This post was most recently updated on January 30th, 2023
Update for 2023: Water Proof Concrete
In this updated article, we explain How to Water Proof Concrete. If you have encountered any issues and have any suggestions or have any questions, please comment below.
How to Water Proof Exterior Concrete, Brick, and Masonry
When water is able to penetrate the concrete, it can cause all sorts of damage. Water and moisture absorption causes concrete to swell, which can lead to pitting, cracking, and heaving. In colder climates, freeze and thaw damage is a major concern. As the water gets into the concrete and freezes it expands causing major damage if neglected.
To prevent damage to the concrete, the surface should be waterproofed. Waterproofing concrete creates a water repellent barrier to lock out moisture. This stops all water-related damage from occurring. In addition, waterproofing concrete will also prevent spills and stains from penetrating and potentially leaving permanent staining.
To waterproof concrete, the surface should first be cleaned properly. Use a concrete cleaner and a high-pressure washer to remove all dirt, grime, mildew, and other contaminants. Spot treat and clean any oil or grease spots with a degreaser. Clean any irrigation rust with a rust remover. Once the concrete is clean allow it to dry for 1-2 days.
Choose a concrete sealer that best fits your needs. Some sealers penetrate into the concrete pores while others protect by forming a film on top of the surface. You may want to use a waterproof sealer that leaves a gloss or wet look appearance, or you may want something that does not alter the appearance of the concrete at all.
Once the concrete is dry and ready to be waterproofed, use a leaf blower or broom to remove any debris. Mask off any areas where you do not want sealer – like house siding, landscaping, etc. Use a roller or pump sprayer to apply the sealer. Try to work in small sections applying just enough water roof sealer to coat the surface. Do not over apply. Apply one to two coats according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Knowing how to waterproof concrete is a great way to save money by doing the project yourself. Most waterproof concrete sealers are user-friendly and easy to apply. Keep your concrete surfaces looking good and lasting a lifetime with a waterproof protectant.
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As an article and comment contributor to the site, Scott has been around the pressure washing industry since attending college. In 1993 he started his first company called Oakland Pressure Wash specializing in exterior pressure washing, concrete sealing, and deck staining. That company evolved into OPW L.L.C. shortly thereafter concentrating more on exterior restoration. Scott and his restoration Michigan company have restored over 10,000 projects in the Metro Detroit area since the early years. He has become an authority in the restoration industry and has contributed to numerous restoration forums and informative sites.
All the products he suggests through this site are sold through online sites and in retail stores, allowing the consumer to choose their own means of purchase. Scott’s eCommerce sites do sell many top brands he endorses and if you appreciate any of the help he has offered then feel free to purchase from one of them.