Need suggestions for fixing, cleaning & water-proofing basement

mystikyMay 25, 2013

We live in a 1930's all-brick house, and the time has finally come for us to do our basement, which has been already demo'ed. We live about 3/4 of a mile from the water, and we are about 70 feet above sea level. Thankfully, the basement has no leaks through any of it's walls or the floor

We need to fix a few tiny cracks (holes), scrape off the old paint/junk from the walls (blocks), have them waterproofed from any extra humidity / moisture and then painted. We will be using metal studs in the construction with green sheetrock everywhere (except ceiling), however there will be two machine-room closets (one for boiler / heater, and the other for electrical / gas meters) that will have the walls non-covered for access.

Can anyone suggest what water-proofing, crack sealent and paint to use so that it lasts well and the walls don't start peeling in a couple of years?

Also, any other suggestions are much appreciated.

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All you need to know on renovating your basement is at Building Science.Com.

Save your money on the miracle waterproofing paints.

The greenboard isn't much of an improvement on standard drywall. If you're really concerned, you can use Dens Plus or equivalent.

Instead, concentrate on keeping water far away from the exterior of your basement with functioning eavestrough, downspouts that take the water far away and proper grading. Use a moisture tolerant insulation--extruded or expanded polystyrene--in the thickness appropriate for your climate zone. (Not the same as the garden zone!)

Run a properly-sized dehumidifier to keep relative humidity under 50 per cent.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2013 at 8:28PM
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I am partial to the crystalline waterproofing products.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 5:55PM
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The wall has been partially parged, painted and coated, perhaps as remedies for past leaks. It requires such extensive work to make it ready for crystalline applications such as Krystol that's it's not likely a practical approach.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 10:03AM
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Thank you for the feedback everyone.

It was suggested by someone that I should just used a product called "Fresh Cement", and go over all of the basement walls (concrete blocks) and to just seal them.

What about using wonderboard, instead of of green sheetrock? Or a combo of both?

Any comments on this?

This post was edited by mystiky on Mon, May 27, 13 at 14:42

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 2:38PM
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Is there any difference between the Dens Plus boards or the regular Green Sheetrock rhat is sold at Home Depot?

I am not trying to save $2 / drywall, but want to know if it really matters.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 2:41PM
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DensPlus (and other non-paper-faced gypsum panels) are much more resistant to moisture than the green paper panels. That's why they can be used as tile backers. However, Dens Plus is much harder to prepare for painting than green board; it needs a skim coat.

Frankly, other than in a bathroom, I've never used anything other than standard drywall in basements. But I always have a dehumidifier running to keep rh below 50%. And keeping the drywall a few inches above the floor and using XPS under the baseplates protects the wall from minor flood damage.

Sealing the interior of a block wall--to the extent that the sealers can even do that--just means moisture accumulates in the wall and possibly causes damage.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 11:47PM
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Thansk again for the input. Turns out my local supplier doesn't carry the DensPlus anymore, but this one instead:


They said it is as good as the other one.

Here is a link that might be useful: National Gypsum Co.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 1:00PM
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Five alternatives in all:

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 7:51PM
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