Lime deposits on basement walls?


Old 03-28-01, 12:57 PM
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This is my first visit to this site, but I'm desperate for some friendly advice. A few months ago we noticed one of our cinderblock walls in the basement (which also has the most moisture problems)has patches of a white, fluffy residue that we imemdiately labeled as mold. Someone told me today that it was not mold, but lime residue as the moisture in our walls pushes the lime out of the cinderblocks. This same gentleman also told me it is toxic. I have two children under the age of 3 . . . so you can see my immediate concern! We don't use the basement much, but have been having tons of trouble with respiratory ailments the past few months - expecially my 1-year-old. Has anyone dealt with this before? If so, what did you do? Any help is GREATLY appreciated!
Old 03-29-01, 09:35 AM
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Depending on how bad the moisture is, there are several things you can do.
Do you get water in the basement? You may want to have the basement waterproofed by a contractor. Unless your feeling particularly gung-ho about digging. But if it is only one wall, you could probably do it yourself.
Are your gutters draining away from the house? If not,this is easily fixed.
Does your landscaping allow runoff away from the foundation? More work than the gutters, but also an easily fixed problem.
If you are only getting lime dust, and the walls have never been painted before, Drylok or another waterproofing paint may be the easiest solution. Make sure you follow the directions and clean the walls very good.
Keep us posted. I've gotten help twice here, and have only been online for two weeks!
Old 03-29-01, 12:30 PM
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Thanks for your reply. We did get a quote from a basement waterproofing company (EverDry), but it came to around $10,000! Not worth the money for our little house. We really only have water in the basement when there is a very heavy rain, and then only on one wall. We're planning on doing some waterproofing of our own with one of the waterproofing paints. Do you know if lime dust is dangerous/toxic? My husband thought not, but someone else told me it was. Do we have to handle it in a special way when cleaning the walls so we don't inhale it? The whole thing makes me a bit nervous . . .
Old 03-29-01, 06:21 PM
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you can try drylock, but.....

Beware that it is temporary at best. The water will eventually break it down in a few years.

Better to do the waterproofing on the outside.

We had a simialr problem in our old house. I finally solved it by putting in a concrete patio along that wall.

BTW - the powder isn't poisonous.
Old 03-30-01, 05:39 AM
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Plastic, and stone

Make sure the ground around the foundation slopes away from your house, and the gutters are functioning properly. You can lay plastic around the foundation on the outside of the house, and cover it with decorative stone. This will keep the water from penetrating around the foundation and getting into you basement, unless it is related to a high water table, and not surface water. The white powder is called efforvesance. I am not sure if I spelled that right. It is mineral deposits left on the wall when the water gets in the basement. It is not poisonous.
Old 04-10-01, 01:31 PM
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To clean the surface use TSP( tri sodium phosphate
If your going to seal it use Hydro-Seal 75 epoxy. Nothing withstands seepage better than Hydro-Seal 75. Call 1-800-346-5543 for a free sample today.

Rick Bernard
Fax your request to 1-401-821-9335
Old 04-18-01, 12:26 PM
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I have also read that using a hehumidifier too much can start pulling moisture into the basement through the concret, which in turn also pulls the minerals out of the cement. I would believe this is what you are seeing.

I dont imagine it being poisonous, since it is minerals.
Your respiratory problems may be due to fungus, mildew or mold being formed in the basement from any water leaks.

Best Regards,
Old 04-19-01, 04:43 AM
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Amy: Lime deposits are not poisonious or toxic. Just a mineral deposit. Salty to the taste. It is an alili material, that can be controlled with a basic type material. Chemistry 101. You child is probably breathing in either fungus or mildew, or mold from the mosisture getting in the basement. I know, it gets to me very bad also. Drying out the basemnt and getting some ventilation in there will help. Good Luck

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