What is Blindside Waterproofing?

Durable, long-lasting, and healthy buildings require quality below-grade waterproofing or damp proofing, either post-applied after the concrete pour or blindside waterproofing (pre-applied) before pouring concrete. A foundation without high-quality waterproofing can allow moisture and contaminants to infiltrate the building envelope, which can cause significant structural damage, diminish the indoor air quality, and even endanger the occupants and neighborhood.

Blindside Waterproofing

Waterproofing Vs. Damp Proofing

Waterproofing resists hydrostatic pressure, which can cause liquid water to infiltrate a wall system. It can also stop contaminants from migrating through the concrete. Damp proofing only prevents soil moisture from coming through the wall and does not protect against water under pressure.

  • Buildings constructed wholly or partially below the water table, or on a hillside and in areas with significant rain and a high water table require waterproofing.
  • Buildings in dry locations can utilize damp proofing on their foundations.

Fortunately, Poly Wall Building Solutions (a division of Polyguard) makes high-quality foundation post-applied and blindside waterproofing and damp proofing products. Our products protect against air and moisture infiltrations and significantly contribute to a building’s long-term integrity and indoor air quality.

How Water Infiltrates Foundation Walls

Water has many opportunities to infiltrate below-grade walls, making waterproofing below-grade walls vital to the long-term integrity of a building and the health of its occupants, including its foundation:

  • Poor site drainages
  • Wall penetrations
  • Door/vent/window openings
  • Concrete cracking/mortar joints and movement
  • Flooding
  • High water tables
  • Hydrostatic pressures

All these situations contribute to foundation leaks which can cause costly and complicated repairs. Excess moisture will raise the relative humidity within the building and increase the potential for condensation and damaging and unhealthy mold.

Waterproofing new foundation walls can limit, if not stop, foundation water intrusion.
Builders typically apply below-grade waterproofing after pouring the foundation walls (post-applied waterproofing). However, some projects require blindside (pre-applied waterproofing) waterproofing due to access limitations or issues with excavation.

What Is Blindside Waterproofing?

What Is Blindside Waterproofing?

Blindside waterproofing involves installing a drainage course and waterproofing membrane before constructing the vertical concrete walls. The blindside waterproofing goes on the outside of the foundation wall (positive-side). Consequently, the concrete foundation wall will add strength to the waterproof membrane when groundwater or contaminant vapors apply pressure.

The challenging process of applying blindside waterproofing involves installing over soil retention systems made of lagging beams, sheet pilings, or compacted soil.

Benefits of Blindside Waterproofing

Blindside waterproofing offers developers and builders several advantages. Densely populated areas where property lines or nearby structures limit access and excavation commonly use blindside waterproofing allows building developers to maximize land use while protecting the structure from extreme water damage or vapor intrusion. Tunnels and subways also commonly use blindside waterproofing.

Blindside waterproofing lessens excavation (removal of soil around the building perimeter), which can potentially benefit towards LEED credits by minimizing site disturbance.

Applying Blindside Waterproofing

Builders install blindside waterproofing, like Polyguard Underseal® Blindside™ Membrane, before the foundation wall. First, they apply it to the soil support (i.e., rocks, shoring, sheet pile, slurry wall, neighboring building). Next, they apply concrete or shotcrete against the membrane, which permits the waterproofing membrane to adhere to the concrete foundation.

Polyguard Underseal® Blindside™ Membrane

Polyguard Underseal® Blindside™ Membrane

Puncture-resistant, flexible, 73 mil Underseal® Blindside™ Membrane waterproofing membrane is vertically installed before workers pour the concrete foundation wall. The concrete cures after pouring to form a mechanical bond with the membrane. In addition, the cold flow tendencies of the membrane produce an outside adhesive layer, which creates a tight seal and high-quality protection against moisture infiltration, along with methane and radon gas to the concrete.

You can install the Underseal Blindside™ Membrane horizontally over prepared sub-base like carton forms, mud slab, fine crushed beds/pea gravel, or Polyguard approved drainboard.

