Stained basement cinderblock: selling home

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Another Man's Game
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2021 3:52 pm

Stained basement cinderblock: selling home

Post by Another Man's Game »

We will be selling our home soon, and I am concerned that the appearance of one of our basement cinderblock walls would raise concern from an inspection or buyer.

We have lived in our midwest home for 30 years and never had water problems in the basement. The home is probably worth about $500K. We have a sump pump as well as a back up sump pump. It's a dry basement. Five years ago, a remodeling contractor left a garden hose running outside one of the basement windows and the water streamed through the window and down the bare gray cinderblock wall. We had a horrible experience with this contractor; I did not approach him to clean it up because we wanted him out of the house ASAP. The wall was stained, discolored and drip lines are very evident down the block -- an area of about 8 feet across and ceiling to floor. The rest of the cinderblock in the basement is fine. Careful buyers understandably freak out about a weird water mark in a basement - it is really annoying for me because I do the best to keep the house meticulously maintained.

What would be your advice? My considerations are:
1) spend hours scrubbing the wall with TSP, acid, or some other cleaning solution - I wonder that no matter how hard I try the wall will still look funny.
2) Paint the wall so it looks nice -- This would be pretty easy -- but it will then be the only section of painted cinderblock and that will draw attention to the area anyway. I can't imagine painting the who *!$%# basement to match.
3) forget about it and just offer the explanation to the buyer or inspector

Thanks!
Big Heart
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2021 8:42 pm

Re: Stained basement cinderblock: selling home

Post by Big Heart »

I would print out a sheet and leave it on the dining room table during walk-throughs to explain that water mark and anything else that might need explaining.

My friend bought a house that came with a notebook. All repairs the previous owner had done (owned the house 15 years) were neatly typed in, including date, the name of the contractor, any special information about the repair and information about the context that made the repair necessary. It was such a nice resource especially for my friend who is a first-time homeowner.
OnceARunner
Posts: 235
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:50 pm

Re: Stained basement cinderblock: selling home

Post by OnceARunner »

I would go with either an explanation or paint the whole basement. We actually painted the concrete foundation to make it look more "liveable" for a game room/theater room in our old basement and it looked really nice.

I wouldn't paint just that part...it'll look like you are hiding something.
pizzy
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:59 pm

Re: Stained basement cinderblock: selling home

Post by pizzy »

The easiest solution is staring you in the face.

Paint the basement walls. DIY - it's only cinderblock
daheld
Posts: 1180
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:14 am
Location: Midwest US

Re: Stained basement cinderblock: selling home

Post by daheld »

Paint the walls all the way around the basement. It'll take a weekend and make it look sharp.
mhalley
Posts: 9073
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: Stained basement cinderblock: selling home

Post by mhalley »

I would at least attempt to clean it. Buy a motorized brush to make it easier. I saw trisodium phosphate was recommended.
https://homeguides.sfgate.com/clean-cin ... 24783.html
If it doesn’t work, paint it.
forgeblast
Posts: 473
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:45 am
Location: PA
Contact:

Re: Stained basement cinderblock: selling home

Post by forgeblast »

Another Man's Game wrote: Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:13 am We will be selling our home soon, and I am concerned that the appearance of one of our basement cinderblock walls would raise concern from an inspection or buyer.

We have lived in our midwest home for 30 years and never had water problems in the basement. The home is probably worth about $500K. We have a sump pump as well as a back up sump pump. It's a dry basement. Five years ago, a remodeling contractor left a garden hose running outside one of the basement windows and the water streamed through the window and down the bare gray cinderblock wall. We had a horrible experience with this contractor; I did not approach him to clean it up because we wanted him out of the house ASAP. The wall was stained, discolored and drip lines are very evident down the block -- an area of about 8 feet across and ceiling to floor. The rest of the cinderblock in the basement is fine. Careful buyers understandably freak out about a weird water mark in a basement - it is really annoying for me because I do the best to keep the house meticulously maintained.

What would be your advice? My considerations are:
1) spend hours scrubbing the wall with TSP, acid, or some other cleaning solution - I wonder that no matter how hard I try the wall will still look funny.
2) Paint the wall so it looks nice -- This would be pretty easy -- but it will then be the only section of painted cinderblock and that will draw attention to the area anyway. I can't imagine painting the who *!$%# basement to match.
3) forget about it and just offer the explanation to the buyer or inspector

Thanks!
didnt read the rest but paint it with drylock
dukeblue219
Posts: 1722
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:40 pm

Re: Stained basement cinderblock: selling home

Post by dukeblue219 »

Is it possible a freshly painted basement wall would raise suspicions more than an old wall that shows one minor event?

It's a sellers market anyway. The buyer can take your story or walk away...
adamthesmythe
Posts: 4408
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Stained basement cinderblock: selling home

Post by adamthesmythe »

In the disclosures there is usually a question about water leaks. Usually there is a space for comments.

A sentence there to the effect that "basement stain is not result of a continuing leak" is sufficient.

A too-elaborate explanation runs the risk of making a molehill into a mountain.
Carson
Posts: 755
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 3:26 pm

Re: Stained basement cinderblock: selling home

Post by Carson »

Please don't paint the cinder block. It can cause lasting damage and maintenance for a future owner for what really is a non-issue. You might find that by scrubbing the masonry, or at least getting it all wet and letting it dry, it might alleviate some of the staining.

https://crawlspaceninja.com/blog/baseme ... our-walls/
30-something personal finance enthusiast, just get getting started on this whole portfolio thing.
wilked
Posts: 1962
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:50 pm

Re: Stained basement cinderblock: selling home

Post by wilked »

Paint the whole basement w/ Dry Loc. It's cinder block, should go fairly quickly.
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