Pros and Cons of DRYLOK for Sealing Garage Walls

pros and cons of using drylok

Sealing and waterproofing your garage is essential, especially if you live in a wet or humid area.

If you don’t waterproof the garage walls, you run the risk of water getting in and causing puddles or, worse, outright flooding.

You can take advantage of several different waterproofing paints – but DRYLOK tends to be the most popular.

What it is, how it works, what are its benefits and drawbacks, how you should apply it on the substrate, and much more. I will discuss them in the article below…

What is DRYLOK?

DRYLOK® is simply a masonry waterproofer made with cement and a latex or oil base paint.

It applies smoothly and quickly, much like paint.

And is formulated for waterproofing all kinds of interior as well as exterior surfaces, including stucco, decorative brick, stone facades, retaining walls, porous terra cotta, cinder, concrete blocks, floors, foundations, and basement walls.

You can also use Drylok products for waterproofing fish ponds and birdbaths.

But it’s not a recommended product to be used on surfaces like wood or plywood. You will hardly see any success with it on wooden surfaces.

How does the product work?

The DRYLOK products can act as a finishing coat and primer. The texture has often been described as somewhere between maple syrup and latex paint.

Because of this, you can treat Drylok as a simple way to both waterproof and paint a wall in your garage.

Some of the most common DRYLOK products that you can use are:

  • DRYLOK® Original Concrete & Masonry Waterproofer
  • DRYLOK® Powdered Masonry Waterproofer
  • DRYLOK® Wet Wall Bonding Primer
  • DRYLOK® Floor & Wall Masonry Waterproofer
  • DRYLOK® Extreme Concrete & Masonry Waterproofer
  • DRYLOK® Siloxane 7 Brick & Masonry Penetrating Sealer

Drylok is also available in several different colors. Still, if you aren’t satisfied with what’s available, you could instead add another finishing coat of your choice of latex paint on top of it.

For many people, the next step after applying Drylok is to add drywall, so it isn’t that big of a concern.

Drylok Waterproofing – Pros and Cons

Many homes built in the last three or four decades have foundations made of concrete blocks.

This foundation is solid and, perhaps most importantly, very inexpensive to produce and use.

Unfortunately, this popular foundation material is also remarkably porous.

Because of this, when the weather forecast calls for stormy weather, the wind will drive the rain against the house, where it can seep anywhere it can manage.

Water seeping through a concrete block foundation can cause severe damage. And that’s where products like Drylok come into play.

If you don’t use one of the waterproofing products like DRYLOK, it could also serve as a breeding ground for toxic mildew and mold to form.

The less water allowed to enter your house because of DRYLOK coating, the better your chance of not dealing with the possible serious consequences.

Drawbacks of Using Drylok

The only disadvantage of using Drylock is its toxic nature. Since the product contains several VOCs, it can be harmful if inhaled.

If you plan on using Drylock, be sure to ventilate the area well and use a respirator mask to avoid any allergic reaction.

Lowers humidity levelCan cause mold growth
Protects from water damagesNot a permanent waterproofing solution
Cost-effective waterproofing solution
It helps reduce the smell from basement walls
Doesn’t need a professional for the application

Applying Drylok to Seal Your Garage Walls

Following are the steps you should take to waterproof your garage walls with Drylok sealer properly.

Step 1. Prepare the walls

Though this part can be time-consuming, it is pretty simple, and it deserves your attention to ensure the product works as intended.

If your walls are already painted with oil-based or latex paint, first, you must remove them. Otherwise, the product won’t stick properly.

If you are covering bare walls, the first thing you need to do is thoroughly clean all of the surfaces that you intend to paint.

You may notice white streaks on your concrete blocks if the house is older – it’s called efflorescence.

This occurs when moisture has entered the concrete block and left behind minerals and salt that discolor the block.

If you see any of this, you’ll need to clean it away first. Otherwise, Drylok may have a difficult time trying to stick to such a coating.

You can use muriatic acid if you need an aggressive cleaner for the concrete, but this is only recommended as a last resort.

In truth, unless your walls are dirty and stained, you will be fine using a milder cleaning agent.

Step 2. Fill in the holes and cracks

If you don’t take the time to fill in any gashes in the concrete, it may cause problems for you down the line.

