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tonic889 12-09-2010 10:37 PM

basement wall repair
The walls in the unfinished part of my basement are crumbling. Here are a few pics:

pic 1
pic 2

I basically have two (admittedly basic -- I'm a homeowner noob) questions:

1) What is crumbling (plaster?)?
2) How do I repair this?

Thanks in advance.

handyguys 12-10-2010 08:38 AM

Sorry, cant see the pics (webfilter). I see you are in Philly. Those basement walls often have what the locals call parging on them. Its a masonry coating that flakes off over time if you have water issues.

Of course I'm guessing here but when u ask if its plaster thats what I think of.

Your first step is to deal with water OUTSIDE. make sure the ground slopes away from the house, the gutters are not overflowing and downspouts extend away from the house by 6 feet. Doing those things will likely dry out the basement. Then the old parging can be scraped off and a mason can re-parge.

joecaption 01-11-2011 05:04 PM

And to add to that I'd bet it never got water proofed on the outside before back filling.
You may even need to go so far as to add a french drain and also waterproof on the outside if you really want to perminitly fix this.

J-Rock 01-27-2011 12:55 PM

Had the same problem in my basement. Handyguys is right on the money. That is parging and it is flaking off due to a water issue. I solved my problem simply by adding top soil around my foundation which established a positive grade for proper water run off. My downspouts were fine. I just needed to get rid of the flat areas (and negative grade) next to the foundation. If this measure doesn't work you will need to take more aggressive (and costly) steps such as a french drain like previously suggested.

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