10 days ago, when I first started addressing our basement flooding problem, the cement bricks were stained dark brown by water damage [left]. Yesterday I took a comparison shot [right]:
Look how much lighter the wall got in just 10 days! The gutter extender is working miracles and the wall is finally starting to really dry out. Because of that, I decided to start wall patching this weekend. 2 weeks ago, after much online research, I ordered a 3 pack of Drylok products from Amazon. Hydraulic cement, silicon masonry crack filler, and a quart of latex-based masonry waterproofer:
The first step was vacuuming the wall with my shop vac. First I put on my respirator and goggles, then got to vac’ing. I gave it [what I thought] was a very thorough cleaning:
Then it said to scrub the wall with a wire brush. I don’t think I have one of those, so I improvised with a heavy duty kitchen brush that we never use in the kitchen. I could see a ton of dust and dirt and pebbles coming off the wall as I scrubbed [doesn’t say much for my wall vacuuming skills]:
The large pile of sand, dust, dirt, and debris that rained down to the floor:
After vacuuming that up, I got to work with the hydraulic cement. There are very scary warnings on the tub – like you need to wear a respirator [a white dust mask doesn’t count] because the dry cement contains agents known to cause cancer. Awesome. Also, eye protection and rubber gloves are a must because the cement can cause much skin irritation. Glad I don’t work with this stuff on a regular basis! Thankfully I already had my respirator and goggles on, so I went upstairs and dug around in the bathroom for my heavy duty latex gloves [they’re awesome for when I add purple dye to my hair nods]:
The instructions also said to wet the wall thoroughly before application of the cement [seemed counter intuitive to me, but apparently the water soaks into any porous areas and the cement therefore won’t] so I used a sponge and bucket although in retrospect a spray bottle would have worked better:
The tub of cement comes with a scoop and you mix 3 scoops of dry cement with 1 scoop of water:
Then IMMEDIATELY fill the holes you’re patching because it sets in 5 minutes. They weren’t kidding! The directions said to use a trowel to apply the cement. Eh? I didn’t see how a rigid metal trowel could possibly fill craggy holes in a rock wall, so I just glopped it on with my [latex-gloved] hand and squished it into the holes with my fingers. It took 3 batches of cement to fill all the holes:
The dark grey areas are the patches [residual drip marks are from the water I sponged on first]:
If you recall, I made a very colorful map of the leaks in my first basement flooding post:
That was because I knew I’d forget exactly where the leaks were once the wall dried out. I printed it out and used it to place each patch. Very helpful!!!
I didn’t end up needing the silicone masonry crack filler [or so I thought], so I went ahead with the next step which was painting on the latex-based masonry waterproofer. My boss actually told me he had a tub of Drylok masonry waterproofer [I hadn’t opened my box from Amazon yet, so I didn’t realize I’d already bought some]. He brought it to work and I lugged it home. It’s contractor size & weighs about 1 million pounds:
I was planning to return the quart I bought from Amazon, however, when trying to stir the tub he brought me this happened: I broke a paint stick, I snapped a larger wooden board in half, and I broke a drill-bit paint stirrer… d’oh! I don’t think it had been stirred in a very long time. I finally grabbed a large board from my scrap wood pile, sat Indian style on the basement floor, and used 2 hands to stir the waterproofer. I felt like a witch stirring her cauldron. After 15 minutes things were starting to move, but there was still a thick layer of liquid on top and a thick layer of sludge on the bottom, so I gave up. On to plan B: cracking open the quart I bought from Amazon which was fully mixed and ready to go. So thank you very much to my boss, but your giant tub of waterproofer proved a challenge beyond my abilities! Maybe if I had a heavy duty drill bit mixer made for thicker compounds…
The hydraulic cement said nothing about how long to wait before painting on waterproofer, and the waterproofer didn’t say anything except to make sure the wall was clean and scrubbed and patched before using it. I just saw online that it’s recommended you wait 24 hours between cementing and painting… oops. It looks great, though! It will need one more coat before it’s done:
The white paint highlighted some holes I hadn’t seen before. Some small, some larger:
They are holes that weren’t leaking 2 weeks ago, and I didn’t notice them when I was scrubbing the wall or patching. So after work today I mixed up another batch of hydraulic cement and filled the 3 bigger ones:
Then I loaded the silicon masonry crack filler into my caulk gun:
And filled in the smaller holes & cracks:
Tomorrow I’ll paint on the 2nd coat of waterproofer, and THEN I should be able to put the cage back together and get access to my table saw so I can work on my projects involving wood again!
This morning I looked out the yard door and saw Bonkers sitting happily on the top floor of the catio staring at me – it made me LOL!
And here’s Darwin right now, enjoying the floor fan & window breezes:
The vet said he’s not fat, he’s big boned nods. And we think he’s overgrooming his stomach to make Birdie feel more at home [she has overgroomed hers since before we got her]. The vet said it might be a food allergy. Meh.