Tar on Interior Walls

Yes we all agree.
Foam still needs a thermal barrier though ?
I thought foam was the thermal barrier ?

To be truthful with you when I first read this I was absolutely astonished at the stupidity of the “foundation contractor”.

Then….The more I thought about it… I thought we were being PRANKED by an ASHI or NAHI member.

I still can’t believe that this has happened!

Apparently as a “homebuyer” you have a signed contract with a “Qualified” and reputable homebuilder. There is no way in the world that you, or your husband should have been able to add on to, remove, or change “anything” without consulting the contractor and getting a “Change Order*” in writing*!

You say that the “foundation contractor” has been around for a long, long time. I guess he wasn’t on the job site either or this would not have happened.
I know that I wasn’t there but… But it seems to me that your husband spoke to his “helpers” and that they didn’t have the slightest clue as to what they were doing!!!

{A judge and jury might find that their so-called lack of “expertise” might make them look negligent in this matter.}

Either way you have a long hard road ahead of you!

You have received some good advice on this message board. I don’t know what state that you live in but as an “Recognized Expert Witness” in the judicial systems of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine my rates are $250.00 per hour and as I see this… there is a lot of research and documentation to be done in this matter.

I and the others on this message board are going to give you all of the “free advice” that we can without having to do some extensive research.

I have several suggestions for you.

  1. Talk to a lawyer. When? Now! And I mean Now!!! {Don’t tell your contractor}

  2. You state that YOU have scraped off the tar! Go no further! By doing this YOU are accepting responsibility for this matter.

  3. You need to Google the foundation contractors in your area and find the most “experienced/reputable” foundation contractor. Tell him what happened and ask his advice.

  4. When you get “educated” In all probability this matter will wind up in court.

Without going into great detail I can tell you that concrete is a “big, hard, sponge”! Even though it is hard and seemingly “solid” it is not. It is extremely porous and will “suck up” any “moisture” that it encounters.
And yes, that includes the black liquefied components in tar!

There are hundreds if not thousands of “capillaries” in the concrete walls. The moisture travels and spreads through these capillaries.
So now you have tar that has penetrated the concrete both from the outside and sadly from the inside.

“Moisture” will seek the path of least resistance. That means that even though the tar was spread to “the 4 foot level” that it is going to spread. Even though you have “scraped the tar off the walls” it is still on the inside of the concrete. This moisture/liquefied tar will continually “migrate” out of the concrete.

In other words you will have a “smell” that will NEVER go away!

If you “finish the basement” over time you will have stained walls and in all probability a “dark stain” around the bottom perimeter of your basement walls.
This will ruin all of your carpet and or vinyl flooring. Ceramic tile will also “suck up” the residual tar.

If you “power wash” the tar on the inside walls what will happen? It will “liquefy” and spread onto the concrete floor.
Then what will happen?
The concrete floor will “suck up” the liquefied tar and then you have just ruined your concrete floor {and all other future floors i.e. carpet, vinyl, ceramic tile, wood etc. etc.}!

Like I said…… Stop what you’re doing and ….Go no further!

What happens if you use a “solvent” to liquefy and remove the tar? I
suppose that you have guessed by now that the concrete will “suck it up” and you are going to have a bigger mess on your hands!

So…… Once again…… Consult a lawyer, find an “expert” who specializes in foundations, {or better yet have your attorney do it}, and more importantly…
Take no further action {or implied responsibility} in trying to remove the tar!

I know this is not what you wanted to hear!

I wish you all the luck in the world and I hope this information has been of some help to you.

Hey everyone,

Sorry to review an old thread, but situation is very similar and I’m hoping for some guidance. I’m pretty sure I know what the answer will be, but I want to be sure.

Wife and I are buying a house and we learned today that the flippers/owners used tar on the inside basement walls. Yes, all kinds of alarm bells are going off and that’s what led me here. Home inspection didn’t catch this because it was behind the wall, the sellers revealed it since they were remediating an oil smell in the house.

What, if anything really can be done about this? I’m guessing the only real, full fix is to somehow replace ALL of the affected concrete, since every other method would make the problem worse, spread the problem around, or simply try to put a Band-Aid on it. Before we walk away from the house, we just want to know if this would work since the sellers will eventually have to fully remediate the problem. I’m guessing this issue would have to be revealed as a known defect to any future buyers.

Thanks everyone.

Today’s :slight_smile: