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We are trying to prep our walls for treatment with a sealer, either drylock or better. There are some discolored areas of dark spots (moisture?) and white lines (salt effusesience?), and we are wondering if speaks to water intrusion, and if a sealer is sufficient or if we should be taking other measures.


Pictures are easier - what do you think?


Dark areas-


Dark areas by stairs, mold?


A clean stair? To compare


A broader picture



The dark areas are most common on the wall by the stair. But crop up in other areas. The white lines are scattered around everywhere.


My wife wire brushed some areas, and it is tremendously cleaner, as you can sort of see in the last pic.


Thanks for looking, let me know if you have thoughts.
 

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How old is the house? How long have you lived in it and have you noticed any water pooling after heavy rains??


Those white lines sure look like water stains. They could have occurred during the construction process (if it rained) and shouldn't raise any issues, If they occurred after construction then some more detective work is needed.



Those dark spots on the wood could have actually been on the wood before it was cut and formed into a step. Just spray with a bleach solution, brush with a stiff brush, let dry completely (like a week) and then apply a good primer sealer.


I see that the carpenter took a real short cut and certainly didn't assume that anyone was going to come along and actually finish the basement. If this was going to be his house you would see some kind of a 2x4 stud wall between the stairs and the foundation already in place. As is it will be a real PITA. You may want to take apart and redo. Show us a pic of the entire stair structure.
 

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If the white areas are powdery, and scrub off with a white brush, they are efflorescence, which is caused by salts being brought through (from the concrete or soil on the other side of the wall) by water.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good point about the stairs. We're not sure about that.


We've been in the house 2.5 years. We are the first owners. It has been dry since we bought it, although it was a close one in the sump pit one spring. Our town is pretty much a swamp, so the water table is high. A few neighbors flooded out that first spring, ours was like an inch or two away in the sump pit. Pumps went in today.


To be honest, we never saw the white lines until we cleaned up a section. Then we saw them EVERYWHERE. I am sure it rained during construction, so maybe that is the source. Its going to be a PITA to brush them down to seal, but we want to address problems on the front end, so if we need to do anything else now is the time.


I'll put up a pic of the rest of the stairs tonight. We have people working down there right now. The stairs weren't the only place we weren't helped by the builder. The furnace is being moved right now, and all the duct work redone. Pics of that process will go in my build thread this weekend. Expensive but necessary.
 

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It looks good to me. I would just spray a bleach solution let it dry and than brush vacuum the walls. If you have never seen or smelt moisture you are good to go for drylock.
 

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I have a home that is 1 year old. I had streaks on the wall after the home was built but the builder cleaned them off before insulating the walls. Also take note that poured concrete walls should NOT have drylok applied to them. Drylok is for pourous surfaces. The only way a poured concrete wall will leak is if there is a serious crack and drylok will do nothing for that.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvavsforum /forum/post/0


Also take note that poured concrete walls should NOT have drylok applied to them. Drylok is for pourous surfaces. The only way a poured concrete wall will leak is if there is a serious crack and drylok will do nothing for that.

\\


can you explain????


My walls were poured and the drylock went on with no effort and is doing fine.

This is from their site:


Latex Base DRYLOK® Masonry Waterproofer is a low odor, water clean-up formula for waterproofing all interior, exterior, above or below grade masonry walls, cinder and concrete blocks, stucco, brick, retaining walls, basements, concrete swimming pools and foundation. No pre-mixing or pre-wetting necessary.
 

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Depending on when the walls were poured, the concrete manuf. could have put in some additives to help the concrete solidify when its below freezing. When some moisture comes in contact with it, some of the additive will come out and cause some white streaking. Nothing to worry about, just the side effect to it. I think a good cleaning and allowing to dry will take care of it. As for the wood, like the others stated, put some bleach and water on it, scrub it off, and allow to dry.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC /forum/post/0


\\


can you explain????


My walls were poured and the drylock went on with no effort and is doing fine.

This is from their site:


Latex Base DRYLOK® Masonry Waterproofer is a low odor, water clean-up formula for waterproofing all interior, exterior, above or below grade masonry walls, cinder and concrete blocks, stucco, brick, retaining walls, basements, concrete swimming pools and foundation. No pre-mixing or pre-wetting necessary.

