sagging walls

I helped someone finish off a basement last fall with wood paneling. It’s that fake wood that is pressed together, not OSB, but more like MDF or something. Now that it’s summer time and humid in their basement, the walls have mold on them and are sagging. Would a dehumidifier be enough to unsag the walls or will they have to be redone?

Only mildly educated opinion: A dehumidifier will not fix the situation. The walls will probably have to be redone.

However, if they are redone, a dehumidifier will help prevent the problem from happening again.


Tough luck kiddo!

Rip everything out to the bare concrete block or corncrete foundation walls.
Start with a waterproof concrete sealer. Look for “Ugli” at Home Depot or such.

Apply sealer according to directions and let it cure thouroughly.
Be absollutely certain that water can not enter the basement area at the joint between the wall and the floor slab. If there is any possibility of waer entering here you will need better footer drainage or abandon the idea of finishing off the area.

If you don’t know what you are doing don’t do it.

Get some expert advice even if it cost a few buck and save the cost of a failed project,

Better results next time.

Yeah, the first problem to figure out is why is it humid in the basement? Uninsulated pipes in the open? Poor fitting windows (if there are any)? Moisture coming in through the concrete walls? Dirt floor or cracked slab? Any air circulation at all? Appliances (like water heater, washer/dryer) not drained or vented properly?

After fixing the moisture problem, then finish as you see fit.

The block walls were painted with UGL already and hadn’t leaked a drop since being done years ago. That is why we went ahead and put the walls up. I figured they would have to be ripped down. The sad part is, the drop ceiling track is screwed to the panels so guess we’ll have to cut the walls along that line and start over. This pisses me off

Make sure that the paneling being used is rated for ‘Below Grade’ installation. It is also advisable to do a patch test on walls or floors. Take some clear poly-4 or 6 mil thickness, and securely tape it to the wall and floor. If there is water vapor moving through the substrate, you’ll see droplets on the back of the poly after a day or so. Unfortunately, most moisture treatments on the negative side of a wall don’t completely cure the problem, and even rated paneling will fail.

We have a lower level (30 % below grade). No problems with any of the above.
Requires dehumidifier to maintain humidity normal.