Advantages of Underseal® Blindside™ Membrane

  • Puncture-resistance of more than 217 lbs., 64 times greater than the requirements for a Class A Vapor Barrier. A strong puncture resistance protects the system from abuse during construction (foot traffic, trucks, regular vibrations, etc.).
  • When pouring, the fibers of the nonwoven geotextile form a solid mechanical bond when the concrete.
  • Once installed, freeze/thaw, rainfall, and wet/dry cycling do not affect the waterproofing system.
  • It provides a barrier against toxic contaminants, including methane and radon gas, which can infiltrate through concrete cracks.
  • It may qualify for L.E.E.D. Certification thru several credits: 
    • IAQ Credit 5 -Indoor Chemical and Pollutant Source Control (below-grade toxin barrier) o 
    • S.S. Credit 3 -Brownfield redevelopment 
    • ID Credit 1 -Innovation in design
  • Flexible enough to adapt to jobsite irregularities.
  • Provides fully adhering watertight laps for ease of installation.

Why Select Polyguard Underseal® Blindside™ Membrane?

Why Select Polyguard Underseal® Blindside™ Membrane?

Durable, long-lasting, and healthy buildings require quality damp proofing or below-grade waterproofing, either post-applied after the concrete pour or blindside waterproofing (pre-applied). Blindside waterproofing installs on soil support before pouring the concrete. Crowded areas with limited access and the ability to excavate typically require blindside waterproofing.

Strong, durable, and sustainable Underseal® Blindside™ Membrane offers a superior solution to blindside waterproofing. It virtually eliminates water and vapor transmission through concrete slabs on grade. In addition, it acts as a barrier to methane and radon gas and protects floor finishes and indoor air quality.

Don’t hesitate to contact the Polyguard professionals today to learn more about blindside waterproofing.

How to Understand Damp Proofing vs. Waterproofing

Moisture from groundwater regularly attacks building foundations due to their constant contact with the earth, which can be particularly problematic in areas of poor drainage or high water tables. Damp proofing and waterproofing below-grade walls can effectively stop water infiltration that leads to structurally damaging and unhealthy mold. Additional methods to prevent water from infiltrating a building envelope include drainage and waterstops around the joints.

Waterproofing resists hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure happens when gravity pushes stagnant-dense (static) water (hydro) against below-grade walls constructed partially or completely below the water table or on a hill, causing liquid water to infiltrate through cracks and joints and permeate the solid concrete through capillary action (wicking). Hydro pressure intensifies with depth and soil wetness, like near ponds or creeks.

Damp proofing only stops soil moisture from coming through the wall. It does not protect against water under pressure. Therefore, damp proofings work best in relatively dry locations.

The location and level of the structure’s foundation, drainage, rainfall, soil conditions, and construction methods can all determine the need for damp proofing or waterproofing.

The 2021 International Residential Code (IRC R406) specifies the conditions requiring damp proofing or waterproofing:

  • The IRC mandates damp proofing from the top of the footing to the finished grade for any masonry or concrete foundation walls that retain earth and enclose below-grade interior spaces and floors.
  • The IRC requires waterproofing in areas with a high water table or severe soil-water conditions.

The American Concrete Institute (ACI 515.1) defines waterproofing as treating a surface or structure to resist water infiltration under hydrostatic pressure. In contrast, they define damp proofing as treating a structure or surface to resist water infiltration in the absence of hydrostatic pressure.

How to Use Damp Proofing

In areas without hydrostatic pressures, dampproofing can provide adequate and long-lasting moisture protection for below-grade walls, with proper surface drainage and correctly installed foundation drains at the footings and lawn grading.

Builders typically spray or hand-apply a coating of dampproofing to the outside of the wall. Dampproofing creates a barrier that prevents water in the soil from wicking (seeping) into the foundation. Dampproofing coating typically cures to a thickness of fewer than ten mils, to retard moisture infiltration by blocking the capillaries of concrete, which slows water penetration.

Adding damp proofing to the concrete mix can produce water-resistant concrete.

Problems with Damp Proofing

  • Damp proofing may not seal larger cracks or holes left by form ties
  • Rough or careless backfill can damage thin damp proofing
  • Damp proofing won’t stop water inflation due to hydrostatic pressure
  • Damp proofing can become brittle at low temperatures

How to Use Waterproofing

Waterproofing provides a higher quality seal against water infiltrating foundation walls than damp proofing, to protect a structure’s integrity and improve the comfort and safety of the occupants. Areas with significant rain and high water tables require 40 mils+ thick waterproofing to protect against hydrostatic pressure, which will force water through the porous concrete.

Below-grade waterproofing typically involves applying coatings and prefabricated sheet membrane systems or fluid-applied membrane systems to the foundation walls as positive, blind, or negative side waterproofing.

