need a pump But none of those are painter related. And putting drywall over that is begging for problems. The owner needs to be able to monitor that situation not cover over it with paper and gypsum. And again, that's not painter related either.

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Old 10-24-2017, 03:15 PM   #5
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Yes. That is the likely culprit. Might need a French drain, might need a back hoe, might need a pump But none of those are painter related. And putting drywall over that is begging for problems. The owner needs to be able to monitor that situation not cover over it with paper and gypsum. And again, that's not painter related either.

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Well, if you're trying to manage a structural defect with paint, it may be considered paint related.

And as far as problems with suspending drywall over a masonry wall, as long as you maintain a cavity and moisture barrier between the masonry wall and drywall, there will typically be no problems. I mean we are talking about natural migration of moisture from an un-barriered wall, not a crack with water pouring in.

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Old 10-24-2017, 03:46 PM   #6
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I guess it's fresh in my mind because I'm currently dealing with this issue. and there are active leaks. house was built in the early 20's and has had multiple expansions. there's only about 3 ft of space between the back of the house and a steep hill. the basement is basically buried in the hill side. Ho's are not interested in repairing the external conditions, they'd rather take on the maintenance. they have 2 sup pumps. it would be unwise in these conditions to suspend drywall though i understand what you're getting at. if we knew it was going to stay relatively dry, that'd work. that's not the case here, that's for sure. and i have no idea about the op's situation. we ARE the contractor. and all things considered, this is the best option for this particular home owners budget and situation . I was just giving the op the info based on the info he provided from the perspective of a painter and what he could reasonably do with a paint brush. it's residential, not commercial.
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Old 10-24-2017, 04:06 PM   #7
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I guess it's fresh in my mind because I'm currently dealing with this issue. and there are active leaks. house was built in the early 20's and has had multiple expansions. there's only about 3 ft of space between the back of the house and a steep hill. the basement is basically buried in the hill side. Ho's are not interested in repairing the external conditions, they'd rather take on the maintenance. they have 2 sup pumps. it would be unwise in these conditions to suspend drywall though i understand what you're getting at. if we knew it was going to stay relatively dry, that'd work. that's not the case here, that's for sure. and i have no idea about the op's situation. we ARE the contractor. and all things considered, this is the best option for this particular home owners budget and situation . I was just giving the op the info based on the info he provided from the perspective of a painter and what he could reasonably do with a paint brush. it's residential, not commercial.
The OP described what seemed like a typical basement masonry wall situation that didn't have a moisture barrier. My Dads house had the same problem and we just kept scraping loose paint and re painting it with flat interior.

I'm doing a job right now where an office was flooded by faulty plumbing. Some time back someone suspended drywall over a concrete wall. Of course I had to remove about two vertical feet of it along the length of the room. It is metal studded.

One wall was giving me weird moisture readings. No insulation. Dry right at the base, wet about twelve inches up, then dry at two feet. Turns out the last contractor filled the wall with drywall debris. The scraps acted as a wick.
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Old 10-24-2017, 04:32 PM   #8
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The OP described what seemed like a typical basement masonry wall situation that didn't have a moisture barrier. My Dads house had the same problem and we just kept scraping loose paint and re painting it with flat interior.

I'm doing a job right now where an office was flooded by faulty plumbing. Some time back someone suspended drywall over a concrete wall. Of course I had to remove about two vertical feet of it along the length of the room. It is metal studded.

One wall was giving me weird moisture readings. No insulation. Dry right at the base, wet about twelve inches up, then dry at two feet. Turns out the last contractor filled the wall with drywall debris. The scraps acted as a wick.
Yikes, that'll be fun.

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Old 10-24-2017, 04:55 PM   #9
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Yikes, that'll be fun.

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I'd provide pics of my awesome drywall and taping skills, but no one really cares.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:55 PM   #10
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UGL does not go over a primer!! Must go directly to block, I think the UGL extreme will go over pretty wet block.
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Old 10-24-2017, 08:46 PM   #11
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UGL does not go over a primer!! Must go directly to block, I think the UGL extreme will go over pretty wet block.
The only reason I was considering loxon is because of severe crumbling and efforvesence. Not necessary even then?
I can be wrong. I like making more money to do less work.lol

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Old 10-24-2017, 08:50 PM   #12
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Customer has some kind of waterproofing paint on basement walls. It is peeling and block underneath is soft. Is there some kind of primer that could penetrate in and stabilize that so paint will stick?
Without seeing any interior or exterior pics, we are just guessing what needs to be done. LPC mentioned that a French drain might be in order and CApainter says there might not be any moisture barrier on the outside. From what is being described, it sounds like there is a long term moisture/water problem that probably needs to be addressed.

Over the summer I was working on a basement in a frame house built in 1942. The chimney was 5 feet wide at the base and was flush with the foundation down to the bottom of the basement wall. The wall that the chimney was part of had been enclosed both with drywall and 12 feet of closets built in front of said wall. The vent pipe from the furnace was behind the drywall, making it very difficult to service if needed. Water was coming in through the wall behind the closets and mold was growing on the drywall. After the current tenants moved out, we removed all the drywall inside the closets and found the brick wall of the chimney to be very damp. I could go on and on about what was done next including chimney repair.

My point is, if water is making its way into the basement, the problem will probably increase as the water continues to find its pathways into the basement. I would address the water problem first before applying anything to the walls.

