Nobody Wants To See Staining!
Nobody wants to see staining after water penetrates a wall, or the white mineral residue (efflorescence) that evaporating water leaves behind. However, when it comes to all-in-one cleaning, waterproofing, and water management products, there’s no shortage of “miracle” cures for property owners to use. It can be confusing to decide which one is appropriate for the outside of your building.
To combat stains and damage due water absorption, there are a variety of surface treatments available, including some that are commonly referred to as sealers. In fact they are more accurately water repellents. Among the most commonly used on concrete and masonry facades are Silane and Siloxane-based. Silane is able to penetrate deeper into the substrate than Siloxane by entering the pores of the material while still leaving the wall breathable. Conversely, Siloxane deposits somewhat of a barrier (in the form of a thin coating) on the surface of the substrate.
Silane and Siloxane are not considered to be waterproofing materials, or even sealers. They present an imperfect barrier and will not bridge gaps. Additionally, since nothing lasts forever, plan on reapplying water repellents every five to seven years.
A lot of people are unaware of just how much water concrete and bricks can hold. These materials are essentially “rigid sponges” that soak up water. Water repellents can be helpful in protecting buildings from damage, and they have their place, but they will not correct leakage problems. Indiscriminate application of any treatment can cause more problems than it solves