Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Basement Adventures: Drylock

This part of Phase two is the beastliest! But I'm happy to say that after seriously hard work for two weeks by Bruce and my parents it is finally done!
When we moved in our basement was a mess, not only was it full of (mostly) crap, but there were also water issues.  During the summer of 2010 I solved the major water issue by filling the holes in the window casings with some Drylok Fast Plug Cement and by cleaning the gutters and adjusting the downspouts.  We have a crack near the dryer under one of the windows that will require Fast Plug before painting, we only get a small puddle there when it rains very hard.  But the basement was still damp, like damp, cardboard gets soggy damp.  Then I saw this post over at YHL.  Problem solved, kind of.  You see our nasty walls already had several coats of some type of paint on them, which, was in several stages of peeling off.  When the paint peels off you get this wonderful stuff called efforescence, which are salts carried through the concrete with the water.  For a long time Bruce thought this was mold, granted, there was plenty of mold growing damp cardboard but it wasn't actually growing on the walls!

Originally I thought it would be simple, slap some paint on the walls and floor and call it a day.  Then I read the UGL Drylok packaging.  "If you have existing paint or efflorescence use UGL etch to prepare the surface for painting.  Then I read the etch directions ensure that surface is free of dust, dirt and any oils.  Now it's a process.  First we scraped the walls with wire brushes, trying to get any and all loose paint and concrete away off the walls.

Second we cleaned the walls using a mild all purpose soap, we used Mrs. Myers and Lysol, following up by spraying down the walls with water using a pesticide sprayer to make sure we got all the soap off.  Using the sprayer also helped get loose sand and grit out of the nooks and crannies of the walls. Bruce and my dad may have found this tedious and just hooked up a hose to the pressure tank on the pump, which, also worked.

Now wet vac up the soapy water and set up some fans, a dehumidifier and crank up the wood stove (if you have one) and wait until everything is dry. Is it dry? Good, now slather on the acid etch, wear a respirator that stuff reaks! Wait 30 minutes. Now rinse off the etch and get the walls nice and dry again.

Now you can paint, but you can't just roll this stuff on because you cleaned out all those nooks and crannies so buy some cheap paint brushes so you can get the paint nicely into all the nooks and crannies. You'll need two coats to cover the four different colors of paint and bare concrete that are your basement walls.  We found that going over everything with a roller helped create a uniform finish.

Admire your hard work.

Repeat for the floors.  Admire some more.

We are using UGL latex Drylok on the walls, as of now we have used a total of seven gallons.  We're using latex instead of oil because we couldn't be sure what type of paint was already there.  On the floors we are using Behr's Garage Floor Epoxy, it does scratch when you're moving large items like book cases so be aware of that, our goal for the floors was to have a uniform color and something that will prevent water from coming up and this, so far, is working pretty good. Also when painting the walls we came down onto the floors about four or five inches out from the wall then went over it with the floor paint, for extra waterproofing around the walls.  Now everything looks so fresh and clean, its great motivation to get our work spaces set up so we can get moving on the fun projects to get ready for baby!  I can't thank my parents enough for all their help with this HUGE project the only step I could help with was the wall washing and it would have taken Bruce at least twice as long to finish without their help!!!

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