My builder told me not to use Drylok on smooth poured concrete walls because it will not prevent a leak. He did recommend using it on block walls because they are pourous. If a poured wall leaks, it has a serious crack and drylok won't stop it. Is this incorrect?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
In another thread Soundood mentioned that drylok is a masonry product (primarily?), and recomended another product (hard to find) for poured concrete. Given his background, I pm'd him and asked for his comment on this thread, though it sounds like our walls are okay for building and/or sealing.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0d#post9467960


Good comments and advice all. This is very reassuring.
 

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Okay. The white streaks are probably effluoresence but could also be mineral stains from a previous leak or from when the house was built. The darker areas are probably from where the forms were released and likely not growth. Also, remember that even if you don't see water actually coming out of the concrete, it may be putting a large quantity of water vapor into the house, raising the humidity levels and eventually causing growth. See it all the time.


The stains on the stairway treads are mold...that should be remediatiated. Likely it is caused by high moisture vapor levels coming from the concrete (any wood in contact or extremely close proximity to unsealed concrete should be pressure treated). Bleach is NOT what you want to spray on mold on a porous surface like wood...it does not kill it and will likely make it worse. You want an EPA registered fungicide.


On the concrete, Drylok isn't my favorite for concrete...it is better for block walls.

I prefer something that is specifically designed for solid concrete walls and slabs...namely Kryton. I'd look at doing a coating with Kryton.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvavsforum /forum/post/0


My builder told me not to use Drylok on smooth poured concrete walls because it will not prevent a leak. He did recommend using it on block walls because they are pourous. If a poured wall leaks, it has a serious crack and drylok won't stop it. Is this incorrect?

Your builder is correct. If a poured wall has leaks, Drylok will not stop it. You need a product specifically designed for poured concrete walls and slabs. Again...Kryton. They use it on Dams, I'm sure it will work on your home.


Also, if anybody needs any of the Kryton products, PM me. Kryton is located up in Vancouver B.C. and since we are just south of the border, I either have it in stock or can get it in a day or so.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundood /forum/post/0


Your builder is correct. If a poured wall has leaks, Drylok will not stop it. You need a product specifically designed for poured concrete walls and slabs. Again...Kryton. They use it on Dams, I'm sure it will work on your home.


Also, if anybody needs any of the Kryton products, PM me. Kryton is located up in Vancouver B.C. and since we are just south of the border, I either have it in stock or can get it in a day or so.

I'm glad you concur. Makes sense to me. The poured wall is treated on the outside already anyway. Using drylok on poured concrete walls is just a waste of money IMHO.
 

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SOME STUFF on the WEB to fuel the debate of using bleach:


Mold, Housing and Wood

Coreen Robbins, Ph.D., CIH

Senior Industrial Hygienist

Veritox, Inc.

Jeff Morrell, Ph.D.

Mycologist

Oregon State University

This paper was prepared by Coreen Robbins, Ph.D., CIH and Jeff Morrell, Ph.D., at the request of Western Wood Products Association in order to address some common questions about mold and wood. The findings and conclusions contained in the paper represent the work of the authors, not WWPA. WWPA assumes no responsibility for any action or inaction based on the content of this paper, including any liability for damages arising out of failure to remove mold.


Published in 2001, revised January 2006.


Excerpt:


Can I clean the mold from the wood?


The decision to clean mold from lumber depends on the amount of mold present and how likely it is to be disturbed. In nearly all cases, mold cleaning should be undertaken only after any moisture problems are resolved.


For any mold clean up that may generate large amounts of dust, basic personal protection equipment such as rubber gloves, eye protection and a high-quality pollen or dust mask should be worn. Clean-up of small spots or areas of mold generally does not require any special protective equipment.



There are a number of products on the market, from commercial mildewcides to common bleach, which are promoted for removing mold from wood. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests using mild detergent and water for most mold clean up. For cleaning wood surfaces, the EPA recommends wet vacuuming the area, wiping or scrubbing the mold with detergent and water and, after drying, vacuuming with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum (EPA, 2001).


The molds seen on lumber are largely a collection of fungal spores on the surface of the wood. As such, wet wiping or scrubbing the lumber will remove the mold.


Simply wiping the wood, however, can release those spores into the surrounding air. A better approach is to gently spray or wet down the mold prior to removal. Once the mold has been wetted, it can be removed by wet-wiping the surfaces with a water and detergent solution, scrubbing if necessary.


