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Old 03-30-2010, 01:27 AM   #1
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Basement Questions


I am currently struggling with my basement humidity and because of a horrible storm and forgetting to close the storm door some water got in and its pretty high now. Can reach up to 70% humidity. I have a heater I run which will lower it to 56% and trying to dry up the floor. The spot you can see is labeled 9.

I also have some cracked wall questions on if they look serious and should call in a expert or if thats normal. All the pictures except 9 on all on 1 wall facing the front side of my building. The 2 sides are facing other attached town houses. The rear side wall has no bubbling of the paint or feel damp at all. Pictures 2,3,4,5 are all facing my main entrance door under a brick stoop. This wall and that area looks damp.

Lets start with whats labeled:

1. My Realtor attempted to explain that to me but it has been a long time and I cant remember. She said its a drainage system. My question is can someone tell me what its called so I can do more research on it.

2. Is the corner of the wall(hopefully the picture doesn't post sideways, you can see the insulation which is the top) Is this ok and how do I repair it? Should I attempt to repair or have a expert fix it?

3. This is on the same wall as the corner separation. When I touched this it felt soft like powdered sugar. I am thinking this is mold? There was only a tiny patch of that on the wall and that was it.

4. In same picture as 3. This is bubbled paint when I push down on it, it crackles and feels like i'm crushing crystals.

5. This is a harder crystal feeling material. Is that efflorescence?

6. Stair step cracks. There isn't any separation really, is this a concern? I would like to repair, should I call in a expert?

7. Continuation of the stair step just a further out view.

9. Sorry though I did 8 but skipped it. This is were the water got in and the floor is still pretty wet and I have the heater there attempting to dry it up. This felt like powder sugar when I touched it and smooshed it between my fingers but it disappeared when I rubbed slightly.


What I am trying to achieve is I wanna fix the cracks and lower the humidity to a safe level for storage. Right now this wall seems to be my main concern. How do I fix the cracks/seperation, and how do fix the moisture in the bricks? I was checking some things out at home depot and was recommended dry-lock paint and another product. I know I cant just apply this right away because it would just be hiding the issue before its fixed.

I really appreciate anyone who took the time to read this and help me out. This is my first home project I am looking to take on

2nd post will have last picture that wouldn't let me post.
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:27 AM   #2
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Basement Questions


picture 9.

also to clarify this is the floor not the wall.
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Old 03-30-2010, 07:48 AM   #3
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I see effervescence---Minerals leaching out of your block and concrete--caused by moisture pushing through from outside and underneath.

I suspect you have an outside drainage problem. Calling a couple of basement waterproofing contractors might be the best idea of a solution.

The causes are ---improper yard drainage-- down spouts to close to the house---lack of footing drains---wet swampy property--

Best to get a pro to assess this--the constant moisture is damaging your foundation.

---Mike---
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:27 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info so far.

The only part is the front that seems this way, also I am in the middle of 4 houses and no drainage spout near my house and also ground never seems wet. Now the bottom of my hill in the back yard is swampy feeling but that's not near the house.
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:24 AM   #5
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Some things I thought of I should add.

The cracks were there before visual moisture damage.

The faucet for the front travels near that area. Will inspect further after work.

This year we had a unseasonable high amount of snow at one point. There was 4 ft on the ground at one point and we usually only deal with 1-4 inchs at most.

And would digging up outside and panting the wall with something like drylock be something to do.

Ill still call a expert in to investigate if I have to but as everyone id like to avoid it. Ill look for someone that will do a free on then ill definatly call them in.
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:44 PM   #6
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Unfortunately I an not an expert on foundations and water problems.

Most basement water proofers will give an assessment for free--It is a curious thing that only one wall is getting wet--

I hope someone with more knowledge will offer a suggestion or two--Mike--

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