I just moved into a house in Chicago which was built around 1915 and the basement walls are brick. For the most part the brick has a skim coat of cement or similar product over it. In a lot of places the cement is peeling off and the brick underneath is crumbling. It looks like it is covered in efflorescence. I was told by my inspector that this was common in this era house, and I have actually seen this in other houses in the area. I would like to clean off the crumbling cement and brick and refinish. My house is so close to the neighbors that digging and sealing from the outside is not an option. Is there anything I can do to fix this from the inside so the wall is stable and "clean". I would like to put up drywall but don’t want to cover up a major problem. FYI, the brick is below ground.