The house I was talking about above has since been rented again and I told the owner not to re-install any drywall over the brick chimney wall in the basement (which contains the cleanout for the fireplace - which was walled over with a board glued to cover it! I removed 4 full 5 gallon buckets of very damp ashes from this cleanout). As it stand now, I rebuilt what needed to be rebuilt to put the closet bi-fold doors back and left the foundation wall behind the closets open and unobstructed. I told the owner that it is a basement, not proper living quarters, at least not here in the midwest. The new tenants can put up plastic shelving units that won't get moldy inside the closets and close the doors so the bare basement wall will not be seen.

I forgot to mention that the water that was coming into the basement was coming in over an 18" sq concrete slab that was adjacent to both the brick chimney and the foundation wall. This slab was higher than the foundation wall. The basement waterproofing tech who came out had put the garden hose running right in proximity to the area where the leak was coming into the basement. He let the hose run for about 30 minutes full blast. There were no leaks in the basement. I took the garden hose and placed it so it would run over the 18" concrete slab, then went inside. As soon as I got to the closet, the water came trickling down over the foundation wall right where the chimney and foundation wall met.

You can do whatever you want, but if it were me, I would try to find out why there is a moisture problem and make the customer happy that you were not just trying to make money that would be not well spent.

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Old 10-24-2017, 09:03 PM   #13
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Default Crumbling wall

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Customer has some kind of waterproofing paint on basement walls. It is peeling and block underneath is soft. Is there some kind of primer that could penetrate in and stabilize that so paint will stick?
As I was loading my previous comment, I saw the words in your original subject line and post. "Crumbling block wall" and "block underneath is soft." How do you paint over wet?

In addition, I had a discussion with a clerk at Lowes big box store about another basement that has water problems. The basement in question has a solid concrete foundation. The foundation has now become very close to being level with the outside surfaces - earth, brick patio in the back, asphault driveway, etc., so that any water that comes down from the heavens has a difficult was finding its way away from the house. I suggested to the owner (the same owner of the property mentioned in my previous post) that he might consider a French drain along the back of the house, seeing as how a small pond would form there after a heavy rain. Concrete steps with a numner of cracks going down to the basement and a plugged drain in front of the basement door did not help matters.

I told this all to the clerk at Lowes. He told me about a friend of his who had a similar problem. She opted to do an indoor French drain. When the big downpour finally came, the hydrostatic pressure from the water on the outside of the cinder block basement foundation wall caused one of the cinder blocks to pop out onto the basement floor. That would be something interesting to see, but not to deal with.

Again, you might want to check out the source of the moisture coming into the basement you are deraling with.

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Old 10-24-2017, 09:32 PM   #14
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Xypex is probably the best waterproofing product for applying to the negative side of masonry or concrete walls.
http://www.xypex.com/products/coatin...ex-concentrate

You could remove the existing paint, patch the crumbled areas then apply the slurry over the whole wall. Once you confirm that the moisture is no longer present and the coating is cured (it's cementitious) then you can paint

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Old 10-25-2017, 03:59 AM   #15
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Xypex is probably the best waterproofing product for applying to the negative side of masonry or concrete walls.
http://www.xypex.com/products/coatin...ex-concentrate

You could remove the existing paint, patch the crumbled areas then apply the slurry over the whole wall. Once you confirm that the moisture is no longer present and the coating is cured (it's cementitious) then you can paint

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This looks pretty interesting, but is Xypex (or Koster or any similar product) something that a painter would want to tackle, or should a contractor experienced in using these products be consulted? I might want to try this in my own basement, but I don't know if I would want to get a call back on a project like this.

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Old 10-25-2017, 06:47 AM   #16
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This looks pretty interesting, but is Xypex (or Koster or any similar product) something that a painter would want to tackle, or should a contractor experienced in using these products be consulted? I might want to try this in my own basement, but I don't know if I would want to get a call back on a project like this.

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That would depend on the degree of water intrusion. A damp wall is one thing but any moving water should be addressed by the pros.

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Old 10-25-2017, 09:52 AM   #17
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Customer has some kind of waterproofing paint on basement walls. It is peeling and block underneath is soft. Is there some kind of primer that could penetrate in and stabilize that so paint will stick?
So, the OP never really described any moisture on contact. Just what sounds like the results of alkaline efflorvensence breaking down the paint, and concrete softness all likely due to migrating vapors trapped under a moisture barrier coating receiving vapor pressure under the interior coating side.
This will continue to be a maintenance problem as long as the exterior vapor barrier issue is not addressed. At the end of the day, it is probably more cost affective to just add paint to the wall every four or five years, or when signs of break down begin to occur. It's not like this wall is a back drop for the Pope's pulpit.

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Old 10-25-2017, 10:44 AM   #18
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I wouldnt touch that until they get to the source.
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Old 10-25-2017, 11:00 AM   #19
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I wouldnt touch that until they get to the source.
I bet the homeowner wouldn't know the difference. And if you did explain all of the engineering that would need to go into mitigating the problem with the best of practices, they would just say, "Paint it".
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Old 10-25-2017, 12:27 PM   #20
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I bet the homeowner wouldn't know the difference. And if you did explain all of the engineering that would need to go into mitigating the problem with the best of practices, they would just say, "Paint it".

CApainter, you as well as otheres here may be right, but perhaps we are jumping the gun. After reading all the comments on his thread, the OP has not come forth with any description of what is causing the water problem with the basement blocks. Maybe we should wait until the OP has taken a better look at what the problem could be, then come back here and inform the rest of us so we don't just keep guessing. Just sayin'.

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