Basement walls disintegrating

Old 11-29-09, 12:18 PM
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Basement walls disintegrating

My basement walls are made of cement block. The house was built in the late 1920ís.
The walls just seem to be disintegrating. I was told it was called Calcification. But I could not get an answer as to why this was happening and what to do about it.
I am hoping someone here can help me.
Old 11-29-09, 03:49 PM
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Can you take a pic? Only two things I know that can do this. movement in the wall and moisture.
Old 11-29-09, 03:57 PM
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A pic would definitely help us. But the problem may be simply, efflourescense, a leaching of minerals from the block caused by moisture in the block. It does not necessarily mean that the house is falling apart. Cinder block made in the 20's was probably actually made from cinders, so it could be something worse. Call a masonary contractor that you trust, not from the yellow pages or the paper. Get references from relatives, co-workers, friends, neighbors, etc.

Efflourescense can usually be brushed away with a stiff brush. If there is a moisture problem from poor drainage, gutters/downspouts not working, etc. It will reoccur if the mositure issue is not corrected, but is not a major problem.
Old 12-01-09, 10:32 AM
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Hopefully it is just efflorescence, which is definitely common with these. My house is four years old (with "cinder" blocks) and my walls got a decent bit of it in just the first few years. After a dehumidifier was put in and I started redirecting all roof run-off way far away the walls have since become very dry and probably this has stopped happening.

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