Pros:Cost, Protects Multiple Surfaces
Cons:Durability, Messy Cleanup
The Bottom Line: I was disappointed using Thompson's Water Seal. I expected longer durability and better coverage. I am going back to Weathermax.
I really dont know how many winters I have left in me. Living the northeast comes up with to get ready for the impending winter, fraught with all the preparations a homeowner has to endure to assure he has a home in the spring. One of those jobs that I always struggle to find an excuse not to do is waterproofing a masonry patio, cedar trellises and an attached cedar arbor. I personally would have opted for white marine paint and have called it a day, but to no avail; the compromises we make for marital harmony. After an extended search for Weathermax products I decided to try Thompson's Water Seal Water
Recommend this product?
A Closer Look
My application called for a multi use product and Thompson's fit the bill nicely as it is appropriate for wood and masonry. After reading the application chart I realized that I would require 3 gallon containers to cover 600 sq. ft. of brick patio surface @ 275 sq. ft per gallon and perhaps another gallon to cover the cedar surfaces.
As with any sealant, you need to thoroughly clean the surfaces intended for treatment which is another moving part of this equation calling for pulling the pressure washer out of the garage and another 2-3 hours of prep work; oh joy! Once you have completed clearing all the surfaces of dirt mildew and whatever else manages to mar the pristine look of these otherwise natural looking surfaces, you are ready to roll. Generally you want to wait approximately 24 hours after applying water to these surfaces and you need to pay particular attention that you are clear of rain for at least 24 hours and that the weather will hold at above 40 degrees for at least 48 hours.
It is highly recommended that you cover all plantings that could come in contact with overspray as this is a petroleum product and will certainly render your tender plantings into twisted and withered mulch. This is indeed a process!
You can apply the Thompson's product with a brush, roller or my preferred method, a sprayer. The consistency of Thompson's Water Seal water like and it adapts quite nicely to a pump or electric sprayer. Spraying the product is a simple process keeping in mind that you need to allot a specific quantity of the sealer for your application. The manufacturer recommends a small patch test to see if the surface is porous enough to accept the Thompson's.
Once underway the patio job goes easily and moves at a nice clip. In about 15 minutes I found I had applied the proper amount of Thompson's to the brick surfaces and was now ready to tackle the cedar surfaces. This proved to be a real challenge. I found quickly that I had to move to both a roller and brush and lost all hope of just waltzing past this part of the project. The consistency of the Thompson's worked against me here. The water like consistency caused dripping on the vertical surfaces of the trellis and arbor and I had to take particular care laying tarps about the work area. This part of the job took on more of a painting scenario than a quick walk in the park, the patio had presented. No, we werent in Kansas anymore here, this was work. I found that applying approximately 1 gallon to the wood surfaces took 2.5 hours and a great deal of cursing all the while giving the marine paint a second thought.
Since Thompson's Water Seal
As this is a petroleum based product you can imagine cleanup is a tricky proposition. I used a thinner on my hands, wooden surfaces and glass; it was messy applying this product on the cedar surfaces! I chose to toss the brushes and roller than to deal with the messy cleanup. Cleaning the sprayer was simply a matter of splashing thinner around the sprayer then spraying to clear the nozzles. That took about 20 minutes alone! Folks, this product presents a challenge in the cleanup process.
This was perhaps the most frustrating project I took on last fall. After the first rain I noticed water beading as promised but there was also a film on the deck which I didnt expect; almost slick looking. Initially the patio brick looked milky but that subsided after each rain. The packaging warns of this if misapplied, but I paid particular attention to all the caveats and applied the product according to manufacturers instructions. The product promises to protect wood and masonry beyond industry standards.
After a year, I have noticed the beading is about 75% gone on the brick surface and about 50% gone on the cedar surfaces which were such a pain to work on and anticipate having to go over this process over again next year, or do I; there is always marine paint!
I personally like the Thompson's Water Seal product, but feel there are better products on the market. Seal Krete, Weathermax come to mind from past experience. Perhaps the critical criteria here is choosing a dedicated wood or masonry product and perhaps not compromising by choosing generic application that perhaps sacrifices results in the name of convenience. I have gotten far better results last perhaps 30% longer. But lets face it, environmental circumstances come to bear here as well. The fact is last year we had a fairly mild winter, only going into the deep freeze the latter part of the winter. So why are the results disappointing? I can only deduce it was not going with a dedicated product. The question looms; will I use the product again, probably not.
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