Basements, like other below-grade structures, are prone to moisture. Moisture issues if left unattended can eventually cause structural problems. To prevent this from happening, it is important to waterproof your basement floors and walls.
In this article, I provide information on how to prepare your basement floors for Drylok application, Drylok products that are suitable for use on concrete and masonry, how to apply Drlylok on concrete, and the importance of waterproofing your basement floor.
Drylok Floor and Wall Masonry Waterproofer is the only Drylok waterproofer designed for effective use on floors. This, the Drylok sealers, and floor paints have been specially formulated to resist abrasion and provide a moisture barrier for basement floors.
Drylok Products Designed for Masonry and Concrete
Drylok provides waterproofing solutions for a range of surfaces including concrete, masonry, and cement.
The formulation of Drylok masonry waterproofers isn’t always ideal to use on horizontal surfaces. Likewise, the composition of Drylok floor paints isn’t always suitable for masonry application.
The only Drylok product that provides maximum waterproofing for floors and walls is Drylok Floor & Wall Masonry Waterproofer.
Which Drylok Products Can Be Used on Floor?
The following products are safe to apply on basement floors.
|Drylok Floor & Wall Masonry Waterproofer||Waterproofing||View|
|Drylok Latex Concrete Floor Paint||Painting||View|
|Drylok E1 Latex 1-Part Epoxy Concrete Floor Paint||Painting||View|
|Drylok Non-Skid Additive||Anti-slip||View|
|Drylok WetLook Clear High Gloss Penetrating Sealer||Sealing||View|
|Drylok Natural Look Curing Membrane & penetrating Sealer||Sealing||View|
|Drylok Protector Clear Low Sheen Penetrating Sealer||Sealing||View|
|Drylok Concrete Protector||Protection from salt compounds||View|
|Drylok Fast Plug||Patching||View|
|Drylok Etch||Surface preparation||View|
|Drylok Concrete and Masonry Liquid Etch & Cleaner||Surface preparation||View|
The composition of masonry-focused Drylok products like Drylok Original Masonry Waterproofer and Drylok Extreme Masonry Waterproofer isn’t suitable for application on horizontal surfaces that are subject to foot traffic.
Take a Detour
Difference Between Drylok and Drylok Extreme
Is It Worthwhile to Waterproof My Basement Floor?
Basement floors are vulnerable to water seepage and sometimes flooding. This is because concrete floors are no match for humidity and condensation. If it’s not waterproofed, basement floors might become damp and start to breed bacteria like mildew and mold.
Water seepage and hydrostatic pressure can affect not only the aesthetics but also the structural integrity of a building. So, for maximum results, it’s advised that you first discover the source of the moisture before applying Drylok. Here are the major causes of basement moisture:
- Poor or nonexistent subsurface drainage.
- Water leakage
- Runoff from gutters
- Cracks in the foundation
- Groundwater swelling (and false water tables)
If it’s any of the top five items, you’d have to first deal with the issue so that it does not hinder the waterproofing functions of Drylok. Even if you go ahead and apply Drlylok on the floor, you’ll most likely still experience mustiness.
Suppose that you’re not experiencing moisture issues. Waterproofing your basement floors and walls is still a prudent decision.
It has become common practice to extend the space in a home by converting the basement into bedrooms, a living area, a workspace, or even an entire apartment, and waterproofing makes the basement a lot more habitable.
Even if you have no intention of using the space, a waterproofed basement is easy to maintain. This spares you from the hassle and expense of constantly cleaning up the basement floor. A sealed basement floor is also less likely to produce tons of dust, which spreads around the basement.
Another long-term benefit is that a waterproofed basement increases a property’s resale value.
Should Basement Floor Be Dry Before Applying Drylok?
For maximum results, surfaces should be dry before applying Drylok. This is because Drylok floor waterproofers and sealers adhere better to dry concrete. However, there are exceptions: Drylok Powdered Masonry Waterproofer and Drylok Fast Plug.
After washing the floor to get rid of dirt, grease, dust, and other particulates, leave the concrete to dry for 24 hours. Open the windows and door, if available for improved air circulation. To speed up the process, use a fan or dehumidifier. For faster results, combine a fan and dehumidifier with open windows.
Note that concrete acts like a stone sponge and would most likely trap residual moisture after it is washed during surface preparation. To ensure that the basement floor is completely dry, follow these steps:
- Tape a 12” x 12” piece of aluminum foil tightly to the surface.
- Leave the foil on the concrete and remove it after 24 hours.
- If there is moisture on the side of the foil that’s facing the concrete, that means it isn’t properly dried.
- Open the windows if closed and employ a fan or dehumidifier like you did before.
- Allow to dry for 24 hours and retest.
To be on the safe side, it’s best to apply the waterproofer during rain-free periods.
