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.
Wondering what it is, how it works, what are its benefits and drawbacks, how you should apply it on the substrate, and much more. Worry not, 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?
DRYLOK offers a range of versatile products that serve as both finishing coats and primers. The texture of these products has been likened to a blend of maple syrup and latex paint.
This unique characteristic allows you to effortlessly waterproof and paint your garage walls using Drylok. Some of the most common products 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 also comes in various colors, but if you’re not happy with the options, you can simply add another coat of your preferred latex paint on top.
For many folks, the next move after using 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.
Benefits of Drylok
Applying this product is a breeze, thanks to its smooth and creamy consistency.
Also, with Drylok’s convenient one-step application, it saves you valuable time. No more hassle of pre-wetting the surface or stocking up on extra pails when mixing by hand. Simply apply it to dry or slightly damp surfaces and experience the difference.
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.
Moreover, if you have a wall that keeps leaking water, it’s not a good idea to use DRYLOK waterproofing sealant – it won’t cure properly. Instead, for those persistently wet areas, go for DRYLOK® Wet Wall Primer.
|Lowers humidity level||Can cause mold growth|
|Protects from water damages||Not a permanent waterproofing solution|
|Cost-effective waterproofing solution||Should not be used on walls that stay wet all the time|
|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 deserves your attention to ensure the product works as intended.
If your walls are already painted with oil-based or latex paint, you must remove it first to allow proper adhesion of Drylok. If you are covering bare walls, thoroughly clean 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.
Unless your walls are dirty and stained, you will be fine using a milder alkaline-based cleaning agent. But if you need an aggressive cleaner you can use muriatic acid or phosphoric acid which should be applied directly to the stain as a last resort.
Step 2. Fill in the holes and cracks
If you don’t take the time to fill in any gashes in the concrete with a good masonry crack filler, it may cause problems for you down the line because of the water getting into the walls on a regular basis.
There are plenty of options (including the brand Drylok makes), as long as they are made for use with concrete blocks, they will all get the job done just fine.
To repair the cracks and holes, you’ll need to squeeze some crack filler into them and clean off any extra product with a rag. If you see a hole that’s deeper than a centimeter, it’s best to fill it in layers, letting each layer dry before adding another. And if you want a nice, smooth finish, grab some sandpaper to smooth it down afterward.
Step 3. Apply the Drylok to the walls
There are mainly two parts to painting a wall with Drylok. The first is painting the main area, and the second is the edges. Doing this is much like painting any other surface.
To put the thick Drylok masonry waterproofer coating on your large primary wall surface, stir it well and then use a heavy-duty masonry brush that tends to be coarser than your average paintbrush.
You can even spray the Drylok provided you use a large nozzle (bigger than the usual size) and aim for an even coat when applying. Make sure to move quickly so that you don’t get any build-up in one spot. Also, be sure to overlap your strokes slightly to ensure a completely sealed surface.
For applying Drylok paint to the edges of the wall, it’s best to choose a masonry roller with a minimum of a .75-inch nap. This allows you to soak up plenty of paint so that it can be spread quickly over the rough edges 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.
How Much Area Will It Cover?
With a single gallon, you can cover an impressive 75 to 100 square feet area of a single wall. But for that extra layer of protection, it’s advised to put at least two coats which will then need about 1.5 gallons of Drylok to safeguard a single garage wall.
The actual coverage you get will depend on the porosity of the surface and 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
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.
Additionally, there are a few other things to know about Drylok before you commit to using it. These include:
- You can put Drylok on slightly damp walls. But for best results, put it on dry masonry walls which must be bare, clean, and completely dry to the touch before application.
- 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 well-stirred 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.
Before the application, also keep in mind that 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’s advised that you use Drylok as a base coat in white and then add a finishing coat of any color you like after that.
Can You Put Drylok Over Existing Paint (And Vice Versa)?
The answer isn’t as simple as “Yes” or “No” because DRYLOK® can be used over the old layer of extreme Drylok and other cementitious-type waterproofing paints that are in good paintable condition and not peeling.
However, it can’t be used over oil-based or latex paints inside a building. If you do so, the newer coat will not be very effective in preventing moisture and 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.
Also, if you need to you can put linoleum or tiles over the DRYLOK® Floor & Wall Masonry Waterproofer formula to make it look nicer. Do not forget to use a sealant between any seams in tiling or linoleum to ensure that no water seeps through and for a more permanent solution.
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 and using the right tools, 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.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.