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How to frame out concrete basement walls to get them ready for drywall.

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About basements:  Waterproofing compounds designed for basement walls and other masonry surfaces effectively stop the kind of seepage that makes walls feel clammy to the touch.  Don’t expect them to solve a severe moisture problem.

If you can see a film of water on the wall, it probably is coming in under pressure — and that same force will push any sealer aside.  In this case, you need to seal from the outside.

Waterproofing formulations come in powder or liquid form.  The powdered form comes with cement and must be mixed with water.  These products should be applied to a damp surface.

The liquid types are ready to use after stirring, but the wall must be dry for them to adhere.  Both types of sealant require that you first clean away all dirt, grease, or powder.  Wash with household cleaner and a wire brush; remove grease with a liquid degreaser.

If a wall has visible holes or cracks, plug them, then let the repairs thoroughly cure before applying a sealer.  Prepare yourself for some hard work when you apply these heavy coatings.

  • Avoid an arduous job.  Make sure you purchase premixed compound.
  • Prepare walls for cement-based sealer by wetting with a fine mist from a hose.
  • Apply these paste-like sealers with a stiff brush.  Fill every pore in the blocks.
  • Pack the mortar joints.  The first coat will require lots of time and compound.
  • Prevent too rapid drying of cement-based coatings.  Keep the base coat moist for several days.
  • For a tight seal, you will need two applications.  The second goes on more easier, but cover completely.
  • You can paint over the waterproofing.  Wait until it’s thoroughly cured, based on the manufacturer’s label.

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