How to Apply Drylok to Basement Flooring
1. Gather Your Products and Tools
Here are the products and tools that you’ll need to prepare a surface and apply Drylok Floor & Wall Masonry Waterproofer:
|Drylok Fast Plug||View|
|Foam roller 3/8″ nap (alternative to brush)||View|
|Drylok Floor & Wall Masonry Waterproofer||View|
The following products are optional and should be used if required.
|Drylok WetLook Clear High Gloss Penetrating Sealer||View|
|Drylok Natural Look Curing Membrane & penetrating Sealer||View|
|Drylok Protector Clear Low Sheen Penetrating Sealer||View|
|Drylok Non-Skid Additive||View|
|Drylok Concrete Protector||View|
For basements that aren’t subject to hydrostatic pressure, you can paint the basement floor with any of these.
|Drylok Latex Concrete Floor Paint||View|
|Drylok E1 Latex 1-Part Epoxy Concrete Floor Paint||View|
Note that Drylok Floor Paint and Drylok E1 Epoxy paint can also be applied over Drylok Floor & Wall Masonry Waterproofer and over Drylok Fast Plug.
2. Set the Area and Yourself up Safely
The process of preparing a basement floor and finally applying Drylok exposes you to dangerous elements like toxic lead dust and a variety of chemical elements that can affect the skin and even the brain or nervous system.
The first thing you need to do is open the windows for improved air circulation. You can also use fans to improve the ventilation in the basement.
|Protection Needed||Required Safety Equipments|
|Eye protection||Safety goggles (amazon link)|
|Skin and body protection||Protective gloves (amazon link), clothing, and footwear|
|Respiratory protection||NIOSH-approved respirator|
Drylok should be kept away from the reach of children and away from pregnant women.
I mentioned lead dust earlier. You can get exposed to this toxic dust if your preparation involves scraping, sanding, or removing old paint. So, you have to be careful even while preparing the surface.
3. Prepare the Surface
- Remove dust, dirt, grease, and paint from the floor with a wire brush and a heavy-duty detergent. You can also use a paint stripping solvent to get rid of old paint.
- Rinse and allow to dry after you’ve gotten rid of all the dirt and old paint.
- Alternatively, you can wash the floor with a pressure washer and leave to dry for at least 24 hours.
- For areas with efflorescence, powdery salt-like deposits, apply Drylok Etch or muriatic acid until all visible efflorescence is gone.
- Patch cracks and holes with Drylok Fast Plug, or any fast-setting hydraulic cement. Pay attention to the joints where the floor and wall meet.
- Extremely smooth concrete floors aren’t suitable to paint over. To get the paint ready, medium grit sandpaper texture, the concrete should be mechanically abraded or acid etched with Drylok Etch or muriatic acid.
To avoid concrete damage, pressure washers shouldn’t be set above 1750 PSI.
4. Apply the Drylok
Before applying Drylok you should first check the concrete’s porosity level. You can do this by sprinkling a few drops of water on the floor. If the water beads or lays on the surface, additional etching is required. However, if it readily penetrates into the surface then, it is ready to be painted over.
- Stir Drylok thoroughly before and during application.
- If you desire a slip-resistant surface, add 2-4 oz. of Drylok Non-Skid Additive to each gallon of Drylok paint or waterproofer.
- Apply to concrete with a foam roller, nylon bristle brush, or sprayer.
- For Drylok Floor & Masonry Waterproofer, allow the first coat to dry for at least 2 hours. If you’re applying Drylok E1 Epoxy Concrete floor paint or Drylok Latex Concrete Floor Paint, allow the initial coat to dry for a minimum of 4 hours.
- For color uniformity, the second coat should be applied in a cross direction to the first coat.
Air and surface temperature should be over 50°F during Drylok application.
5. Allow to Dry
Drylok should be left to dry for at least 24 hours. However, it can withstand light foot traffic after 4 hours. It shouldn’t be subjected to heavy foot traffic before the 24 hours mark. It can also be covered with flooring and carpeting after 24 hours.
The following factors can affect Drylok’s dry time:
- The thickness of the coat. If the coating is too thick, then it will take longer to dry.
- The temperature during and after application. Temperature that’s below 50°F would demand longer drying time.
- The relative humidity of the room. For instance, a relative humidity that’s above 60% can lead to a longer drying time.
Using Epoxy Resin to Fix Cracks Creatively
The epoxy floor resin can be used not just as a sealant, but also as a cement in some creative ways of sealing floor cracks. These include Kintsugi, pebbles, mosaic tiles, and crushed glass. Using these techniques takes your basement floor from cracked and boring to uniquely styled.
Should I Also Drylok the Basement Walls?
Basement waterproofing involves both the floor and walls. And applying Drylok on basement walls is also important in preventing moisture damage.
Basement walls can retain water and Drylok prevents that moisture from seeping into the basement. Therefore, if you want to avoid or even get rid of that mustiness in your basement then it’s best to waterproof the floor and walls.
There are a variety of Drylok waterproofers that are targeted at basement walls. The two most popular masonry waterproofers are:
- Drylok Original Basement & Masonry Waterproofer (amazon link), which can withstand water pressure of up to 10 PSI (Pounds per inch).
- Drylok Extreme Concrete & Masonry Waterproofer (amazon link), which is designed for more demanding conditions and can withstand water pressure up to 15 PSI.