Basement Carpet Solutions and is this Efflorescence?

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Reelsix

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IMG_0618.jpg IMG_0619.jpg Hi - I am looking to replace old carpeting in my basement. There is water damage from drainage issues that have since been solved so it needs to come up. Beyond the water that was entering through an exterior door, I believe the carpet was installed incorrectly over unsealed concrete. I have not done a moisture test but have found moldy cardboard boxes laying on the bare concrete in a dry area which indicates to me the concrete is not sealed. It is a 1950's home -the basement does have an aquaguard installed on the perimeter. The walls are concrete block.

Pictures show a section pulled up and the wider shot shows the bare concrete in crawl area where the carpet transitions. This is not from the water damaged area.

Is the flaking yellow material the old paper carpet pad? Or could it be something that was on the back of the carpet that has detached? Indication of improper install?

There is a white material that is almost powdery and scrapes up easily. Is this likely efflorescence? Or something else?

There are a couple of random small humps in areas. Could the efflorescence build up enough to cause this?

Thanks in advance for any insight into the problems. I would like to replace with carpet now that drain issues are fixed. What would be the best approach for doing this properly and removing the current issues?

Or is carpet a bad idea and I should go with another option? It is a media room so tile or stained concrete would not be my first choice but open to it. Thanks
 
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nealtw

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If the perimeter drain was working properly You would not have water under the slab. So the real fix would be a new perimeter drain inside or outside the perimeter.
Not likely the answer you were looking for.
Water is wicking up for two reasons .the water level is higher than the floor level or it is wicking from cold to warm. If the problem is the latter, keeping the floor cooler would help. Foam board insulation thick enough to keep the floor cool and plywood over that. That still doesn't stop the water from wicking under walls and things.
 

slownsteady

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Looks like efflorescence. I'll guess that the beige stuff is what's left of the carpet adhesive, but I suppose it could be paint.
Concrete will always have some moisture content, so it's best to put a moisture barrier down before any flooring. You need to remove the carpet and let everything dry out. Once the floor is clean, you can do a simple moisture test on the concrete. If it's a minor problem, you could get by with a coat of DryLock or Behr DryPlus (that has been recommended to me as being better than DryLock). Or even a good coating of RedGard. The next level up would be as Neal suggests.
 

Rusty

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Hard to tell what that is. Could be paint, drywall mud, etc.
 

Reelsix

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Looks like efflorescence. I'll guess that the beige stuff is what's left of the carpet adhesive, but I suppose it could be paint.
Concrete will always have some moisture content, so it's best to put a moisture barrier down before any flooring. You need to remove the carpet and let everything dry out. Once the floor is clean, you can do a simple moisture test on the concrete. If it's a minor problem, you could get by with a coat of DryLock or Behr DryPlus (that has been recommended to me as being better than DryLock). Or even a good coating of RedGard. The next level up would be as Neal suggests.
Thanks for the insight and suggestions. Is the cleaning process as simple as pulling up the carpet and scraping and vacuuming the efflorescence?
 

slownsteady

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Assuming that's what it is. Scraping and vacuuming would be the starting point. You also want to check into whether there is any soft concrete on your floor. If the moisture problem is bad enough, the surface layer may be sandy instead of hard as a rock. That could lead to more scraping and patching. If the concrete is solid, and there is no sign of mold or mildew, you might be good to go. I don't think efflorescence would cause humps or bumps. The floor may have been uneven before the carpet was put down. You may want to start a thread in the concrete/masonry forum to get more advice on the shape of your concrete.
Do a little homework before you choose your flooring. Carpet, vinyl planks, sheet vinyl and even some "waterproof" laminates are available.
 
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