  • Positive side waterproofing installs post-construction and requires access to the outside face of the building.
  • Blindside installs before pouring the foundation, on the outer face of the wall or building foundation.
  • Negative side waterproofing installs post-construction on the inside of the building.

In addition to liquid water, waterproofing stops soil moisture from infiltrating the building envelope, can span cracks in the treated concrete, retain elasticity and flexibility at low temperature, and tremendously lessen light-cycle costs of the entire structure. A high-performing moisture barrier prevents migrations through the concrete of methane, radon, or other toxins, particularly vital if the building sits on a site with underlying contamination.

Polyguard’s High-Quality Damp Proofing and Waterproofing Products

PolyWall Building Solutions (a division of Polyguard) provides high-performing damp proofing and waterproofing products to stop moisture infiltration into below-grade walls, and protect a building’s long-term integrity and indoor environmental quality.

PolyWall damp proofing and waterproofing products include Blue Barrier Liquid Wrap 2300, Poly Wall Blue Barrier Joint Filler 2200, Poly Wall Aluma Flash and Aluma Flash Plus, Damp proofing rods, and Underseal® Underslab Membrane.

Blue Barrier Liquid Wrap 2300

Spray-applied Blue Barrier Liquid Wrap 2300 is a fully adhered, permeable, moisture and air building envelope protection membrane. It simply applies with an approved airless sprayer or power rolled, as a thin mil., seamless substrate coating to surfaces like OSB, plywood, or exterior gypsum, bonding and curing in wet conditions. Permeable, low VOC, and UV-resistant Blue Barrier Liquid Wrap 2300 replaces housewrap.

Poly Wall® Blue Barrier™ Joint Filler 2200

Before using a liquid membrane, you must first fill holes, cracks, and seams with a product like Poly Wall Blue Barrier Joint Filler 2200, developed by Silyl Terminated Polyether (STPE) Technology.

Easy to apply with a sausage gun, Poly Wall® Blue Barrier™ Joint Filler 2200 provides a structural adhesive and detail sealant to fill voids and seams and bond dissimilar materials. You can use Joint Filler 2200 to prep surfaces before applying other Poly Wall® Blue Barrier™ products for Door and Window Flashings and Air Barriers.

We offer Joint Filler 2200 in 10 oz. caulking tubes or 20 oz. sausages.

Aluma Flash™ Plus

Ultraviolet- and chemical-resistant Aluma Flash™ Plus powerfully adheres when used following the manufacturer’s installation and performance requirements. Aluma Flash™ Plus is a 40-mil rubberized asphalt waterproofing membrane (4 times as thick as a typical dampproofing membrane), laminated to two layers of high-strength polyethylene film and topped with a protective layer of aluminum — making it a strong waterproofing product. Additionally, the aluminum surface of durable Aluma Flash™ Plus works well with higher exposure buildings because it reflects heat in order to reduce energy costs.

You can quickly and easily apply Aluma Flash™ Plus to a primed wall with a caulk or sausage gun, trowel, utility knife, and a roller.

Damp Proofing Rods

Damp proofing rods (dry rods), often made of polymer silane/siloxane, stop damp moisture from wicking up through a masonry unit. The rods distribute a water-repellent material along the mortar, then cures to form a damp proof course, drying out the wall.

Damp Proof Sheeting Polyguard Below-Grade Sheet Membranes

UNDERSEAL® UNDERSLAB MEMBRANE

Durable, 85-mil Underseal® Underslab Membrane waterproofing membrane/vapor barrier installs horizontally over prepared sub-bases such as mud slab, compacted soil, # 57 stone or carton forms, to prevent water and vapor transmission (rising damp) through concrete slabs. During the concrete pour, the concrete intermingles with the fibers of the nonwoven geotextile to form a robust mechanical bond with the membrane that will protect the indoor air quality and floor finishes by acting as a barrier to radon gas and methane.

You can also install Underseal® Underslab Membrane vertically on removable formwork for waterproof protection for elevator pits, grade beam, and perimeter installations, or against adjoining buildings to provide waterproofing protection.

UNDERSEAL® BLINDSIDE™ MEMBRANE

Flexible and puncture-resistant, 73 mil Underseal® Blindside™ Membrane waterproofing membrane installs vertically before pouring the concrete against it.

Builders can use it in areas where the soil retention does not permit access to the positive side. As the concrete cures, it forms a mechanical bond with the membrane. Additionally, the cold-flow tendencies of the membrane produce an outside adhesive layer that contributes to a tight seal and excellent protection against moisture intrusion, along with radon gas and methane to the concrete.

