I'm looking for instructions on how to properly repair and finish a basement wall. I don't just mean drywall, insulation and vapour barrier, I also need to know what to do about the masonry behind it. I need the correct instructions, so it doesn't cause more damage. There are 'solutions' that actually make things worse, such as painting a spalling brick wall. That makes it worse eventually. If you hire the wrong contractor, or if you do it yourself based on incorrect advice, you'll damage your house. There is some very helpful information on your site but I could use some additional details. For example, On your WHY ARE BASEMENTS MOLDY? HOW TO FIX OR PREVENT A MOLDY BASEMENT page.
- Shim up bottom plates to allow for water to pass under in cases of mild flooding.
What do you mean by that? Are you saying don't put the studs all the way down to the floor? Because water needs to be able to get behind the wall? Wouldn't that defeat much of the purpose of finishing the wall? I don't want water getting behind the wall and I don't want mice or bugs coming in through the gap. There has been flooding here, but if it ever happens again, I don't want it getting behind the wall, which would probably mean I'd have to tear the finished wall down and do it over. If flooding gets behind the wall once, maybe I could leave it. But twice or three times, I'd have to tear it down.
Do you just leave the bottom edge unfinished? It seems to me this would defeat the purpose of keeping rodents, bugs, cold air, and water out, which is what the wall is meant to accomplish. The 'finished' parts of my basement are like that now, and it's a mess. I'd like to finish those walls completely, so nothing can get in or out, and the area can be kept clean. I can't keep it clean now because it's impossible. The masonry wall behind the existing drywall and lath is spalling, falling out, and spilling onto the floor.
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