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Basement: How to Clean and Paint Concrete Block Walls

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Mary in Delaware needs some help with a painting project. What can we do for you?

    MARY: Love your show; wouldn’t miss it.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) OK, thank you.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Thanks.

    MARY: I have the brick wall down in the basement.

    TOM: Mm-hmm, concrete block walls?

    MARY: Yes. And I’d like to repaint them but I’d like to have them scrubbed down first.

    TOM: Why do you want to scrub them down? Are you a very tidy person?

    MARY: Well, there are some black marks on them.

    TOM: (chuckles) There are black marks? Is it because somebody was drawing on it or are you concerned about any …?

    MARY: No, I don’t do that kind of thing anymore. (all chuckle)

    TOM: Well, I don’t think you have to scrub down walls. If you have any moisture that’s gotten through the walls, it could have left some mineral deposits on it.

    MARY: I think that’s what it is.

    TOM: OK, well you can just brush that off; that’s not a problem. If you want to rinse it with anything, you can use a little bit of a vinegar-and-water solution; that’ll also make it come off.

    MARY: Oh, OK.

    TOM: And once it’s really, really dry, then you can use an epoxy paint on those walls or damp-proofing paint on those walls.

    MARY: Oh, how about drylock?

    TOM: Yeah, that’s the same sort of thing; it’s a damp-proofing paint.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Same type of thing.

    MARY: OK.

    TOM: And that’s fine. Very high odor, so make sure you ventilate the space very, very well. And what you want to do is get a fan, like a room fan, and see if you can stick it in front of the window so you’re always pulling some air out of it; sort of depressurize the space so you have a draft sort of going through the whole basement while you work. That will make it a lot more pleasant. If you have the fan sort of – you can even sort of hang it up on the ceiling in front of the window so it blows out and then open the door from the upstairs and that’ll cause like a draft where the air will kind of wash through the basement and push out. That makes that whole painting process a lot more pleasant.

    MARY: Oh, I thank you for that tip.

    TOM: You’re welcome.

    MARY: And I thank you for being there for all – I’m a long-time listener.

    LESLIE: Excellent.

    MARY: And I tell all my friends about you and I think they’re all listening, too. So, thanks for everything. Keep up the good work and God bless you both.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Thank you, Mary.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) You, too.

    TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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