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Old 07-13-2013, 04:21 AM   #1
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I'd like to skim coat my basement walls


I have an old foundation and the appearance on the inside isn't very attractive. I've decided that the foundation still has a lot of life left so replacement is going to be down the road a ways.

I'd like to make them a little nicer to look at from the inside with a skim coat. I will have to deal with some of the crumbling mortar (sand) first though. Could I just route out the loose mortar then apply the coat over it? Is there issues with doing this? I don't have any bulk water issues, just a little humidity from infiltration but it's not that bad. I run a dehumidifier sometimes and it dries it up nicely down there.
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:07 AM   #2
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I'd like to skim coat my basement walls


Got a picture?
What's the wall made of?
If it's leaking and in really bad shape I would not have much faith in a skim coat of anything holding up for long.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:57 PM   #3
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I'd like to skim coat my basement walls


Clay tile blocks. I need to strip off a layer of some kind of waterproofing paint that was applied many years ago. I was thinking I could etch it to get good adhesion. I don't have any moisture issues with the walls.

I will try to get a picture.
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:42 PM   #4
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I'd like to skim coat my basement walls


Crumbling sandy mortar has had the cement binder leached out over the years by acidic ground water. There needs to be removal of what's crumbly (which may open up a can of worms if it's that way all the way through everywhere) and replacemnt with sound cement, or an epoxy consolidation may be adequate, and then you could even epoxy-glue tiles on the inside, if you wanted that look instead.

Etching of crumbly concrete won't improve adhesion, as the stuff is crumbly because all that's left is mostly sand, much of the cement (that the etching acid dissolves) having already been dissolved long ago by the acidic ground water.

It's the cement that glues the sand-grains together.

A chain is only a strong as its weakest link, and you have to have a mechanically sound surface to start from.
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:24 AM   #5
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I'd like to skim coat my basement walls


What if I just stripped off the paint and cut out all of the sandy mortar then injected some of that quickcrete stuff from a tube? Would that be a smart move?
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:37 PM   #6
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I'd like to skim coat my basement walls


might be ' smart ' depending on how many years you plan on living there,,, the water's still leaking thru bsmt walls so all you're doing is adding more lime to be neutralized by the soil acids,,, know you don't want to hear this but the best permanent repair is exterior excavation & fix it right !

after that's done, THEN you can work on the inside of the bsmt wall
bear in mind we often offer this solution to our clients who don't select it due to the higher expense compared to a sump & pump,,, nevertheless, its the proper ' fix '
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:25 PM   #7
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I'd like to skim coat my basement walls


Quote:
Originally Posted by strategery View Post
I have an old foundation and the appearance on the inside isn't very attractive. I've decided that the foundation still has a lot of life left so replacement is going to be down the road a ways.

I'd like to make them a little nicer to look at from the inside with a skim coat. I will have to deal with some of the crumbling mortar (sand) first though. Could I just route out the loose mortar then apply the coat over it? Is there issues with doing this? I don't have any bulk water issues, just a little humidity from infiltration but it's not that bad. I run a dehumidifier sometimes and it dries it up nicely down there.

The "humidity" may vary with the season and the amount of ground water that infiltrates. If really very little, it may take many more decades to attack replacement mortar and the simple low-cost solution is the most practical. If your dehumidifier produces serious condensate, you may want to consider the outside excavation and installation of a French Drain, as suggested above.

The state of your personal finances and income-stability, the general economy and how long you plan on owning the house are also factors in the decision-process. Find out what a French Drain will cost, from some local contractor that does ground-water-control.
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:24 PM   #8
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I'd like to skim coat my basement walls


I did get a bid for this. It was about 8k. I'm not sure it makes sense to spend that much on a foundation that will need to be replaced eventually.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:38 PM   #9
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I'd like to skim coat my basement walls


you got a price from a pro on what ? ? ? i can't imagine any foundation repair pro recommending what you've described so far - scraping off poorly applied wtrproof cementitious ' paint ' & 1/2-ass'd repointing ?

where are you - pennsylvania, ohio, or e new jersey ? we worked on many of those clay tile bsmt walls,,, IF you decide to have proper repairs done, what leads you to think you'll have to replace the bsmt walls ? are there also foundation issues you haven't mentioned yet ? 1st it was 'still has a lot of life ' now you're thinking it has to be replaced,,, which is it ?
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Last edited by itsreallyconc; 07-15-2013 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:28 PM   #10
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I'd like to skim coat my basement walls


The bid for 8k involved excavation, waterproofing and putting in drain tiles.

The foundation isn't going to collapse tomorrow, but this foundation material doesn't last forever. Whatever I do to it is a band aid and I know that. I don't think that I could get another 30-40 years out of it even if I did all of the excavation, waterproofing, insulation etc.

I believe I could get the whole thing replaced for 25-35 around here. A little more and I could have the floor replaced with it.

I wanted to get as much life out of it as I can. I thought it would be smart to tuckpoint the walls and maybe apply a skimcoat over top to make it look a little better.
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