If you don’t, water can still get into the walls regardless of whether or not the paint has been applied.

Remember that Drylok waterproofing sealant can take as long as 4 to 5 hours to dry completely, so if you hope to get the entire project done in a single day, this is doable.

You can use just about any masonry crack filler, including the brand Drylok makes.

There are plenty of options, but so long as they are made for use with concrete blocks, they will all get the job done just fine.

You will have to squeeze some crack filler into the cracks and holes and clean away any excess product.

If you notice the hole is larger than a centimeter deep, you should fill in the cracks in multiple layers, letting each application dry before adding another.

If you want a nice, smooth finish, you’ll need sandpaper to smooth it down after the act.

The main takeaway is that you must fill in the cracks before you begin to paint. Otherwise, you will come to regret it later.

Step 3. Apply the Drylok to the walls

Doing this is much like painting any other kind of surface.

There are mainly two parts to painting a wall with Drylok. The first is painting the main area, and the second is the edges.

For applying Drylok to the edges, it is best to get a small roller to take care of the job.

Choose a masonry roller that has a minimum of a .75-inch nap. This will allow it to soak up plenty of paint so that it can be spread more quickly over the rough surface of the concrete blocks.

The kind of paint tray you choose isn’t all that important. You can use any spare one from a different paint job, and it’ll do the trick just fine.

You could use a bristle brush to paint Drylok on your large primary surface.

A masonry brush has a heavy-duty feel and tends to be coarser than your average paintbrush. They must be this way; otherwise, the concrete wall is rough enough that it will tear through a typical paintbrush.

No matter where you plan to put the Drylok masonry waterproofer coating, it’s essential to use the right tools and the right application methods following the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

using drylok on garage walls

How Much Area Will it Cover?

Remember that this product goes on quite thick and is applied the same way you’d paint anything else.

You can cover around 75 to 100 square feet of wall with a single gallon.

However, to apply the two coats of Drylok, you’ll likely need about 1.5 gallons to cover a single wall in the garage.

This could be a bit pricey by the end, but ultimately, you will pay less for Drylok than you would pay to fix a flooded garage.

Things to Remember Before Applying Drylok

There are, however, a few things to know about Drylok before you commit to using it. These include:

  • The walls must be bare, clean, and completely dry to the touch before you begin to apply Drylok.
  • You can put Drylok on slightly damp walls, but for best results, put it on dry masonry walls.
  • Drylok sticks to any oil- or latex-based paints, but it will not waterproof a concrete garage wall coated with these types of paint.
  • It has a warranty lasting for 18 years, so you should be all set for the time you live in your house.
  • Two coats of Drylok will need to be applied for the product to be protected by the warranty.
  • Also, if the substrate is submerged underwater, at least two coats should be applied with 24 hours of a difference between the coatings.

You can tint Drylok to look how you like it, but this isn’t recommended, as it could interfere with the waterproofing components and ruin the seal.

Instead, it is recommended that you use Drylok as a base coat in white and then add a finishing coat of any color you like after the act.

Can You Put Drylok Over Existing Paint (And Vice Versa)?

The answer isn’t simple as “Yes” or “No” because DRYLOK® can be used over other cementitious-type waterproofing paints that are in good condition and can be repainted.

However, DRYLOK® can’t be used over oil-based or latex paints inside a building.

If you want, you can apply Drylok over the old layer of extreme Drylok, provided the old coating is not peeling and is in good paintable condition.

That said, if you plan to apply Drylok coating over old existing paint, the newer coat will not be much effective in preventing moisture – it also tends to lose its waterproofing abilities with time.

This is because the paint will prevent the waterproofing Drylok chemicals from penetrating the surface, which makes the surface waterproof.

Can you paint over Drylok?

According to the company, DRYLOK® makes an ideal base coat and can be easily painted over with latex paint.

Just make sure you wait at least 24 hours before putting on the top coat color of your choice.

The Bottom Line

Drylok is a great way to waterproof your garage walls and keep them looking new for years to come.

Following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your garage stays dry and protected from the elements.

Have you ever used Drylok to seal and waterproof your garage walls? Let us know how it went.

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