Latex paint on fieldstone foundation
I’m a new homebuyer, and know little about building science other than what I’ve been able to glean from this blog (thank you!). I’m in the process of buying a house in the northeast that has a fieldstone foundation. When I first saw and put an offer on the house, the basement walls looked fine, but since the weather has been warming, there is evidence of moisture coming through (although it is not clear how much), and most recently, some mold. As it turns out, the seller painted the interior basement walls with a latex paint, which, I have learned, is essentially mold food. I’m now trying to figure out how the basement can be salvaged, without creating a lot of mold.
I had Basement Systems come out, and they recommended installing sheets of polyethylene over the walls to encapsulate them (and channel water to a perimeter drain and sump pump, which they would install). I know how little I know about this stuff, but this suggestion seems crazy to me. You may cover one side of the walls, but it seems to me you’ll be creating an ideal area for mold behind the polyethylene, and it could very well propagate upwards into the walls of the house. Am I wrong about this?
The seller suggested simply spraying closed-cell spray foam over the walls (with the latex paint underneath). I’m concerned that the water will keep coming, dislodge the latex paint, and with it the spray foam. Does this seem like a good solution?
The other option is trying to get the latex paint off the walls, and after that’s done, simply installing a dehumidifier. But the seller is balking at the difficulty of removing the paint from the fieldstone.
Any hints anyone has will be very greatly appreciated.
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