Author Topic: Reclaimed wood wall over basement cinderblock  (Read 926 times)

merula

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Reclaimed wood wall over basement cinderblock
« on: February 27, 2017, 03:01:13 PM »
I'm working on planning out a project that's a bit over my head, so I'd love any and all feedback the community has to offer.

I live in a house built in 1919. At some point (guessing 60s?), the basement was semi-finished. Part of the basement was framed out and drywalled, with wood paneling over the drywall. There are also baseboard steam radiators, consistent with the rest of the house. The wood paneling has since been painted white.

A few years back, during a wet spring, water came in through the east wall (the one with the window in the pictures), damaging the drywall that was there. The prior owners tore out the wall and left the cinderblock bare. Since buying the place, we've been working with exterior landscaping and gutter repair to fix basement water issues in other places, with good results. We haven't seen any moisture in this area, but we have built up a better exterior grade than existed when we bought.

My plan for this space is:
-Take the paneling off the drywall
-Tear out the ceiling and entertainment center
-Drylok the cinderblock
-Fur out the east and south walls (window and entertainment center in the pictures) with 2x2 furring strips
-Install a reclaimed wood half-wall (along the lines of this: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/12/b7/bb/12b7bba934853f008861eee797cb2223.jpg

If anyone has any experience with prepping reclaimed wood, I'd love to hear it. This wood came from a dock, so may have some growth. I was thinking a light power-washing? My mother is convinced that nothing but scrubbing with bleach will do, but she tends to be overzealous about stuff like this.

Also, I'm debating insulation behind the wood. On one hand, couldn't hurt, right? On the other, what's the point if the cinderblock above the wall isn't insulated, and the other 75% of the basement isn't, either? Or maybe the point is that, if we ever did finish more of the basement, we wouldn't need to take down the wood wall?

bobechs

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Re: Reclaimed wood wall over basement cinderblock
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2017, 04:31:49 PM »
KILL IT...

Kill it with FIRE....


lthenderson

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Re: Reclaimed wood wall over basement cinderblock
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2017, 08:51:44 AM »
I'm not a fan of drylok on basement walls. It isn't warrantied for joints, pinholes or other defects in the wall. Also if there is waterproofing on the outside, there is a possibility of now sandwiching moisture between the layers causing more problems. It is best to always fix basement moisture problems from the outside.

Even if the cinder blocks aren't insulated from the outside, there is a significant benefit to adding insulation on the inside. I like to use the closed cell polystyrene sheets made for this application that allow you to fasten drywall or wood planking directly to them. Some also allow for wire chases for electrical stuff.

I always leave the wall materials gapped a couple inches up from the floor and cover with wider baseboard trim. It allows for more of a margin of error if you should get water in the basement, it has to get that deep before the wall materials start wicking it up. Trim is easier to replace.

Be very careful power washing boards. It is very easy to be too aggressive or not as aggressive in spots leaving a splotched looking finish. I would probably use hand brushes and deck cleaner if you want to retain the rough sun checked look.

merula

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Re: Reclaimed wood wall over basement cinderblock
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2017, 11:14:01 AM »
Thank you! That's really great information. I'm positive that there isn't waterproofing on the outside, would your advice against drylok still apply? Is there any benefit at all?

WranglerBowman

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Re: Reclaimed wood wall over basement cinderblock
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2017, 07:53:29 AM »
Do you know if you have a French Drain in your basement?  Odds are that if you do it's no longer functioning properly but more than likely you don't have anything in that old house.  To really make sure you never have a moisture issue like in the past a French Drain will keep the ground water below the basement slab.  Drylok is pretty much a fake fix for any groundwater moisture problem in a basement and they say something like that on their product.  We had a French Drain installed in our basement ($10k) prior to buying our house as there was a small moisture issue.  No problem since.  I'm now refinishing the whole basement and glued a plastic sheet to the cinderblock wall and tucked the plastic into the French Drain so if any moisture accumulates on the back side of the block wall it runs into the French Drain.  Now I just need to add foam board, studs, rerun electric, spray foam insulation, and drywall.
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lthenderson

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Re: Reclaimed wood wall over basement cinderblock
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2017, 08:08:02 AM »
Thank you! That's really great information. I'm positive that there isn't waterproofing on the outside, would your advice against drylok still apply? Is there any benefit at all?

Unless you have general vapor issues through the cinderblock (can be tested by taping a piece of plastic to your wall for a couple days and looking to see if moisture accumulates between the wall and the plastic), drylok really doesn't do much for you. In my experiences, leaks all happen around cracks, holes or other imperfections in your basement wall, all places not warrantied by drylok to seal. The reason is hydrostatic pressures build up more than a thin layer of paint can hold back.

merula

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Re: Reclaimed wood wall over basement cinderblock
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2017, 08:57:07 AM »
I don't have a French drain (that I know of). I do have a perimeter drain tile system and a sump pump.

I will do the vapor test today.

Thanks for the additional help!

WranglerBowman

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Re: Reclaimed wood wall over basement cinderblock
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2017, 10:37:42 AM »
Hmm, sounds like something isn't right with your drain tile system if there were water issues before.
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merula

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Re: Reclaimed wood wall over basement cinderblock
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2017, 08:46:29 AM »
I think the issue was that the water came in through the wall. The basement didn't flood, but the drywall got wet because there probably wasn't any water barrier behind the drywall to direct the water down to the drain tile.

Granted, I haven't had the opportunity to test the drain tile in that part of the basement, but I have seen my sump pump kick in when my laundry tub overflowed.

Landlady

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Re: Reclaimed wood wall over basement cinderblock
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2017, 10:44:22 AM »
I took down a family barn last summer and here's how we treated the wood.
1. Remove all metal, nails, screws, bullets, etc.
2. Scan the wood with a metal detector to make sure you get everything. The mill may do this too, but they'll charge you more for pulling nails.
3. Find a local mill that is willing to plane the wood for you so it looks like your inspiration link. Ask them if it needs to be kiln dried since it's been used on a dock.
4. Spray the wood with a home friendly pesticide if you aren't kiln drying it. We used Boracare.
5. Install!

Yesterday I saw that Home Depot is selling weathered wood. That's the easy button.

merula

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Re: Reclaimed wood wall over basement cinderblock
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2017, 05:24:27 PM »
Thank you, Landlady! That's great info. I like the uneven-ness of the wood currently; the inspiration link was more about the construction (vertical boards, top and bottom trim, and a top shelf).

After talking through the potential for moisture issues, we came up with an alternative solution: built the half-wall as self-contained panels, and attach them to the cinderblock with anchors. That way, any moisture issues or potential future finishing can be addressed by taking the panels down.

Thoughts on the updated approach?