thick flaking white paint and weird vent? : HomeImprovement

Hi all –

I’m starting my journey towards upgrading my garage. I live in Boston and the garage has the front at grade and the back below grade. The foundation is granite block on one side and some kind of concrete or plaster wall between the garage and the (finished) basement. The garage is pretty dry (I have a French drain and sump pump), except when I had a gutter downspout that was clogged and then it seeped through the wall (now fixed).

I have big dreams (epoxy floor, wood framing so I can more effectively hang things) but I’m hoping I can get some help with two specific questions:

  1. There is a ton of flaking white paint. I think it is some kind of either dry lock or fireproof paint. On part of the garage in this photo ( is is pretty darn thick and flaking off in big chunks. The garage door is to the right. Is this something I should worry about? If I’m going to frame the walls with 2×4 (but no panels or drywall) should I scrape it all off and re-paint with DryLock or similar? Does there need to be fireproofing paint?

  2. You can also see in that photo (again, the odd little door between the garage and the finished basement, and to the right of the door is a grate between the two. (You might notice I have a tube snaking through that — that’s from the dehumidifier in the finished basement). What is this grate for? It seems like a bad idea to have airflow between the garage (where we leave the door open often and it can get pretty humid in the summer) and the basement (which I want to keep dry). Any reason not to close it up? And, uh… how would you go about doing that? I’ve patched drywall and added mini drywall panels before but no concrete work except fence posts.


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