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klein 07-16-2008 06:26 AM

What to wash basement walls with before painting/priming?
I have painted walls in the basement that are slightly moldy in spots due to AC ducts being run uninsulated in wall before I ripped out all the framing. Also, there is some dirt and pee from mice throughout the years and stuck on insulation. I plan on painting the walls after washing them down before re-rocking and need to know what to scrub the walls with. I'd like not to use bleach as the fumes migrate to the rest of the house. Is there anything less toxic. Would soapy water be sufficient? Would it affect paint adhesion? Thanks.

BillyD 07-16-2008 07:53 AM

I believe bleach would be best as it kills mold and bacteria on contact. Dilute it some and the odor will go away rather quickly. There are other products out there but bleach has been tested and works great. You can check at Lowes and HD I am sure they have many products.

Nestor_Kelebay 07-16-2008 04:44 PM

Mildew is not hard to kill, and even a strong solution of TSP will kill mildew.

Test your basement paint to see if it's a latex or an oil based paint. Put some nail polish remover on a tissue and clean the paint in an inconspicuous spot. If the nail polish remover dissolves the paint aggressively, it's a latex paint. Oil based paints dissolve more slowly.

If you have an oil based paint, I'd use TSP, which will kill the mildew and also etch the gloss of the oil based paint.

If you have a latex paint, use bleach or TSP to kill the mildew, and then use a green 3M Scotchbrite pad to clean the walls (and roughen the surface of the old paint at the same time).

sirwired 07-16-2008 05:00 PM

Well, if you are re-rocking anyway, I'd use soap to get rid of the nasty stuff and any associated stench, and then move on. No need to bother with heavy-duty detergents, as any mildew, mold, urine, etc. is just going to get nicely encapsulated when you put up a new layer of drywall.


slickshift 07-16-2008 07:43 PM

A bleach, water, and TSP, mixture (the recipe is on the box of TSP) would work
A bleach/water (50/50) works for the extra moldy parts if the B/W/TSP doesn't cut it
Most of the other m/m products use bleach or bleach type ingredients
(X-14 works well, but smells like bleach)

As for non-bleach products, a TSP and water mix w/o the bleach won't kill the m/m, neither will vinegar/water
They can clean, but really it's not good enough

I've heard on good authority (a trusted source that used the products) that the Moldex products are pretty effective, and not nearly as stinky as bleach
But I have not tried them myself

Personally, and professionally, I'd also suggest a nice coat of BIN to seal in any other stains and/or unsubs, especially the biologicals and and possible surviving m/m
I'm sure you didn't want to hear that, as the BIN smells as bad or worse than the bleach
At least it dries super quick, and it seals in a ton of worry

klein 07-16-2008 08:53 PM

What is BIN? I scrubbed down and washed/rinsed the walls with a bleach mixture. I just bought a new respirator and I ventilated the room so the rest of the house doesn't smell. I was planning on spraying the walls with BIX TSP Ready to Use Pre-paint surface preparation that I bought at HD and then rolling on Waterproofing Behr paint made for this application. Any pros out there see anything wrong with this? There were some loose spots that I've scraped off. The rest of the paint seems to have adhered very nice to the block.

slickshift 07-16-2008 09:07 PM


Originally Posted by klein
What is BIN?

A pigmented shellac made by Zinsser, used as a sealer for m/m, fire damage, and other heinous stains


Originally Posted by klein
....surface preparation that I bought at HD and then rolling on Waterproofing Behr paint made for this application.
Any pros out there see anything wrong with this?

"I bought at HD" AND "Behr" when referring to paint products
Truthfully, the paint products sold at HD are adequate under the best of conditions, and more often are poor to horrifying

The cleaner may not be bad...I haven't used it

Do not use the Behr under any circumstances
If you already bought it return it
I'm's that bad

klein 07-17-2008 05:45 AM

I don't know why I thought it was Behr, probably because I was comparing the two at the store but I actually bought UGL Drylock Oil based for masonry. Any better? I have time to return it if need be as I plan on spraying on the cleaner today and painting tomorrow. I let the walls dry overnight.

poppameth 07-17-2008 05:56 AM

UGL Drylock Oil is one of the better ones on the market. I've used it quite a bit. Though it's a stinking mess to apply, it does the job rather well.

BillyD 07-17-2008 07:20 AM

You thought bleach had odor wait until you use DryLock. It works great but stinks. The last time I used it anyway. That was 17 years ago and it is still holding.

sirwired 07-17-2008 09:00 AM

I'm a little confused, if you are re-rocking, why go through all this pain and suffering to paint? I'd get the nasty stuff with some simple strong soap (or TSP, I suppose), and I suppose if it still smelled, topcoat with BIN and be done with it. BIN will stick to just about anything, and will lock down almost any odor. (Although you do need to wear a cartridge respirator to apply it.) You probably want to apply it on a day where you can open up your house... the smell of the BIN won't stick around, unlike bleach, but it does reek while applying. I don't see any need to kill the mildew or remove the mildew stains.

And I also don't understand why you need to paint. For all of its properties, paint doesn't seal stains or odors very well at all. If you are never going to see it, don't bother applying it.


klein 07-17-2008 04:58 PM


Originally Posted by sirwired (Post 140137)
And I also don't understand why you need to paint. For all of its properties, paint doesn't seal stains or odors very well at all. If you are never going to see it, don't bother applying it.


Well, I'd like to try and seal out any moisture as it is a basement, and the stains and odors are already gone from the scrubbing. Granted, Drylock isn't a permanent solution to moisture problems but it's a simple step I'm willing to take, along with all the others like clean gutters and landscaping. Maybe it's overkill but it's only a gallon or two of paint.

Thanks everyone for your input so far.

slickshift 07-17-2008 07:25 PM

A nice coat of DryLock is never a bad idea on concrete basement walls before framing and sheetrocking if there is even the slightest possibility of some moisture seeping through

Once the sheetrock is up, even occasional seasonal excess moisture can encourage a mold build-up that will never go away, but not be noticeable for years

I may be a bit paranoid in this respect, but we really don't have such a thing as totally dry basements out here
Years of mold un-checked in walls can make itself "noticed" in some pretty awful ways

sirwired 07-17-2008 07:28 PM

Whoops, my bad... for some reason I missed the part about the existing sheetrock being torn down. I was laboring under the assumption that the OP wanted to clean and paint sheetrock right before putting more sheetrock on top of it.

Sorry... ignore me now. (If you weren't already...:laughing:)


slickshift 07-17-2008 07:40 PM

....I did have to re-write my post, the first draft looked like I could be saying to UGL the sheetrock...if you didn't realize we were past that and talking about's not real clear

Mmmm.....UGL the sheetrock...yum

Seriously though, it is better to have a little over kill and no worries in this type of situation

....but it will be more than a gallon or two of UGL...that stuff is a beast (thick and chunky), and it'll only go so far (depends on surface, could only be 150 sq. ft. a gal.)
...and don't buy it in Fivers....they are too heavy to lift

But that stuff is good though...nothing else like it

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