Over time, small traces of acid in soil makes its way into ground water. When that happens, ground water that gets into your basement through small holes, cracks, or through drain tiles or clogged drains will eat away at cement blocks or poured concrete used to build your home’s foundation. This is a problem that could result in the need for wet basement repair, and the signs are never more obvious than with something called “efflorescence”. The acid content of the water eventually breaks down the minerals that make up cement — primarily lime, gravel, and sand — and leaves behind small amounts of a white, powder-like substance called efflorescence.
Efflorescence and Wet Basement Repair
The presence of efflorescence is a definite sign of a basement water problem, but where does it appear? Small traces of the white, powder-like substance we mentioned earlier will collect at the base of the wall and floor, or sometimes higher up the wall if the surface is bumpy and prevents the efflorescence from falling down. In many cases, you will see it in corners rather than along straight lines. While it is most obvious in unfinished basements, efflorescence will also crop up on plaster walls that cover a cinder block or poured concrete foundation.
Wet Basement Repair in a Finished Basement
Basement water damage can be time consuming and costly to repair, but in some cases the solution is minor. We have solved a number of leaky basement issues by cleaning out clogged drains or installing a new sump pump, allowing the homeowner to take on the next step in the process — repairing minor damage to plaster surfaces caused by efflorescence.
Once leaks have been taken care of with wet basement repair, follow these steps to mend minor damage to plaster walls or even cinder block or poured concrete walls on the interior of the basement.
- Any efflorescence that remains behind on plaster or the cinder block or poured concrete can be removed with a wire brush. The same goes for any loose plaster or paint.
- Use a scrub brush and a combination of water and mild dish washing liquid to wash affected surfaces. Wipe down the area with clean water, then dry the surface with a towel or even a blow dryer.
- Minor damage to drywall can be repaired using drywall patch; the same goes for the cinder block or poured concrete surface.
- Before using drywall patch or any other compound, cover the holes or cracks with fiberglass mesh drywall patch. This helps the compound adhere to the surface, and makes it easier to fill in cracks or holes without it falling out.
- Let the fresh patch dry, then apply another coating as necessary.
- Finally, smooth the surface before applying paint.
Wet basement repair issues are stressful for any homeowner, but the effects can be minimized by being pro-active and calling professionals when needed. New Canadian Drain & Plumbing can be reached at 416-651-2990 or 416-462-3212 for more information. Visit us on Google+