Effloresence in Basement

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by SamanthaAB, May 6, 2012.

  1. SamanthaAB

    SamanthaAB New Member

    May 6, 2012
    Alberta, Canada
    We're just beginning to finish our basement but have noticed for the past couple years some efflorescence coming up beside the mats we have sitting on the basement floor. House was built in 2007 in central Alberta in an area that has a high water table, we have a sump pump that goes regularly once the ground thaws and we have our downspouts away from the house.

    I'm not sure what we should do about it, we've found conflicting articles about in online and have been given different advice from other people, from covering the floor (after cleaning the efflorescence away) with acrylic paint, waterproofing, dricore, and doing nothing. We also will be hooking up our in-floor heat and don't know how that will affect it. We bought Behr Interior/Exterior Low-Lustre Sealer but haven't applied it yet because we don't know if thats what we should use.

    Edited to add pictures and mention if we lift up the mats, the floor and bottom of the mats feel moist.
    IMG-20120506-00120 (600x800).jpg
    IMG-20120506-00121 (600x800).jpg
    IMG-20120506-00122 (800x600).jpg

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :)
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  2. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Jun 28, 2009
    I would throw a 2' square chunk of 6mil on the floor and see how much moisture drive there is before buying anything.
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  4. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Jan 14, 2009
    This is a heated, insulated slab?

    Moisture coming through the slab in the middle of the slab is an indication that it was built without a vapor barrier. Silane/silex based masonry sealers can reduce the capillary draw by quite a bit, somewhat better than acrylic sealers, but it's still not good enough to protect a wooden subfloor or rug. Paints will eventually blister and peel from the vapor pressure with acrylic-only sealers. The heavier duty epoxy sealer/vapor barrier treatments can make it dry, but for a price. eg: http://sealgreen.com/e10-epoxy-concrete-sealer.aspx Surface prep prior to application is still everything, in terms of getting it to bond well though.

    But if there's that much moisture under the slab, the thermal conductivity of the soil is going to be high, and a heated slab may be pretty lossy to the ground compared to places with dry soil.

    Before fully finishing out the basement you may need to slip a capillary break between the bottom plates of the insulating studwall in that picture, unless it already has a pretty-good sill gasket or something.

    The rubbery closed cell mat floor coverings are highly vapor retardent as well as somewhat insulating, which is why it gets wet and stays wet below them. The R-value keeps the bottom side temp lower, which lowers the vapor pressure relative to the room air, and the high vapor retardency doesn't allow it to dry toward the room.
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