Interior Basement Wall Spalling

One some of our older homes (1920s-1940s) with concrete basements, it is typical to see wide spread spalling of the interior concrete wall. It looks terrible and scares the heck out of the buyers. When does this spalling become a structural concern? And, how do you present to the buyer when it is not necessarily structural - just ugly? (given that any related moisture issues are being addressed)

Thanks for any thoughts…

A picture would be useful, to properly identify the problem with the concrete.

While each situation is unique, surface spalling in older walls that is not deep (no large aggregate loss), has no hollow areas from sounding with the back of your screwdriver, and has no significant rust staining with sound concrete remaining is generally considered a surface defect.

There are many polymer modified cement based coatings contractors can use to easily restore the surface … as long as the surface is prepared correctly. But let a qualified contractor handle that.

If the spalling is deep, there are large areas of the concrete that crumbles easily, or if there are hollow areas with significant rust staining it probably should be looked at by a specialist.

Observe and Report … thats the job … :wink:

1920 Poured Concrete Foundation?

Thanks for the information everyone. And my apologies, 1920s was a little early - but hey, you know Idaho has always been advanced in building :wink: technology

This did not scare my clients:

It scared the hell out of me.

Finally was able to get one picture to upload. Unfortunately of an exterior wall, but same type of damage as seen on the interior walls. Thanks again for the assistance.


And I thought my original 1950s gate valves were old (recently replaced to ball valves). I’ll be the first to send $5 if you dare to test it! Just a little knock with a hammer to set it free!