Further Misadventures in the Basement

After being out of town for a week, I thought I was ready to tackle the basement again. Well, little did I know that the basement was ready for me–just lying in wait.

I started off by running through the rafters in the back half of the basement with the Shop-Vac. This was the same drill that I did in the front half of the basement a few weeks ago:

  • Strap on my trusty respirator and a pair of goggles.
  • Attach the hose to the outtake of the vacuum–basically creating a huge concentrated air blower.
  • Run the hose over every crack and crevice in the ceiling at point blank range.
  • Watch the tons of dust and crap that come falling out of the rafters.

I don’t know for sure what it was that came out of the ceiling boards–it’s mostly fine white powder and some white grainy stuff, but M. suspects that it’s the plaster dust from when the original plaster basement ceiling was demolished years ago.

Back to the basement bathroom. While I finished ripping out the bottom bits of that, I decided to take some time to rip out the panelling on the North wall of the basement, West of the bathroom. This turned out to be an adventure, but in the end, it yielded only small surprises.

So we started with something like this:

Your typical panelled room, right? Removing the panelling revealed sheetrock over some simple framing. Here’s what that looked like (with some of the sheetrock already removed).

And after I removed the sheetrock and some of the framing, I was left with the original basement wall:

That’s the original foundation, which exhibits some small cracks as well as signs of efflorescence (not as bad as I expected), and the original plaster wall above (which has a small bit of water damage at the bottom). So the foundation along here (and presumably the rest of the North wall) is going to need some patching and some painting, but only after we rip out the driveway, expose the foundation, and seal and repair the outside first. From what I’ve been told, just fixing the inside is only going to hide the problem.

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