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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    6

    Default Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?

    I have a very dank basement laundry room with painted cinder block foundation walls on the exterior walls. I want to make the room more appealing but have next to no money, so I was thinking of applying fiberglass reinforced plastic bead-board paneling to brighten and "warm" up the space. The question is two-part:
    1. The cinder blocks have efflorescence. Can I apply plastic paneling over this, or does the efflorescence indicate it will it create some kind of terrible mold situation?
    2. If it wouldn't create said terrible mold situation, can I apply the panels with construction adhesive, or would I need to use anchors and screws?

    Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,616

    Default Re: Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?

    I would not recommend it. IMHO, it will be money wasted and you're not going to achieve the desired effect. You would be better off to paint it a cheery color and decorate the room with a picture or other things to brighten it.

    Efflorescence is the result of moisture passing through the block, so covering it will definitely result in mold and odor issues. Stick to painting.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,505

    Default Re: Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?

    Besides, FRP runs about $30 a sheet, which is quite pricey.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?

    Yeah, it's certainly not as cheap as a coat of paint. (but cheaper than the million other things I'd love to do in there) : D

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?

    I feel your pain. How about covering the walls with fabric? IKEA carries inexpensive curtain wire and panels. Or, if you sew, check out upholstery remnants at fabric stores.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?

    Can't you clean up the walls, dry it out in there (temporarily with a dehumidifier) and use white DryLok or some other masonry waterproofer in there? Seems with a good white it would help things and maybe control the deposits.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?

    Yes, I think our best course of action will be to do a real thorough cleaning and fresh Dry-Lock paint job and see what the walls do. Since we bought the house, we added better gutter downspouts, so we may have beaten the moisture problem and not realized it.

    Thanks for the thoughts and advice everyone!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,418

    Default Re: Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?

    I too recommend a coat of dryloc paint. In addition, make sure the ground slopes downward for about 8' out around your house so that water cannot pool up against the foundation or near it.

    The look at covering the dryloc with a good latex semi gloss paint. In this case, I would actually recommend exterior paint instead of interior paint. Start with a Gallon for the base color, then small quantities for accents, like painted balloons. flowers or some geometric design. If you have kids that go to an elementary school, you might see this done on their concrete block walls.

    Keep the excess paint so that you can change the room anytime you feel creative, and since you will be the only person who goes down there, you don't have to worry about other people judging your work, unless you invite them down to see it.

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