If commercial products are used for cleaning mold, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for use. Common bleach also can be used, particularly to clean the discoloration caused by mold fungi. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends using a solution of 10 parts water to one part chlorine bleach to clean mold from surfaces (CDC, 2000b). When using bleach and other cleaning chemicals indoors, make sure there is adequate ventilation and wear personal protection equipment outlined previously. Never mix bleach with ammonia.


Removing small amounts of mold from wood is relatively straightforward. Mold removal becomes more complex when there are heavy amounts of growth on a majority of the lumber or if the building has been in service for some time and the mold originated from leaks into the building cavity. In these instances, the mold clean up should be done by a professional cleaning and restoration company. (Back to top
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Soundood -


Thanks for commenting in my thread. We are sorting a few things out, but I may be sending you a PM on that Kryton, they seemed to only have one distributor for the entire north east. We were going to bleech that stair, now we find some funguside.
 

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A good way to see if you have moisture coming through the concrete is to duct tape a 2x2 square of plastic wrap to the ground or wall. If you have a problem, you will see moisture develop on the plastic wrap.


Scott
 

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My experience and the experience with a vast majority of the people in the industry who treat moldy structures every week, is that bleach is not effective on a porous wood or drywall surface once there is an established growth. Trust me, I get called out to places on a weekly basis with mold that has been made worse because of bleach. It is a very good source of business so I should probably keep quiet about it.
Washing it down with water and detergent? The problem with that is that if you inevitably don't get every hyphae (root) and there are always spores in the area. Now you have a wet material with mold roots still inside the material. Does this sound like a good idea to you?


Here is the thing...since EPA registered fungicides are not difficult to use nor particularly expensive, is it really worth taking the chance and using anything else? The ones we use in our remediation are registered as non toxic and non-materials reactive so I can spray them on anything and not worry they will weaken, stain or bleach the materials. Sodium Hypochlorite (the active ingredient in bleach) is EPA registered as a corrosive (just check the MSDS for any product that has bleach in it). The only Bleach I really like is the Anime series on Cartoon Network.


Most important thing you can do for mold is prevention. 50% of my business is prevention. There are numerous ways to prevent mold from growing and the primary way is to prevent moisture. In basements, this always means sealing the concrete since that is nearly alway the source of moisture. In Crawlspaces and wall cavities, proper vapor barriers are the key. In bathrooms, install the largest fan possible and USE IT. In attics, assuring PROPER airflow is critical...and even then there can be issues due to environmental factors (houses in tree areas are particularly problematic). In a new house, PROPER dryout is absolutely crucial...and that does NOT mean just turning on the furnace for the weekend before insulation/sheetrock. I can't tell you how many moldy new houses we see due to improper dryout. An overwhelming number of builders do not do a proper dryout. In crawlspaces, attics and wall cavities (and any area we remediate) we normally recommend a mold preventative coating. $0.16 a square foot for materials (we have a DIY program for this product) and 25 years of guaranteed zero growth sounds like a pretty good (and cheap) idea to me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Tucker /forum/post/0


A good way to see if you have moisture coming through the concrete is to duct tape a 2x2 square of plastic wrap to the ground or wall. If you have a problem, you will see moisture develop on the plastic wrap.


Scott

This does work, but you can't just do it in one area. You have do do it in a lot of areas since the amount of vapor that comes thru a concrete structure will vary greatly depending on how much water is behind the concrete in each different area and how dense that particular section is. There are also seasonal variations that depend on how much water is in the soil and how cold the soil is. In many places, you won't get much water coming thru right now because the soil is frozen...come back in late spring and you'll see a huge difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Soundood -


How clean does the concrete need to be before the Kryton is applied? Wire brushing all of my basement (about 1000 sqft, 7.5-8' high walls) is going to take a while, and I am feeling the pinch as work is close to commencing. Reading the pdf on their website said this:

Quote:
Prior to application all cracks and joints must be repaired according to Specification No. 1. Concrete must be free from paints, sealers, oil, grease, bitumen, laitance and other contaminants (see Technical Bulletin #202). Surfaces to be treated must be pre-soaked with clean water to a saturated surface dry (SSD) condition. Do not leave any standing water.

I am guessing the effluoresence and other crud on my wall is the "laitance" they are talking about? If so, is there a faster way other than a wire brush and elbow grease? Or can kryton be put on over that and still work well?


I think I know the answer, but easier would be nicer. . .
 
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