Sealing the Deal

Remember this picture? A good 'ol shot from when I bought the house with my rose colored glasses still on.

Lemme zoom in a bit to really gross you out...

What IS that stuff. IDK probs mold. Probs chipped paint. Probs a layer of concrete that is PEELING off. Excellent.

And that's how the room sat for oh, 7 months. BUT I COULDN'T TAKE IT ANY LONGER. You see, once I ripped off the ceiling EVERYTHING that was once in the work room, moved into the storage room. And the storage room moved to the living room. And the living room turned into a jungle adventure anytime I needed something. This needed to be fixed ASAP. A ceiling down is NBD. But since the room was cleared, it was high time to handle the hot mess of a walls. 

THEY say prep is 90% of the work. In this case, it was 110% of the work. Here's how it went down.

Day 1: Wash the walls with vinegar in an attempt to get the discoloring out (spoiler: didn't work). Chip away concrete rubble

Day 2: Bring out the big guns: Use my drill and a wire brush attachment to clean the walls/get the concrete rubble out and rouge paint chips (tested negative for Lead: WIN!). Clean the walls with drylok etcher (spoiler: does very little)

Day 3: BLEACH the walls (spoiler: does nothing). Patch holes with hydraulic cement.

Day 4: Give up and just start painting. 

The yellow bottom is paint, and the white is efflorescent (which is from the concrete, and was semi-removed with the drylok etching solution) I chipped as much of the paint/concrete off as I could. Drylok only seals concrete, so any area with paint on it would not be sealed (in this case it's fine - this area wasn't water damaged)

Patching above withydraulic cement, it expands as it dries making a stronger bond for the patch.

I used Drylok for the walls which hit the exterior (all interior walls still need to be done, but with normal paint, any volunteers?!) this stuff is the THICKEST paint out there, BUT it seals your walls. You literally just glob it on, brushing in all directions to make sure it gets in all the nooks in the concrete. The first coat already looked 100x better, BUT some of the discolored walls were still showing through which made me want to light the house on fire. THANKFULLY the second coat did the trick (2 coats are recommended). 

After 1 coat: you can still see some of the concrete coloring through the white. Or maybe you can't and i'm just crazy.

IT'S LIKE A WHOLE NEW ROOM! So, fingers crossed, this stuff should last about 10 years and not let ANY water through the walls. NOW the fun part: putting all my tools back in the work room. Oh yeah, and that ceiling...


  1. Dryloc is not a waterproofer like you think it is. From the pictures, I can see your foundation is taking on serious water. You can see a skim coat that is crumbling and the mortar from some of the grade level blocks has crumbled. You need to fix the water problem from the outside. You now sealed in the moisture in the block with the Dryloc. You need to address the water problem from the outside. Have a pro come look at your foundation, because it really needs to be dug up and waterproofed from the outside.

    1. Thanks for your comments! The water damage you are seeing was from years ago, recently ( 5ish years ago?!) the roof on this room was replaced, and gutters were extended to direct water further away from the far wall. There were also some cracks outside that I filled in this past summer - and after some torrential rain in June, nothing penetrated! I chipped off the crumbling block and sealed her up - i'll check back in and see how it fairs this spring :) And you are correct- not a waterproofer, a sealer (I think I mentioned this in the caption of one of the photos).