Home>Discussions>NEW DIY IDEAS>Remodels & Upgrades>Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?
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DuluthGirl
Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?

I have a very dank basement laundry room with painted cinder block foundation walls on the exterior walls. I want to make the room more appealing but have next to no money, so I was thinking of applying fiberglass reinforced plastic bead-board paneling to brighten and "warm" up the space. The question is two-part:

  1. The cinder blocks have efflorescence. Can I apply plastic paneling over this, or does the efflorescence indicate it will it create some kind of terrible mold situation?
  2. If it wouldn't create said terrible mold situation, can I apply the panels with construction adhesive, or would I need to use anchors and screws?

Thanks for any advice!

A. Spruce
Re: Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?

I would not recommend it. IMHO, it will be money wasted and you're not going to achieve the desired effect. You would be better off to paint it a cheery color and decorate the room with a picture or other things to brighten it.

Efflorescence is the result of moisture passing through the block, so covering it will definitely result in mold and odor issues. Stick to painting.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?

Besides, FRP runs about $30 a sheet, which is quite pricey.

DuluthGirl
Re: Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?

Yeah, it's certainly not as cheap as a coat of paint. (but cheaper than the million other things I'd love to do in there) : D

queen60
Re: Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?

I feel your pain. How about covering the walls with fabric? IKEA carries inexpensive curtain wire and panels. Or, if you sew, check out upholstery remnants at fabric stores.

Cougars1996
Re: Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?

Can't you clean up the walls, dry it out in there (temporarily with a dehumidifier) and use white DryLok or some other masonry waterproofer in there? Seems with a good white it would help things and maybe control the deposits.

DuluthGirl
Re: Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?

Yes, I think our best course of action will be to do a real thorough cleaning and fresh Dry-Lock paint job and see what the walls do. Since we bought the house, we added better gutter downspouts, so we may have beaten the moisture problem and not realized it.

Thanks for the thoughts and advice everyone!

keith3267
Re: Can I apply fiberglass/plastic panels to my cinder block basement walls?

I too recommend a coat of dryloc paint. In addition, make sure the ground slopes downward for about 8' out around your house so that water cannot pool up against the foundation or near it.

The look at covering the dryloc with a good latex semi gloss paint. In this case, I would actually recommend exterior paint instead of interior paint. Start with a Gallon for the base color, then small quantities for accents, like painted balloons. flowers or some geometric design. If you have kids that go to an elementary school, you might see this done on their concrete block walls.

Keep the excess paint so that you can change the room anytime you feel creative, and since you will be the only person who goes down there, you don't have to worry about other people judging your work, unless you invite them down to see it.

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