Options for damp cinderblock walls
We have a partially finished basement, and would like to make the unfinished part more livable - just as a rec room for the kids. It has 2 unpainted cinderblock walls, one of which shows some dampness in 2 consistent spots, and some crystal formation whenever they dry out a little. We had several consultants come through a few years ago, and had quite a bit of exterior excavation and drainage management done (but stopped short of digging down all the way to the base of the foundation and applying a membrane). We've never had any actual water puddling, and don't even get condensation on plastic wrap when we've tried to do tests with taping a "vapor barrier" over the damp areas. I've called the Thoro Seal folks, and they said that it should not be used if the exterior of the wall had a sealant applied (which, it appears, it had - the black tar-looking stuff on this 27 year old house). We're considering studding out the wall (only placing studs on "dry" spots), and then attaching bamboo curtains to the studs. Our theory is that this would allow evaporation and therefore not encourage mold, but would give the walls a more finished look. Any opinions? I feel confident that we'd be satisfied with the cosmetics for our purposes, but don't want to either create more trouble (i.e., mold), or do something that might put off a future buyer. The room currently stays cozy and comfortable year-round, and the kids have even slept down there, unfinished walls and ceiling and all (we laid down those foam squares like you see in gyms, only in bright colors, so the floor is warm and soft). Also, I've seen a post on this forum that mentioned crystalline waterproofing - does anyone out there know if that might be appropriate for our situation?