How would you refinish this concrete wall?

House Repair Talk

Help Support House Repair Talk:

patrad

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2022
Messages
9
Reaction score
1
Location
Chicago

I'm refinishing these basement steps. Need to figure out wall treatment. I'm sure if I use paint or some other direct-to-wall finish, it will meet the same fate as what is on there. I'm considering some sort of paneling but not sure about how I would secure to wall, how I would handle rounded corners and how it would meet the skirt (which I'd like to avoid removing if possible).
The stairs will eventually be covered in LVP if that matters.
 

oldognewtrick

In memory of
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
12,138
Reaction score
2,153
Location
Nashville, TN
:welcome: to House Repair Talk!

Do you have any idea what caused the surface to fail origionaly? If moisture caused the spalling, it will continue to be an issue until that's sorted out.
 

patrad

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2022
Messages
9
Reaction score
1
Location
Chicago
:welcome: to House Repair Talk!

Do you have any idea what caused the surface to fail origionaly? If moisture caused the spalling, it will continue to be an issue until that's sorted out.

It's an exterior concrete foundation with another layer of brick on the exterior. I wouldn't say it gets a ton of moisture but I just assume that evervences is just the nature of the wall
 

Sparky617

Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2014
Messages
2,180
Reaction score
909
Location
Cary NC
Exterior but above grade? Are there weep holes at the bottom of the outside of the wall to allow any moisture that gets behind the brick to exit?
 

Eddie_T

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
2,303
Reaction score
1,900
Chip away any loose stucco, paint the areas with a cement mix, stucco with a mortar mix before the cement coating is completely cured and paint when all is cured.
 

oldognewtrick

In memory of
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
12,138
Reaction score
2,153
Location
Nashville, TN
It's an exterior concrete foundation with another layer of brick on the exterior. I wouldn't say it gets a ton of moisture but I just assume that evervences is just the nature of the wall
Is there a door or window above or near the spot?
 

oldognewtrick

In memory of
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
12,138
Reaction score
2,153
Location
Nashville, TN
Yeah you can see the window in picture #2. But basically this wall is half above grade, half under
I see that window, curious about a window up higher. If there is, check the seal between the jam, sill and wall for gaps or voids. Even a small crack will allow moisture to enter. If you're confident there's no moisture issues, follow Eddie's suggestion. Easier than fitting drywall over the spot and blending into the trim moldings.
 

patrad

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2022
Messages
9
Reaction score
1
Location
Chicago
Chip away any loose stucco, paint the areas with a cement mix, stucco with a mortar mix before the cement coating is completely cured and paint when all is cured.
Thanks. I'm know very little when it comes to cement products so bear with me. Got it on chipping all the crap off. But once I prep the surface. . "Paint the areas with a cement mix". Do you mean mix up some cement and paint it on? Like just apply a layer of cement? I assume not with a brush though. Would I use something like portland cement?

Then after that, use a mortar mix (Quikrete mortar mix?) and add texture?

Thanks!
 

Eddie_T

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
2,303
Reaction score
1,900
THe cement would just be a portland cement powder and water mixed to a creamy texture and apply a thin coat with a stiff brush or maybe with a drywall knife. Mortar mix to use would be one that already has sand in it (probably Quikrete). The problem is that I don't know if you can purchase small quantities of either. For small patches you might be able to get away w/o the cement primer.
For a small area you may be able to get away with a container of stucco patch. I think it has latex or something in it for adherence and you just apply with a trowel, or drywall knife. I haven't used it.
 
Last edited:

Flyover

Trying not to screw things up worse
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
1,665
Reaction score
1,533
Location
Oh Hah
Mortar mix to use would be one that already has sand in it (probably Quikrete). The problem is that I don't know if you can purchase small quantities of either.
I've seen Quikrete sold in bags the size of large bags of flour. (Probably similar to the volume of a large box of cereal.)
 

BvilleBound

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
100
Reaction score
42
Location
02571
We had a similar problem with our basement walls.

Moisture easily travels through concrete, so Step #1 is to look for and divert sources of water on the exterior
- e.g. gutter downspouts - into drain pipes or dry wells. As others noted, the junction between the wall and sill plate can also be vulnerable, particularly if you live in an area with snow, or if the landscaping / soil level outside slopes toward the top of the wall. If landscaping / soil slopes toward the wall, you should also install dig a small trench along the wall that is ~1 feet deep and 1' wide,, put a couple of inches of ~3/4" rock in the bottom, then install a perforated drainage pipe at the bottom, wrapped with landscaping fabric (to keep dirt out), then fill the trench to the top with 3/4" rock. Home Depot sells premade black plastic drain pipes like these, wrapped with fabric around a layer of styrofoam beads. Run the drain pipe to a lower slope or a 'drywell'. Home Depot sells dry wells too. If the soil in your area is clay-like and less permeable, you may need to dig a bigger hole for the plastic dry well, and surround it with crushed rock to increase the surface area.

