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Removing Skim Coat From Basement Walls

Question: I'd like to apply a skim coat to my basement wall. It is a 1939 house and has an old skim coat on it, which has been coming off for some time, both outside and inside. I'll need to remove the old skim coat and want to know the best way to do this. Also, will there be a lot of fumes meaning I'd have to do it in the summer with open windows? I noticed there is a small crack on the concrete near a corner wall outside. This is the corner of the house where a lot of moisture would gather from melting snow and rain. Inside the basement at that point, the drywall has bulged out in a vertical line of 3-4 inches from the moisture. It's not a big deal at this point but I'm wondering if it may become a big deal.

Answer: Without seeing the skim coat, my first thought would be to use a high power pressure washer. If you hit the skim coat from an angle at a point where the skim coat has come off you should be able to get the power washer under the skim coat. No smell. You should consider placing plastic sheeting over the ceiling.

You should repair that crack - cracks only get worse and will cause damage.

Additional information on basement water seepage.