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Old 06-17-2007, 08:36 PM  
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Default problem with a "spongy" wall

Hi, I was wondering if someone could help me with a problem. I have a section of a wall that seems moisture-ridden. If you look at the photo below, you might see that there's these "bubbles" forming. They're spongy to the touch and when I scraped away at them. The paint came off and underneath the paint was a fine white powder. Once I got the powder out of the way, it seems like it's just a concrete wall behind it.

My question was, is this a major problem that I should be worried about? And if not, how would you suggest that I fix the wall? Should I just scrape away the affected areas, and then put some compound on and repaint?

Thanks for the help.

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Old 06-17-2007, 09:11 PM  
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Welcome to the Community Bism:
The bubbles and white powder are caused by small amounts of moisture moving through the wall and leaching some of the lime out of the concrete. It is a very stubborn condition and all you can do is scrape the paint off, wash the wall with muratic acid, allow it to dry and repaint. There is no gurantee the same problem won't come up again.

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Old 06-18-2007, 04:41 PM  
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Hi Glenn,

Well, I started scraping the paint off and while I was doing so, I realized that some of the plaster was sort of loose too (turns out the paint was on plaster, not concrete). So I began chipping at the plaster. Now I have a fairly large plaster hole in the wall (picture below). And I can keep chipping away at the weak parts further, but figured I'd leave it alone for now.

I felt the concrete underneathe, and while it wasn't damp, it didn't feel completely dry. There's some cracks running along in the concrete. I'm wondering if the moisture's coming from there.

So should I keep chipping away the plaster in that area? I'm thinking I should caulk the concrete cracks to prevent any moisture from seeping through. And then replaster the area. But I've never done this before, so it's possible I'm completely wrong. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks.

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Old 07-13-2007, 06:30 AM  
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Before you take care of the problem area on the inside, you really need to take care of the outside problem that is causing the inside problem.
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:41 AM  
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Check that window. There could be an issue with the sill, the side may not be caulked properly or the moulding/trim may be loose. As close as you are to the side of the window, that's where I would check first.

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