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Crumbling Basement walls

I'm a trustee for a small country church. We have a problem with our basement walls. They are crumbling on the interior side. Not all of them but quite a few of them. The church (probably built in the mid to late 1800's) was moved from it's original location (by horses and logs). They built a basement at the new site, using blocks that were made on site. We have tried using different interior coatings to keep the blocks from crumbling, but have not had any luck.
We are a small congregation with limited funds. Does anyone have any suggestions? The church (Fowlerton United Methodist Church) is located in east central Indiana (Grant county). Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Re: Crumbling Basement walls

It's difficult to tell over the internet what the situation is and likely you may need to have a professional evaluate the issue.

A guess .... there may be an issue with outside drainage problems and water is deteriorating the blocks from the outside to inside.

Just a suggestion. :)

Re: Crumbling Basement walls

Basement has a perimeter drain. When it rains hard, water does come into the basement. We have a sump pump to pump it out. The block walls that are crumbling the most are not the walls where water seems to come into. Actually, it looks like the rain water comes in where the floor and wall meet. With our limited funds, I doubt we could afford to hire a professional. Any fix will have to be a DIY.

Re: Crumbling Basement walls

Moving churches must be a popular thing for the Methodists (that and covered dish dinners)! Our UM church was also moved to its current site although not nearly as long ago as yours.

We had (and still have) some issues with water on our basement walls as well. Some was from the outside drainage not being good enough but some was from poor flashing around windows and the base of the siding. Water was running down behind the siding on the sheathing and getting to the block walls that way. There are still a few spots that need to be worked on, our financial situation is the same as yours and we can only do so much at a time ourselves.

Are the problem spots below windows or doors? Or is there a way to check the integrity of the siding above the problem areas?

Re: Crumbling Basement walls
JPhillippe wrote:

With our limited funds, I doubt we could afford to hire a professional. Any fix will have to be a DIY.

You aren't alone in this, check with your United Methodist Association to see if there's a contractor in another congregation who can come in and "consult" for a tax deduction.

There are lots of organizations who come to build or rebuild churches. I bet theres at least one foundation contractor in the phone book who would either barter services or reduce the fee to an affordable payment with a tax deduction letter to write off the rest of the cost.

Re: Crumbling Basement walls

Some of the previous advice is worth considering. getting a professional in to evalute the problem doesn't mean they will have to do the work , just tell you what's wrong and how to fix it.
Because you have limited funds it would be a good idea to identify what the problem is , where and how to correct it.
Otherwise you may end up spending what little funds you have on the wrong or partial things and not fixing it.
It's possible like what was already mentioned , that some contractor would do this as a favor or charitable donation for the church.

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