...because home doesn't happen overnight.

concrete waterproofing

A few weeks ago when we were cleaning up the exterior of our home Steve remembered we hadn’t yet sealed the concrete walks and patios that were installed over a year ago. Oops! After a little research we decided to try a new (to us at least) waterproofing agent, Behr Premium Protector & Waterproofer. It’s a water-based, silicone waterproofing agent that forms a barrier within the surface but allows trapped water vapors to escape. And it’s guaranteed to protect the surface for 10 years. Had we known how miraculous this stuff is, I would have documented the application with my real camera. But we didn’t know what we know now so all I have to share are crummy phone pics. My apologies.

You can find out more about the application process here but it’s pretty straightforward and easy enough for even a DIY novice. Steve used a garden sprayer to apply the sealer and large pieces of cardboard to protect nearby surfaces from overspray. He let it cure for two days before testing it out. The first time he sprayed a little water on the newly sealed concrete he yelled for me to come look.

concrete waterproofing 2

The water immediately bubbled up into these crazy amoeba-like droplets and proceeded to “roll” to the nearest low spot. It reminded me of the way mercury rolls around. The boys thought it was so cool and played with the water droplets, pushing them around with their fingers. The results were almost freakish but it was quite obvious that the waterproofer was doing its job. We made my dad and grandpa (who are both lifelong, hardcore DIYers) witness the results for themselves, too. They were AMAZED. They said they had never seen anything like it.

Anyway, I thought maybe you hadn’t either and that it was worth mentioning in case anyone out there is considering a DIY concrete waterproofing project in the near future. Or if you just want to watch water do its best cytoplasm impression. Sometimes DIY is cool.

FYI – This post was not sponsored in any way. This stuff is just really, really awesome.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

19 Comments

06.June.2014

My husband is a professional waterproofer, and I would never think to use a product like Behr, but it looks quite impressive! Thanks for sharing.

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That’s actually quite impressive. I’m going to need to think about that for my new place. it’s a rental but it’s Seattle so the amount of rain might warrant the investment!

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06.June.2014

Maybe this is a dumb question, but I’ve never heard of waterproofing concrete before. What are the benefits of doing something like this? Isn’t concrete made to get wet?

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replied on June 6th, 2014

Yes curious too! Never thought you needed to seal outdoor concrete.

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replied on June 6th, 2014

I’m in on the “dumb question”. Is it just for stain protection? Does it help with freezing so the concrete doesn’t crack during winter? Does it protect from salt damage? Or does salt damage the life of this product?

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replied on June 6th, 2014

I was gonna ask the same question. Is this product usually used for foundation walls that might be exposed? We’re doing stucco repair right now so I’ve got that kind of water proofing on the brain. :)

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replied on June 6th, 2014

Glad I’m not the only one to ask this question! I had the same thought b/c we have a lot of concrete patio and pool deck area that just, you know….gets wet. : )

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replied on June 6th, 2014

Sealers or waterproofers can lengthen the life of concrete – at least in our midwestern climate. They protect the concrete from freeze-thaw damage, salt corrosion and staining. Those are the main reasons why we, personally, seal concrete hardscaping.

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06.June.2014

That’s pretty awesome. My parents just moved into a house with a big concrete patio, so this might be worth looking into for them. Thanks!

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06.June.2014

Hi – I haven’t received any emails since May 1. Am I still on the list?

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replied on June 6th, 2014

I’ve heard from a few readers saying they haven’t been receiving emails recently. It seems they all use feed burner and that it is affecting other blogs too – not just House*Tweaking. Is this true for you as well? I’m trying to look into it.

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replied on June 6th, 2014

Actually, yes. Thanks for your response. I look forward to receiving your blog regularly in the future.

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06.June.2014

A year a ago I Pinned a link to a new spray on product that you could spray on work shoes and boots that allowed mud to literally slide off. It was mostly geared to the industrial market (the industry I’m in) but I remember thinking ‘my god I need that for my kids shoes and for their baseball and football pants’. Fast forward a year and it looks like the products are finally reaching mass markets. Using nano technology, the coatings are hydrophobic which repel water almost unbelievably. The videos on this website are almost unbelievable to watch. Called Ever Dry, it is amazing how the water runs off of things! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/278167714456798808/

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06.June.2014

Ahh I am up to my neck in research for our new concrete counters and how to waterproof/protect/seal them. I’ve read a bit about Behr but I’m trying to find out if it’s food safe… I use cutting boards anyway and really I’m just concerned about the area around the sink so maybe I’ll have to try this out!

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replied on June 6th, 2014

Oh, don’t use Behr for countertops. Go with a Professional product. LifePaint makes a FDA approved sealer for concrete countertops. It’s even used in commercial kitchens.

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replied on June 7th, 2014

I wa hoping to find something on Amazon instead of having to find a special supplier. I’m on the West Coast and haven’t seen Life Paint at any stores. My first choice right now is Safecoat Acrylacq which YHL used but it’s pretty pricey so back to researching I go…

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replied on June 6th, 2014

I don’t believe this is food safe.

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06.June.2014

As a biologist-turned-stay-at-home-mom, I appreciate your use of “cytoplasm” in this post.

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08.June.2014

This is exactly what we need so thank you! We had our patio sealed last year when it was first completed, but it needs resealed and we have been debating for a couple months what to use. I see our June project. :)

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