White Fuzz on Basement Walls


Old 07-03-08, 08:54 AM
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White Fuzz on Basement Walls

Hi all ... I've seen similar posts here and assume I am seeing efflorescence. Wondering if I have a serious problem though?

After all of the rain in WI recently, my basement was flooded with 18+ inches of backed up sewer water. Yuck. I had the basement professionally cleaned, but it took about a week for them to get down there. There was only standing water less than 24 hours, but it was very humid down there as things like my carpetting were just soaked. The cleaning company cut off all of the drywall up to 4 feet high and power washed the entire basement for a few hours. Then they treated everything with an antimicrobial. After the cleanup, they ran two dehumidifiers for about 4 days to dry up everything. The cleanup happened about 3 weeks ago.

They told me that some of the paint was going to peel/chip off (floor and walls). On the lower blocks along the outside wall, there are intermittent patches of missing paint. And now in those spots, I am seeing the white fuzz. I thought originally it was just from all of the moisture that was in the basement for so long, that its finally all evaporated. But then I was told that it may mean that my drain tile is plugged (I've got a palmer valve). Just wondering how serious this issue is? Could it just be from the sewage flood and subsequent clean-up? Or do I need to worry about replacing the drain tile?

The white fuzz disappears immediately when I spray bleach water on it (I originally though it might be mold). Should I remove it and see if it forms again? And what do I do about the blocks that have no paint on them any longer? Seal and repaint???

I'm a brand new homeowner, so this is all VERY new to me. Any advice you can give would be great!!

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Old 07-03-08, 11:41 AM
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Sounds like efflorescence to me! Id just let it eit tell fall and repaint.
Old 07-09-08, 08:47 PM
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Sounds like efflorescence to me as well. If its patch, chalky, and can only be removed with a brush, then its got to be efflorescence.

I was actually about to post regarding my efflorescence problem, but thought I'd put out my question here as I think it will help answer ems728's question.

I have drylok 1/3 of my basement with Latex UGL product. I used their total process and etched(?) the wall before a good cleaning and finally applying the drylok. The 2/3 I didn't drylok yet were etch and cleaned, but also contain several patches of efflorescence. I tried a wire hand brush and then a wire circular brush with my drill. It kind of comes off, but mostly I just get to the ends of the patch and the center of the patch is a lighter chalky color.

I just can't imagine it shound be this hard. Shound I buy acid to apply to these areas (UGL's preparation product was an alternative to acid), shound I just get what I can and don't worry about making the walls 100% efflorescence clean, or what? The areas are mostly in the morder between the cender blocks. One 10 foot area has 1-2" patches ever other cender block from maybe 1 foot up from the floor to 2 feet down from ceiling. My basement is 7' tall.

I plan on a full remodel for my basement - drywall, carpet, fireplace. I believe efflorescence is the salt in the cender block coming to the surface, but will it really stop the drylok from attaching into the pours if I don't get every inch off? My basement is mostly dry. There is a corner and section of the wall with efflorescence that has got moist after a few heavy rains this summer, but I think I have now corrected the drainage problem outside. Still, I hate to put in the effort in if I could have done something now to make the basement moisture tight.
Old 07-10-08, 04:49 AM
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I've always used a wire brush to get off what I could and then applied the drylok, I've never had any issues related to the remaining efflorescence. The main thing with drylok is to apply it liberally!! so it completly fills all the pores in the block.
Old 07-10-08, 01:33 PM
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I haven't needed to use any sort of wire brush to remove the stuff from my walls. The white fuzz I have comes off VERY easily. Its almost like cotton candy ... real airy and fluffy. If I step on it, it disappears and leaves no residue.
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