Stop Peeling Paint on Basement Walls
LESLIE: Listening to us on WYLL is Diana in Chicago. Tell us what you’re working on.
DIANA: My basement. It’s leaking. And I want to find out how to remove this yellow paint that’s on my wall and to stop my bricks from flaking. It’s like my basement is just crumbling around me.
TOM: The flaking – is that the paint peeling off the walls? Yeah.
LESLIE: And the paint’s not sticking because there’s too much moisture.
TOM: Yeah, you’ve got a moisture problem here, Diana. You’ve got to fix the moisture problem first and everything else will go away.
What you need to do is look outside your house. You’ve got too much moisture getting into those foundation walls. We would recommend that you look at the grading and the drainage. The soil around the house has got to slope away from the wall. The gutters have to clean, free flowing …
LESLIE: Make sure they’re clean, make sure the downspouts are clean, make sure the downspouts deposit the water three to six feet away from the house; not right up against the foundation. Look at those things.
TOM: Way too much water around this house right now and that water is wicking through the basement walls and that’s why the paint is peeling off. So what you’re seeing is a symptom.
Now, once you get the water on the outside under control, then you can scrape that paint; you can prime the walls; you can put a damp roofing paint over that and move on from there. But that’s the last thing you should be doing; not the first thing you should be doing.
Does that make sense, Diana?
DIANA: Well, it makes a lot of sense. It’s – you know – but you know, you watch your Dad over the years. He – you know he has that man syndrome. (laughter)
TOM: (laughing) What’s that?
DIANA: “I can fix it. I can do it.”
TOM: (laughing) So he put more paint on and more paint on and more paint on, huh?
DIANA: Right, right. So when that paint would flake off and leave a dust pile on the floor …
LESLIE: Sweep it up and paint again.
DIANA: There you go! See? And my mother would see the finished product and she would say, “Good.”
TOM: (overlapping voices) Now, you’re going to show him that daughter knows best, Diana.
DIANA: Thank you.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.