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Community and Q&A

Exposed poured concrete foundation wall protection

buckeyetimz | Posted in Expert Exchange Q&A on

We are considering  a home purchase in the Cincinnati, Ohio area (climate zone 5).

The home has a walkout basement.  The majority of the basement is finished.  The home does not have brick along the sides and back of the home to the finish grade.  Thus there are significant portions of exposed poured concrete foundation walls.  For example, there are 9′ high exposed walls on the rear of the home (the home is about 54′ wide).  Thus, there are almost 500 square feet of exposed poured concrete walls on the back of the home, significantly more if you count the exposed sides of the home.

I am concerned about weather degrading the foundation walls.  The exterior poured concrete wall will be exposed to rain (wind-driven rain), snow, ice, sunshine and be susceptible to freeze/thaw cycles.

I want to protect the integrity of these walls and improve the appearance of the walls at the same time.

What products do you recommend to apply to the exposed portions of the poured concrete foundation walls?

I have done some research and found Sherwin Williams Loxon XP might be an acceptable solution.  It is a waterproofing masonry coating but is also breathable.

Is this the best product to apply to the exterior foundation walls?  Is there a better option to coat the exterior foundation walls?  Will this product adequately protect the foundation walls?

Has anyone had experience with this situation and can recommend a product to protect the foundation and improve it’s appearance.  Thank you in advance.

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  1. Expert Member
    Michael Maines | | #1

    The vast majority of homes across the US have concrete foundations, and the vast majority of those do not have anything protecting the concrete. Old concrete often had poor quality control but concrete poured in recent decades should be high-strength, and if you live in a place where it gets cold, the concrete should be air-entrained, with tiny bubbles injected into the mix which help prevent spalling due to water freezing inside the concrete.

    If you don't like the look of that much exposed concrete, you might consider simply painting it with a paint made for concrete and masonry. Professional paint supply stores will have suggestions. Or there are many clear or semi-clear masonry sealers you could use if you want to preserve the existing look.

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