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Article on How to Waterproof Leaking Basements

Difficulty Level: EASY

1. Surface Preparation
Read all label instructions before beginning. Always run a test patch first in an inconspicuous area, to ensure that proper adhesion and drying occurs and the product works to your satisfaction.

Careful and complete preparation will ensure the best results and contribute to the life of the coating. The wall surface must be clean, dry, and free of moss and loose material. Loose or peeling paint should be removed with a wire brush and rough wood surfaces sanded. Concrete surfaces may be prepared by using a disc grinder and carborundum disc or sand blasting. Do not apply over wet, loose or crumbling concrete. Repair the concrete and allow to cure completely. Mildew may be removed with a power washing. New concrete should be allowed to cure for at least 30 days prior to application of this product. Fill all joints or cracks wider than 1/8 inch with Blue Max™ trowel grade coating and filler. Follow all seam-taping instructions. Mask all sensitive areas before starting.

Be sure the concrete is dry before beginning. Drying the basement wall out completely before proceeding will be necessary. Use of a propane space heater as needed may be necessary to complete this task. Construction space heaters may be rented or purchased. Allow proper ventilation. Primer penetration and curing will be dependent on a dry surface.

Seam tape to seal and waterpoof  concrete 2. Prime the Surface and Seamtape Joints and Cracks
Prime the surface with Ames' Blue Max Liquid Rubber. It is important to seam tape all joints and cracks to avoid future cracking and leaking. Our Peel & Stick Seam Tape is a self-adhesive, high-strength, contouring seam tape that is easy to apply. For the best adhesion prime all surfaces with Ames'® Blue Max before applying seam tape. Refer to Ames' Seam Tape application guide for application instructions. Do not use fiberglass or asphalt impregnated seam tape as a substitute. Use only Ames' Tapes. Once the seam tape has been placed over the primer it will be next to impossible to remove. The seamtape is pliable, so it is easy to shape with your fingers, even to corners. Warning! Do not use asphalt sealers. They do not really water proof. Asphalt will simply float over damp surfaces. When the petroleum evaporates the owner is eventually left with nothing but prehistoric animal pigment.

Learn More about Ames' Seam Tape

3. Application
Ames' Block & Wall™ Liquid Rubber or Blue Max may be applied by brush, roller or sprayer. Shake or stir Block & Wall Liquid Rubber prior to use. Apply a minimum of one gallon per 100 sq. ft. per coat. Two coats minimum, three to four is superior. The application must be applied in a continuous, unbroken seal of a minimum dry thickness of no less than 30 mils (the thickness of a dime) over the entire surface.

Good: Prime the concrete surface with one or two coats of Blue Max and then apply one or more coats of Ames' Block and Wall Liquid Rubber coating at a rate of one or two gallons/per/100 square feet. One or two coats of Ames' Block & Wall Liquid Rubber or Blue Max will cover and waterproof in most cases. Use all the product estimated for the job in order to achieve the proper millage.

Better: First prime with Blue Max over the concrete. Then apply two to three coats or three gallons per 100 square feet of Block & Wall Liquid Rubber or Blue Max. Use the entire product to achieve the proper millage.

Best: This type of heavy-duty application is normally used when applied on a below grade surface where a severe waterproofing situation might exist. This procedure is generally used on new commercial building applications where long-term heavy-duty applications might be required. The very best product application is five gallons per 100 sq. ft. or three to five coat application systems necessary for long term waterproofing. In this application fabric can be applied over most smooth surfaces and is generally embedded in the second layer of the liquid rubber. The fabric becomes saturated and is sandwiched in the coating and allowed to dry for additional reinforcement. It applies like fiberglass. The fabric is polyester and shapes like fiberglass and will never rot or deteriorate. This application is nearly impervious to water penetration when properly done and expected to last up to twenty plus years. It can also be applied to concrete or wood surfaces such as concrete roofs where bare concrete has begun to deteriorate. Concrete roofs are often in need of special attention especially in the tropics when rains are heavy and concrete is decomposing. Otherwise this application is usually not necessary unless the surface is in danger of deteriorating since these coatings are extremely elastic. On above grade applications apply two to three coats of Blue Max followed by two coats (2 gallons per 100 square feet) of Ames' Block & Wall waterproofing paint or Ames' Paint and Prime®. Paint and Prime is tintable. It is probably the highest performing latex paint designed for waterproofing in the U.S.

See Our Waterproofing Demonstration

Clean Up, Storage, Disposal and Thinning
Clean up tools and small spills with water. Store unused product in its original can, tightly sealed at 45 to 85 degree F. Dispose of this product in accordance with state and federal and local requirements. Thin with water up to 10%. Prevent from freezing.

Weather & Drying Guidelines
Ames' Coatings are best applied between 40 to 90 degrees F. on warm dry surfaces. Apply when the streets are dry, the sun is in the sky, and no inclement weather is forecast. Dries in 1-2 hours, depending on thickness of application and weather; and cures in 24 hours. Low temperatures, high humidity, and evening or morning dew will require increased drying/curing time.

Ames'® Coatings for Basements

Selected Ames products available at participating Stores. Click for Information and Sku numbers

(Click image for product information)
Ames' Blue Max
Ames'® Blue Max™ is a liquid rubber that dries to a tough, semi-transparent, high-strength elastic membrane
Block & Wall waterproofing sealant for interior and exterior walls both above and below grade Ames'® Block & Wall™ is an acrylic coating for above-grade and exterior applications.
Vapor-Barrier premium rubber coating for basements and foundations Ames’® Vapor-Barrier™ is our premium rubberized elastomeric coating for waterproofing walls. Click to go to Paint & Prime Ames'® Paint & Prime® 25-Year is our interior/exterior, water-base, acrylic latex paint and primer built into a single product.
Click for Block & Wall Liquid Rubber
Ames'® Block & Wall™ Liquid Rubber is a rubber coating for below-grade and interior applications.    
to go to our basement coatings page

Estimated Coverage
Standard product coverage on a smooth surface is 100 sq. ft. per gallon per coat (est. 10ml). More than one coat recommended. More coats equal longer life.

Tools ~ You may need one or more of the following
Ames' industrial-strength coatings are easy to apply for the Do-It-Yourselfer. Most Ames products may be applied by brush, roller, push broom, or sprayer. Depending upon the roughness of the surface, preparation, and the specific application, you may need one or more of the following:

3-4 inch wide paint brush   3-4 inch wide paint brush Scissors or Utility knife   Scissors or Utility Knife
Roller & Handle Roller & Handle Commercial Airless Sprayer Commercial Airless Sprayer
       (click for specifications)
Ames Seam Tape Ames' Seam Tape    

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