Most quality waterproof paints do the job they were intended for.

Once your wood, cinder block or concrete surfaces are coated, exterior ground water will penetrate the wall or floor but not the paint. As an example, once your walls are treated with a waterproof coating they then become a large sponge holding moisture inside the wood, concrete or cinder block walls until the surfaces have a chance to dry out.


Here's the key question, should you use waterproofing paint in the first place. The answer, in some cases is yes. Basement surfaces that become damp (emphasis on damp not wet) due to the occasional downpour could benefit from being coated.

Of course when I say occasional I'm talking about a one or two time seasonal issue where waterproofing will keep out that small amount of dampness along with helping the walls resist any mold or mildew build up.

Basements that have a recurring wetness problem, in most cases, need an exterior membrane applied to the homes outside walls.

A drain tile system should also be implemented into the house itself, if at all possible. Reason being is that sponge like walls tend to retain water. Retained water and cinder block or concrete do not work well together.

Over time, because your walls are being constantly saturated, they will eventually start to break down and deteriorate.


Eavestrough (gutters) and downspouts (drains) should be repaired if needed. Exterior drainage systems with the help of a professional may also require cleaning. Another thing to keep in mind is the ground around your home should slope away from the house itself.

Fixing cracks or holes in your block or concrete walls is a must and be sure to check all pipes and plumbing to insure that the leakage isn't coming from inside your home.

Yellow pages and of course google maps can help you find a contractor who will remove burrowing critters, dirt and tree roots if needed. Also talk to your local home improvement center regarding products for making repairs. If after the drainage is cleaned, eavestrough fixed and cracks are plugged, your walls still leak then proceed to the Waterproof Painting process below.


Damp walls that are covered with drywall, plastic vapour barrier along with insulation will need to be bare prior to applying your waterproof paint. Wet insulation is rendered useless and wet 2x4/6 should be exposed to see if there is rot and given a chance to dry out.

Wire brush away any peeling, loose or broken paint and concrete along with properly removing mold, mildew (bleach) and dirt or debris that you may find.

Be sure to caulk and fill cracks and holes after the surfaces are clean and dry. Walls that have efflorescence (a white dusty residue) may need acid etching. Ask your waterproofing paint supplier for advice regarding preparation, products tools and materials for the job at hand.


Applying your waterproofing paint is the same procedure as spraying or brushing and rolling any other surface. Have good ventilation along with using the best mold and mildew resistant paint you can buy. Whether you're spraying it on or brushing and rolling the product don't cheap out on quantity.

When it comes to the amount of coats you put on, waterproofing needs the proper thickness to work correctly.


Some waterproof or vapour barrier paints are applied directly to plaster or drywalled walls and ceilings. Such a process is usually used when older homes experience on-going high humidity due to weather conditions.

Waterproofing paint can also be rolled or sprayed onto a concrete basement floor as a moisture barrier between carpeting or a floating floor and the concrete itself.

Follow all manufacturer instructions regarding safety when using and applying the product, including proper air circulation and type of conditions the paint will be applied in.

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