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ambiguator 06-28-2009 11:00 PM

Basement parging cost / time estimate?
I'm have an old row home in which the foundation's parget layer is flaking / crumbling away, revealing some significant efflorescence. I don't want to finish the basement, just re-parge / skimcoat to limit some of the dusty, flaky gunk and spruce it up a bit.

I've seen lots of great advice about materials, mixing, and troweling, but no cost or time estimates. I want to get an idea of what i'm getting into before i decide to go down the DIY road or scope contractors.

How much $ in materials am I looking at?
How much would i save diy'ing versus a contractor (ballpark)?

We're talking approx 12' x 40' basement, 6 foot walls, so probably about 600 or 700 vertical sqft. Just trying to get a general idea, not any exact figures.

Thanks in advance!

PaliBob 06-29-2009 02:50 AM


Originally Posted by ambiguator (Post 294471)
I've seen lots of great advice about materials, mixing, and troweling, but no cost or time estimates. ......

Reason being this is a DIY forum. Cost of materials and services vary all over the place Can you give us location and a pic?


Just trying to get a general idea, not any exact figures.
Why ask for a WAG from folks who have never seen the site when by making one phone call, you can get a local contractor to come out and give you a real number.

stadry 06-29-2009 05:18 AM

its a waste of time & mtls unless you 1st resolve the water issue which's causing your problem,,, bushing tool/diamond grinder/elec chipping gun as rqd - attach 6mil vapor barrier then expanded wire mesh & parge,,, a decent guy could do this work in 2 days - mtl cost under $200 from an apron store.

ambiguator 06-29-2009 11:15 AM

Thanks for the responses.

What's wrong with a WAG? :wink:

So far I've had a leak in the roof patched. It's a flat roof, so no gutters, but I cleaned out the drainboxes and downspouts and routed the downspout away from the house, etc.

I'll post come pictures as soon as I get a chance.

ambiguator 07-01-2009 08:10 PM

Hi folks:
As promised, pictures of the decaying basement.
I've got a rowhouse in South Philadelphia, by the way.
Thanks again, ahead of time.

captions, in order:
1. Under the stairs -- looks like there's actually no poured concrete floor here.
2. Rear wall -- is that actually black mold?
3. Good view of the efflorescence old parget layer pulling away from the foundation, which seems to be brick in some parts and fieldstone / cut stone in others.

dandelauro 09-14-2009 11:46 PM

ambiguator, i am curious... did you ever get a reply or take any action on this?

i am also in south philly and my basement floor and walls looks exactly like the photos you posted. i've replaced my roof recently, and i think that has something to do with my problem. now that the water is rolling back where it should, its just too much for that single downspout that ties into the lateral out.

ive chipped away portions of my parging and re-parged with water tight cement - and i still get water. it just moved over a couple of inches.

anyways.. i was just curious what you ended up doing.

stadry 09-15-2009 04:20 AM

perhaps i shouldda mention'd that we've done several row house bsmts in philly & what i posted was what we did to resolve the issue,,, reparging looks good from where you stand but won't do dick to stop the water,,, what is watertight cement worth if the water skirts it ? ? ? its time for a sump & pump.

#1, water runs downhill; #2, seeks its own level; rushes to fill a void; & 4, takes the path of least resistance,,, your leak moving over several inches confirms this to me !

ps - what IS ' watertight cement ' ? ? ? never heard of it - did you buy it at an apron store ? ? ?

ambiguator 07-26-2011 12:39 PM

necropost followup
So, I still haven't done anything about this issue. It hasn't gotten any better on its own but it hasn't gotten worse either.

I did get a couple quotes from contractors.

First quote was for $2K to strip off the efflorescence and put up a layer of concrete around the whole thing.

Next quote was for $14K. $7K to dig a "french drain" around the perimeter and another $7K to put up vapor barrier, mesh, and concrete.

I wasn't really happy with either of these proposals so for now I stuck a 3 gallon dehumidifier in the basement that is always on, and I'm just living with it. Anyone else have updates on their basements?

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