Waterproofing and Moisture Management

InSoFast panels manage water in two ways. First, they prevent water transfer in order to keep dry walls dry. Second, they redirect the flow of trapped water in order to let damp walls become dry. These are two processes that play significant roles in maintaining a healthy living environment.

insofast-moisture-control-channels-demo

  1. Prevention
  2. The body of the InSoFast panel is a closed-cell EPS barrier. This barrier works much the same way as a beverage cozi on a hot day. The uninsulated surface of a cold can collects little beads of moisture due to condensation from the warm atmosphere. Slip a cozi over the can and it acts as a thermal barrier. The atmosphere stays warm, your drink stays cold and moisture stops collecting on the surface because the temperatures between the two have been balanced by the barrier.

  3. Redirection
  4. The back of the InSoFast UX 2.0 panel features a series of drainage channels that prevent water from becoming trapped in a wall system by allowing it to flow out. These channels are specifically-sized cavities that moderate wall pressure so that the wall assembly is continuously drained. Adding a perimeter drainage system to your basement improves the functionality of these channels by providing a space for the water to escape. You may also wish to consider a system for Active Dampness Control (PDF, 740kb).

Recommended Waterproofing Products

Drylok Extreme Waterproofing

drylokextreme

Drylok Extreme Masonry Waterproofer is tested and approved for use with InSoFast Panels (see related information below).

A flexible encapsulated polymer providing the next generation in waterproof coatings. This smooth waterproof paint is perfect for the most demanding conditions including interior, exterior, above or below grade masonry walls, basement walls, retaining walls, foundations, landscape walls, cinder blocks, concrete blocks, bare concrete swimming pools, stucco and brick. It is specially formulated to resist mildew growth on the paint film. It has ability to prevent 12psi of water pressure or a wall of water greater than 26 feet high! Passes ASTM D-7088 Resistance to Hydrostatic Pressure and ASTM D-6904 Resistance to Wind Driven Rain.

Emecole Pene-Seal-Crete

pene-seal-crete

Pene-Seal-Crete is easy to install and will penetrate up to 3 inches into concrete walls. It helps seal out water vapor and soil gasses like radon when applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions. According to the EPA, the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers is radon gas. Pene-Seal-Crete reduces the presence of radon in a home by reacting with concrete’s free lime and forming an expanded crystalline structure beneath the surface. This process fills pores, voids and cracks within the concrete that may or may not be visible to the human eye. It may also be used to permanently densify, strengthen and waterproof new and existing concrete.

Consider sealing concrete floors, as well. If you are doing new construction, it should have a vapor barrier (6 to 15 mill poly) installed directly underneath the slab to help prevent moisture and soil gasses from entering through the slab. If you do not have a vapor barrier under the slab, the use of a moisture and radon sealer such as Pene-Seal-Crete will help create a healthier interior environment.

Related Information

  • Benjamin Ray Griffin

    So I get the drainage plane and I love the blue kool-aid video (I’m starting to drink it figuratively), but with the weep holes on the bottom allowing airflow behind the panels there has to be a loss in effective R-value. I mean…you can’t have your cake and eat it too right? Also, for interior applications are you recommending a Drylok or similar product be installed prior to panels? Finally, do you recommend a french drain system or similar installed on the floor below? Many thanks!

    • Not exactly. There are a few different forces at work in the moisture control channels that prevent a significant exchange of air/temperature, primarily air pressure. You can think of the channels as drinking straws that, in most walls, measure around 8-ft long. To drink or even suck up air through an 8-ft straw would require an amount of pressure that just wouldn’t exist naturally in the wall. Also, the video fails to address a key component of this installation that further stabilizes the wall pressure, which is sealing the channels at the top of the wall.

      As the video suggests, it’s not fully accurate to envision buckets of liquid water in the channel. In real scenarios, the channels are largely acting as a capillary break to prevent atomized moisture from migrating upward. Gravity kicks in to do most of the work drawing it downward, but prevention of water-laden scenarios is always best practice.

      Our panels are designed to integrate very well with Drylock and French drains, but it’s not necessarily a requirement. We generally recommend you address all moisture/water issues before you finish a wall in whatever way is most appropriate. If you haven’t already, check out these pages: What to Know About Basement Insulation and Perimeter Drainage Systems

      • Benjamin Ray Griffin

        Makes perfect sense and thanks for the quick reply! Kudos to your team for the customer service. Nailed it! So the top of the wall should be sealed along the channels. Is this for all scenarios or just exterior? And just to be clear, the bottom of the wall should not be sealed to allow any moisture to weep out…correct? If not, when would you recommend sealing the bottom of the wall?

        • Correct, most exterior building processes involve designing layers to drain over the top or out from underneath. In exteriors, when you are dealing directly with elements such as driving rain, you should seal InSoFast at the top (and any gaps or cracks created throughout the installation) and leave the bottom to drain. For interior installation, all water problems should be fixed beforehand and then everything top-to-bottom should be sealed off from the interior space.

  • Scott

    I have a question about the specific type of Drylok that can be used. I have a couple gallons of the Drylok Oil Based Waterproof paint. Can I use the oil base on the walls in place of the Drylok Extreme?

    • We recommend Drylock Extreme simply because we have tested it ourselves and know it to work. We wouldn’t assume there would be any problems with using the oil-based version, but recommend performing an adhesive test to be certain. Paint a small portion of your wall with the oil-based Drylock, let it cure and then try adhering a block of wood or even a sample of InSoFast to it with the recommended PL Premium 3X. If that works, you should be good to go.

  • We’d recommend determining which of the two will be most affordable, easiest and safest to install. Beyond that, either should work in your situation. The Pene-Seal-Crete is designed to work in conjunction with the lime in concrete to form a deep penetrating seal that that can block out moisture, radon and even help repair sections of your foundation. It may be overkill if your walls are in good condition.

    • Dave cook

      I have 650 sq ft. of wall space that I would like to waterproof. Does one block out moisture better than the other? It looks like EmeSealCrete – Deep Penetrating Concrete Sealer is most cost effective and there is no odor.

      • It would be best to discuss this with the manufacturer, Emecole, to determine if one of their products is better than the other.