Learn how to repair crumbling cinder block. Find out how to remove old paint and use an epoxy patching compound to repair cracked or crumbled cinder blocks.
LESLIE: Howard in New York needs some help with a cinder block situation. Tell us what’s going on.
HOWARD: Yeah, basically my house was built in 1950 and I have a cinder block  foundation.
HOWARD: And a couple of the cinder blocks, the face of it just started crumbling. I found it on the dryer down there last week. And it’s not all the way through; it’s just part of it. And the people that had it before me painted the walls, so there’s some kind of paint on there. But it’s not all the cinder blocks. It’s just a scattered few. I have no leaks in the basement or anything. So I was wondering if there’s something I can patch that up with and then maybe paint over it?
TOM: And Howard, what you’re calling the deterioration; does it kind of look like a white, crusty material?
HOWARD: No, it’s like the whole cinder block itself is just crumbled and it just fell off like …
TOM: Alright, so this is physically deteriorated. OK. So if we’ve got to do a repair here, you’re going to have to do this in a couple of steps. First of all, you’ve got to remove the old paint . Now you could just wire-brush that and get it down to the block, because you can’t put any kind of repair material over paint that’s not adhered to the block wall because it just won’t stick.
TOM: And then secondly, you’re going to use an epoxy patching compound . You can’t use more mortar or concrete. You have to use epoxy patch and that you can trowel on and float out so it’s nice and flat and when you’re all done on all those spots, then you can repaint the wall and you won’t even know it’s there.
HOWARD: OK. Like I said, it’s only in a few spots and we have no water down the basement or anything. It just …
TOM: Yeah, it doesn’t sound too serious. You know, you may be getting some spawling in a little bit of that concrete if it’s only in a few spots but it would be pretty much a cosmetic job just to fix it up.
HOWARD: Great, I appreciate that.
TOM: You’re welcome, Howard. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.