Step #2 is to block moisture from coming through the wall. If it is poured concrete vs concrete block, this will typically be much easier. First chisel off as much of the existing material as possible -- particularly around the loose area. Look for cracks in the wall. If you find one, fill it with Sika Concrete Crack Fix. See: Sika® Concrete Crack Fix Then make sure the surface is fee of all loose material and paint it with Drylok waterproofing paint. See: DRYLOK® Masonry Products: Paint, Sealer, Concrete Waterproofing

If cracks are large or the wall is concrete block, sealing becomes more difficult. Our basement walls were concrete block with leaks in the corners and the junction with the floor slab. I bought a kit from Foundation Armor, which worked like a charm. See: Concrete Repair-Wet Crack Repair and:



You will need a hammer drill (not battery powered) to drill a series of holes along the crack, to pump single-component polyurethane foam into the holes. Like Great Stuff canned foam (also single component) the Foundation Armor foam cures on contact with moisture / water -- so when it encounters water it rapidly expands to fill and seal the crack. It can even be used on wet, actively seeping cracks. This product took some work but solved the problem. Then I power wire-brushed the walls and painted them with two coats of Drylok. Problem solved.

After you paint the concrete wall with Drylok, you can apply standard stucco or cement / mortar, which would be more resilient than plaster. We have a home in France with thick stone walls, and the surface is smooth mortar. A skim coat of plaster is applied last, then paint. If you decide to use plasterboard / drywall, make sure you buy "greenboard" with is used in bathrooms etc and is more moisture resistant. A better choice would be 'backer board' for tile which is waterproof and used in baths etc. This can also be coated with a skim coat of plaster for a finished and smooth wall surface.

I hope all of this info is helpful.
 

BuzzLOL

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2015
Messages
1,133
Reaction score
761
We used to use Sears waterproof basement wall paint, but don't know if it's still available. It dries to the touch but is still slightly flexible like dried chewing gum, so it resists cracking. Came in a few light colors, we used 'wheat' color, a light yellow/ivory... dries with some slight texture to the surface... can be brushed on kind of thick...
Can also use a concrete stucco like Drivet brand indoors or outdoors...
Cracks and holes were filled in first with latex patching cement for concrete walls.
Mortar is hard to apply thin as it dries and falls off before it 'cures'/hardens...
Old used sandstone bricks have to be soaked in water before laying/setting with mortar or they will also suck the moisture out of mortar before it has time to cure...
Newer dry bricks don't do that...
 

patrad

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2022
Messages
9
Reaction score
1
Location
Chicago
We used to use Sears waterproof basement wall paint, but don't know if it's still available. It dries to the touch but is still slightly flexible like dried chewing gum, so it resists cracking. Came in a few light colors, we used 'wheat' color, a light yellow/ivory... dries with some slight texture to the surface...
Cracks and holes were filled in first with latex patching cement for concrete walls.
Mortar is hard to apply thin as it dries and falls off before it 'cures'/hardens...
Old used sandstone bricks have to be soaked in water before laying/setting with mortar or they will also suck the moisture out of mortar before it has time to cure...
Newer dry bricks don't do that...
Elsewhere flex seal has been recomended to me, but I thought it may feel to rubbery. I'll check out options for basement wall paint though, thanks
 

bud16415

Fixer Upper
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
7,073
Reaction score
2,812
Location
Erie, PA
If the reason the stucco failed was efflorescence you will need to resolve the water/moisture issue before just about any repair will work. once you feel that it won’t reoccur then follow the above steps and stucco it.
 

BvilleBound

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
100
Reaction score
42
Location
02571
As I noted above, if you cannot be absolutely sure that the moisture problem with the concrete wall is fixed, it would be a good idea to mount waterproof tile 'backer board' on the wall, then apply a plaster skim coat and paint. Backer board is available in 1/4" and 1/2" thickness. This will ensure that your new surface is isolated from the moisture that may continue to migrate through the wall.

In our basement, I glued 2" thick waterproof XPS foam board to the concrete block wall as insulation (and a vapor barrier), and sealed all of the joints and perimeter, then built a 2x wood wall in front. This was after I completed all of the steps described above, on the outside and inside. This created a dry and warm basement.
 

CallMeChaz

New Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2022
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Location
Tennessee
Chip away any loose stucco, paint the areas with a cement mix, stucco with a mortar mix before the cement coating is completely cured and paint when all is cured.
What he said. Not really that difficult even if you have never done it.
 

patrad

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2022
Messages
9
Reaction score
1
Location
Chicago
I started chipping off what is there and sure seems to be like joint compound. I can dig my nail into it. I may just fill the crack with crack filler, clean it the area where I removed material and patch it with stucco patch
 

Latest posts

Top