DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

Alternative to Drylok

16827 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Gary in WA
We are looking for an alternative to Drylok. There is a moisture problem in the basement and we recently had a Waterguard System installed. We are now working on waterproofing the walls but the problem we are facing is the previous owners finished only half of the basement, the other half they painted the cement blocks. The research that my wife and have done indicates that you cannot apply Drylok over paint as it will not adhere to the cement block, only adhere to the paint. The removal of the paint is an option but that is going to be another costly job not to mention the time it would take us to remove the paint. Are there good options out there that we can pursue instead of applying some type of Drylok?
1 - 3 of 9 Posts
Hi warrrl and welcome to the forum.
There is a difference between their claims as a waterproofing material and stopping moisture. To quote "Breathable film – does not trap moisture in masonry" from:

What they are saying is that moisture that soaks into the blocks will dry to the inside right through the Drylok. Where you might not see a puddle of water on the floor you will still have gallons of moisture entering as moisture vapor.

To back up, moisture problems are first addressed from the outside, landscaping, leaders from the gutters directed 10' or more away from the foundation, and if still needed, improved drainage and treatment to the exterior of that foundation. Once any moisture soaks into the foundation it is very difficult to stop it from the inside. In most cases home owners simply manage what enters with a dehumidifier.

What has been done on the outside and is the problem just the musty smell ot puddles of water?

See less See more
The bad news for you is your basement was never built to be finished, that's yours and 50 million other homes, probably more. To have a dry basement requires several steps while the foundation is going into the ground. Without those you end up managing the moisture and/or water issues as you currently are doing. But that's water over the dam, so to speak.

The Everlast (my first review of it) looks like a patch for contractors to run in, cover up the mold and nasty stuff, and exit with everything LOOKING great. There are guidelines from informed sources that will provide better guidance, here's one.

I don't see where you gave us your climate region. In cold climates the insulation becomes a part of your walls and combined with a moisture issue some rigid insulation against the foundation is a good approach.

See less See more
warrrl, I do understand your confusion at someone telling you your basement was never built to be finished into living space. Here's the abstract from the link above.
"Buildings used to be constructed over cellars. Cellars were dank, dark places where coal was stored. People never intended to live in cellars. Now we have things called basements that have pool tables, media centers and play rooms. Cellars were easy to construct – rubble, stone, bricks and sometimes block. If they got wet or were damp so what? Basements are different. They are not easy to construct if we intend to live in them. They need to be dry, comfortable and keep contaminants out. Basements are viewed by many as cheap space that can easily be incorporated into a home. Keeping basements dry, comfortable and contaminant free is proving to be anything but simple."

When most people think about a damp basement they think about "water". In reality, "moisture vapor" is the really big problem. It goes right through concrete and even right through the "Drylok" (by design) the topic of your post. Now, even though moisture vapor is a slower mode of transport, it is persistent and if not managed it will try to equalize the inside of your basement to become equally as wet as the soil outside. Thus I like the advice not using a vapor barrier and running a dehumidifier to manage what moisture passes through.

It is tempting to disregard internet advice, especially when you don't want to follow it, but the people who wrote that article, and many more aren't idiots and have thousands of examples to back up their advice. They also have no financial interest in making those statements where the people who roll the dice and sell and remodel problem basements do.

If I have raised your concern, then I have done my job. To your benefit, many basements are remodeled without following the current best advice and they do just fine. But the ones who have problems, have major problems. Mold is a nasty 4 letter word.

Do read that article and follow some of the references, they do provide good advice.

See less See more
1 - 3 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.