Re: New to DCC


Hello Mark:

I helped renovate our 1900 basement in Iowa as a kid, late 1960s. We visited a painting contractor friend of Dad's and he taught us a paint mix for the stone walls. First patch the holes and cracks with a thick mix of latex paint and Portland Cement. Then two coats of latex paint, silicone sand and Portland Cement, to a pancake consistency. Since it was white paint this make the basement look great and really help sell the place. I believe it helped dry it out too.

Now I use the paint / cement mix for railroad scenery, I'm doing two workshops at Salt Lake City this Summer at the convention.

I do like the idea of the cement board, I would think plastic deck lumber would be less work than paint 2x4s.

In South Carolina's Low Country basements are a bad idea, so my railroad is in the back of the garage, on a 3' platform, so high above possible flooding.


On 2/11/2019 12:16 PM, Mark Cartwright via Groups.Io wrote:

And I hope I don't get dinged on this being Off - Topic but I can't stress enough my agreement with DonV for sealing your Basement walls.
Running in my case 2 x 3's along the outer perimeter walls, installing a combination of Fiberglass as well as spray in insulation and then refinishing it off with ?
Water Proof Wall Board.
I am using 36" x 60" Hardiebacker Cement Wet Area Board. I also sealed the wood 2x3's with Rustoleum Enamel. Then I paint the Hardiebacker Board with Rustoleum again and again...
In which ever color I can get cheap from nearby Habitat Restores.
Old Rustoluem is thicker and hence is perfect for such a project.
(I suggest buying new if a final smooth finish is important.)
One of the reasons for choosing this board...The base wall is 60 inches high so each board fits without cutting.
Cutting Cement Board ?
I don't recommend it and if you do...Wear a serious mask. I found the use of a Sawsall with a fine metal cutting blade to work the best as low speeds, which tends to create less cement dust. Sorry a Painter's Mask won't do it...and upon those rare occasions you do need to cut, keep your exposure to the dust at a minimal of time for the entire day, perhaps the entire week - Allowing your body and breathing passages to expurgate the dust.
However ?
With all the above said....I found the 25x50 foot basement in my 1908 House, the neighborhood and life in general to be too much for me at times....
Along with the Humidity, Peat Dust and Tiny Critters of the Central Valley.
Last May, I basically abandoned that layout basement space for a totally different one -  Above Ground. Less than a mile,  away, this house, neighborhood and above ground Layout Room is nearly a whole other experience.
We can get sudden flooding in California, with several inches of rain falling within a few minutes.
These rare occurrences where apt to cause water to seep through the basement walls and cause the floor to gain upwards of a quarter inch of water.
That is until...
I set in a 6 inch line of perforated drainage line along both sides of the house, to the front of the house, draining into a pair of French Drains under the front lawn. Once I accomplished this installation on both sides of my house with a slight angle down to the front lawn...The water coming through the walls (for over a Century) stopped.  These leaks left cracks in the walls. I used a two part epoxy from Simpson Strong Ties to close these cracks. I further sealed the walls as best as I could with old cans of Rustoleum Enamel.
But I must say....
I was unable to hold myself back....
I simply couldn't wait til I have completed the basement before I began my Basement Empire Layout.
This was somewhat of a Mistake...
For I found myself fighting dust, humidity and small dust critters while trying go determine why my LokSound Equipped Sound Decoders were resetting...along with other issues such as too tight of a radius for my Brass (DCC Sound Equipped) Locomotives. to take a Train over an Operating Bascule Bridge.
There are simply too many distractions in the World today; and I found it particularly disquieting trying to concentrate in such an environment.
I found solace in reading The Model Railroader magazine to a time before World War II, when such basements were in vogue.
Hope this helps.
:)) Mark


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