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Marie 01-19-2008 06:21 PM

Basement Walls
Just signed up so I may receive a lot of help and advice on projects I start and have no idea what I am doing. House is over 100 years old, basement has brick walls with stucco or concert of some sorts on walls. Stucco etc. is falling off, crumbling, or dust by dust on floor. Hard to explain. What can I do to repair or do I have to before adding dry lock? Thanks

guyod 01-19-2008 06:48 PM

Hello Marie
Patch repairing Stucco is fairly easily. The hardest part is getting the right thickness to the cement. I would start with a small batch to practice. it need to be as thick as you can make it with out having any cement powder still in the batch. Wet the area you are stuccoing then trowl it on. Depending on how big the holes are you may need to get as much of it filled with one coat then let it dry and then cover it again.
You should pull some of the loose stocco off first. I would only touch the falling off loose pieces because you could probably peel all of it off. that would be the correct thing to do but it means alot more work.
I would use portland cement unless your hardware has a more specialized cement mix

glennjanie 01-19-2008 07:25 PM

Welcome Marie:
In a 100 year old house there's a good chance the stucco is nothing but sand, lime and water. Its not much more than white wash and will continue to chalk up and fall off. I would prefer to try to scrape it all off, clean the wall and go back with just the Dry-Lock or use the portland cement mix as new stucco.

ToolGuy 01-20-2008 03:17 AM


Originally Posted by glennjanie (Post 14681)
...I would prefer to try to scrape it all off...

Easy to say, but most of us aren't quite as ambitious as you, Glenn :p. To my experience, the so called stucco is just mortar or sand mix, probably troweled over the wall in lieu of badly needed tuck-pointing, which in turn is due to moisture wicking through the brick and leaving cakes calcimine. I'm guessing that where the mortar is pulling away there is white powdery stuff under it. That's the calcimine.

What Glenn says is the right way to fix it, but it's not a task for the faint hearted. Unless you plan on finishing the basement for extra living space, you're best off to follow guyod's advice and just patch what's coming loose. One thing he didn't mention though, is that you should clean it of any loose dust before patching it, but I guess that's just common sense. The best way to clean it is by blasting it with the garden hose, if that's an option. If not, get a good quality dust mask, the kind with 2 rubber bands, and go at it with a corn broom or a stiff brush. Then wet it just before mashing new mortar into it.

You'll probably have to do it again in 5 or 8 years, when more areas have come loose. One way to help prevent this from happening is to make sure that rain water drains away from the house. Where the exterior grade is not pitched away from the house is where you are most likely to get moisture seeping through the brick foundation.

guyod 01-20-2008 09:52 AM

What tool guy said.

I just have one more tip. I think its called "cement washing". Or maybe its called cement painting. Once you patch your holes. add a little more water to your left over cement mix. take a stiff brissled broom and drip it into the cement and then just brush it on the foundatation. it will give the foundation a uniformed cement look and will look brand new when done.

Marie 01-21-2008 04:11 PM

Thanks everyone! I am going to love this site.

ToolGuy 01-21-2008 04:21 PM


Originally Posted by Marie (Post 14769)
Thanks everyone! I am going to love this site.

And we're going to love having you here. :p

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