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Waterproofers Waterproofing is a smart strategy to protect decks, patios, fencing, garage floors, wood siding and more. Water, sunlight and mildew can do serious damage to untreated wood surfaces. Similarly, wind-driven rain and ice can pound on a driveway and ground water can seep into your home and wreak havoc with basement walls. There are many types of waterproofing products on the market, but materials that protect wood and masonry are the two most common types. Keep the following questions in mind as you consider the wide array of waterproofers available:

        • Do you want a waterproofer that will protect wood from mildew?
        • Is your deck or patio exposed to direct sunlight?
        • Are you treating your basement walls for water damage?
        • Do you know how to prepare a wall before applying waterproofer?
        • Will a clear or colored stain look more attractive on your wood decking?

Uses, Types and Application Tips

Water is essential to life, but too much of a good thing can become a powerful force for destruction. In order to prevent damage to wood and concrete surfaces both inside and outside your home, applying a waterproofing solution can help keep decks, porches, patios and basements looking great for years to come. You’ll want to learn about the different options available to treat both wood and masonry. In addition to reducing damage from water, many waterproofers also provide protection from harmful UV rays and sun damage. As another benefit, some contain pigments that can enhance the appearance of any surface with a splash of color. Discover the uses, benefits and applications of waterproofers to ensure that you find the right solution for your wood or concrete surface.
Wood Waterproofing: When moisture comes in contact with wood, cracks occur. Ultraviolet (UV) rays on wood siding are also damaging as they cause discoloration and speed up wear by breaking down wood fibers. Scratches caused by feet traffic and deck chairs, mold or mildew from leaves that accumulate in damp corners and ground-in dirt all wear down a patio or deck before its time. Even pressure treated decks can benefit from waterproofing. A two-step process of cleaning and waterproofing is your best bet to improve the appearance of wood items and prevent further damage.
        • Waterproofers help prevent cracking, warping and splitting of wood decking, patios, siding and more
        • Some waterproofers contain chemical inhibitors and color pigments that block UV rays and prevent
          sun damage
        • Deck cleaners eliminate mold and mildew and waterproofers with mildewcides help prevent regrowth 
        • Waterproofing enhances the appearance of your deck by bringing out the natural beauty of the wood or
          by adding a bit of color
        • Some exterior stains feature built-in waterproofing so no additional product is needed – check the
          manufacturer’s instructions to make sure
Wood Waterproofers: When selecting a waterproofer, you have the option of either oil- or water-based solutions. Oil-based products generally last longer because they penetrate the wood more deeply than water-based finishes. Water-based finishes, however, are easier to clean. They are also more flexible upon application as damp wood can accept a water-based finish whereas oil-based finishes require wood to be completely dry before applying.
        • A clear finish allows the natural beauty of the wood grain to shine through
        • UV rays penetrate clear finishes more quickly causing damage
        • The more pigment a finish has, the greater the UV protection
        • Solid-color finishes block UV rays but can show wear more quickly 
        • Pigmented finishes can show lap marks or uneven application more easily
Masonry Waterproofing: Masonry waterproofers prevent water from seeping through cracks in basement walls, garage floors, patios, concrete block walls, swimming pools and fountains. They can often prevent damage before it occurs by providing a tough water barrier. This type of waterproofer can also be used after water damage has already occurred. Existing water damage can be identified by white chalky streaks on concrete blocks or walls, which are actually calcium salt deposits that water brings to the surface. Use masonry waterproofer inside your basement or outside a home to protect exterior surfaces, such as driveways, sidewalks and other concrete structures, from wind-driven rain.
        • Water seepage into a basement occurs because of poor workmanship, the natural settling of a house on
          its foundation or excessive water pressure
        • Waterproof sealer penetrates and bonds to masonry to stop leaks that allow water to enter and cause
          irreparable harm
        • Waterproofers are more durable than sealants – sealants protect concrete from moisture but do not stop
          water movement through concrete from the outside
        • If there are no holes or cracks in the surface you are waterproofing, waterproofer can be directly applied
        • If a surface shows signs of damage, repair the holes or large cracks before applying waterproofer
Masonry Waterproofers: Choosing a masonry waterproofer depends upon the type of material you are sealing and the desired effect. True waterproofing materials stop the flow of water through concrete, retard the transmission of water vapor and resist radon gas. Sealants, however, are only designed to repel water. Masonry waterproofers are available as clear, penetrating coatings, pigmented coatings and film-forming products. All are available in both water- and oil-based formulas.
        • Waterproofers stop the flow of water through concrete while sealers only repel water
        • Clear sealers can enrich the color of a masonry surface but are usually invisible
        • Pigmented coatings are similar to semi-transparent paint or solid-color wood stains
        • Pigmented coatings are available as either sealers or waterproofers
        • Film-forming coatings act as waterproofers and are useful for sealing leaky basement walls
Application Tips: Before sealing wood or masonry, you must prepare the area for application. If wood or masonry is not properly cleaned, the waterproofer will not adhere and won’t last. For best results, consult the manufacturer’s instructions before beginning your project.

Application Tips




Existing surfaces • Use a general cleaner to remove dirt,
  mold, mildew or clear, oil-based
  waterproofer that has  weathered
• Use a more powerful solution to
  remove weathered, tinted waterproofer,
  semi-transparent stain or water-based
• Use stripper to remove solid stains 
• Keep pressure washer PSI under 1,200
  to prevent damage to wood
• Protect surrounding vegetation by
  wetting with a hose and covering
  with a tarp
• Remove existing paint or other coatings
  by scraping, sandblasting, sanding,
  wire-brushing,pressure washing,
  chemicals or a combination of these
• Repair hairline cracks with waterproofing
• Repair larger cracks by cleaning out and
  patching with mortar
• Mist area with fine spray before applying
New surfaces • Allow new lumber to lose its mill
  glaze – wait 2 to 3 weeks so
  the surface can weather
• New concrete must cure a minimum of
  30 days
Hinge • Eye protection
• Rubber gloves
• Eye protection
• Protective apparel
• Skin protection
Tools • Brush
• Garden sprayer
• Airless sprayer
• Brush
• Sander
• Scraper  



Clear, Multi-Surface Waterproofer: Clear, multi-surface waterproofers are used on both wood and masonry to stop water damage. However, they do not include mildewcides, pigments or UV blockers. If you apply this product to wood, it turns a weathered gray over time.
Clear Waterproofer for Wood: These products are specifically designed for wood and usually include mildewcides and help wood resist fading. Clear waterproofers enhance the natural wood grain appearance. Reapply these products every one to two years.
Tinted Waterproofer for Wood: Tinted wood waterproofers also contain mildewcides but offer greater UV protection because they contain pigment. The color or tint enhances the wood color and allows the wood grain to show through. Reapply these products every two to three years.
Clear Masonry Sealer: Masonry sealers do not provide true waterproofing qualities. However, they do repel water and allow water vapor to move through the material. Apply these products to brick, concrete, block, stucco or other masonry material.
Pigmented Masonry Waterproofer: Pigmented waterproofers are similar to stains and change the color of the masonry material while also providing waterproofing. These products can be applied to any masonry surface.
Film-Forming Coatings: These masonry products resemble paint finishes – from sheen to satin to gloss. These products resist water pressure behind the film they create when applied. Use film forming coatings to seal leaky basement walls. As masonry sealers, these products typically last the longest.