Peeling paint in the basement is generally a result of one of three common problems:
High Humidity – You might be surprised to learn that paints and sealers are very porous. When a high humidity level is present in the lower levels of your home, the excessive moisture is absorbed through the porous paint surface and into the masonry behind it. Also, because moisture is absorbed into the masonry surface behind the paint, the water soluble ingredients in the masonry to leach out (known as efflorescence) and crystallize as they dry forcing the paint off the surface.
Improper Surface Preparation – You may have heard that the most important part of any painting job is the preparation. This is true, especially in a basement. If the surface is not completely clean, dry, etc., the paint is not going to adhere to the permanent surface underneath. Paint that is applied on top of dirt, grease, etc only adheres to the dirt, not the surface underneath.
Poor Quality Or Incorrect Paint – Be sure that you purchase paint designed for the type of surface you’re painting and buy high quality paint. As the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for”.
While the EPA states that mold is a cause of peeling paint, it’s not always easy to determine the cause of peeling paint in your basement. An inspection by a professional waterproofing contractor is the best way to identify the cause and solution.