Builders can install the Underseal Blindside™ Membrane horizontally over prepared sub-base such as carton forms, mud slabs, fine crushed beds/pea gravel, or Polyguard approved drainboard.

UNDERSEAL 650 MEMBRANE ® PRM™ MEMBRANE

Ductile and strong, UNDERSEAL 650 MEMBRANE ® PRM™ MEMBRANE 60-mil 650 Sheet self-adhesive waterproofing membrane/vapor retarder prevents vapor and water transmissions through poured concrete foundation walls, concrete masonry (CMU) structures, wood, and insulated concrete forms (ICF). For crucial waterproofing projects, the design of 650 Membranes allows for use in vertical/protected wall applications and horizontal/split slab applications.

We offer Polyguard 650 Membrane in a wide membrane (up to 48- inches), allowing fast and straightforward application to continuous flat surfaces along with a narrow width for construction joints, trimming corners, and other applications.

How to Choose the Best Damp Proofing Material

The best damp proofing materials provide durability, do not require expensive spray equipment, install fast and simply in any weather, and do not emit dangerous VOCs – all features offered by Poly Wall waterproofing systems. In addition, our systems will stop moisture infiltration into your foundation walls and protect your building’s integrity and indoor air quality.

Don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Polyguard today to request samples or obtain advice on the best damp proof coating or waterproofing products for your particular environment.

Keeping Termites Out of Subfloors

TERM waterproofing with non-chemical termite barriers offers a superior solution to blocking termites in subfloors. Since 1999, Polyguard and entomology scientists have worked together to develop a non-pesticide, waterproofing/termite physical barrier.

Our product stops termites from entering a home or building through slab penetrations, bath traps, cracks or joints in the floor, spaces where concrete slab intersects with exterior sheathing, across the horizontal floor surface, cold joints, and foundation.

Termites pose a significant threat to the integrity and value of your home or building. Therefore, protecting your investment requires the implementation of termite prevention methods (like the Polyguard non-pesticide physical termite barrier) and immediate remediation if you discover termites.

Termite Damage

Each year, termites cause up to $5 billion in damages in the U.S., affecting our houses, commercial buildings, decks, boats, trees, and more, making termite prevention and control necessary. Termites will weaken and warp the structural frame or building. Signs that you have a termite problem include:

  • Sticking or not opening and closing properly windows and doors
  • House settling, causing the floor to sink
  • Water-like damage on your ceiling
  • Bubbling behind paint and wallpaper
  • Honeycomb-like denting (caused by tunneling termites) on the surface of your hardwood baseboards, window, and door frames

Termites can also damage the inside of your building or home, eating anything that contains cellulose: books, clothing, cardboard, etc. In addition, termites will attack wood fences, outbuildings, firewood piles, and other wood that is exposed to the outdoors.

Types of Termites

Nearly 2,800 species of termites live on the planet, but only a few cause us problems: Subterranean, Formosan subterranean, Drywood, and Dampwood termites.

Subterranean Termites

Subterranean termite groups or colonies live underground in loose, damp soil
and survive on wood. They represent 95 percent of the termite damage in North America. A colony of subterranean termites can include one million members, eating up to 15 pounds of wood per week, destroying home foundations, support beams, insulation, plastic pipes, and more.

Subterranean termites form structures by building mud tubes that provide a moist, protective passageway from one location to another from the ground to deck posts, door frames, porch steps, cracks in the foundation, or brick mortar.

Subterranean Termite Damage

Termites often damage a house or building long before the owners realize they have a full-blown infestation. Termites and moisture damage look similar – buckling wood, and swollen ceilings and floors. Home and building owners should immediately begin remediation when they see signs of subterranean termites.

  • The presence of mazes within the furniture or walls
  • The smell like mildew or mold
  • Mud tubes or tunnels made from termite saliva, soil, and wood, typically located near the foundation of a structure

Formosan Termites

The highly destructive Formosan subterranean termites arrived from China possibly in infested wooden railroad stakes. A single Formosan subterranean termite colony may contain several million termites. These termites infest wood and other cellulose-based goods, like boats. While most commonly found in Louisiana, the risk also exists in New Mexico, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Formosan termites enter structures where the wood touches the soil, and they travel through mud tubes from the ground to wood, often entering through openings created by unsealed joints or cracks. Swarmers may also infest roofs and other above-ground spots.

Signs of Formosan Termites Include:

  • Swarmers near lights, doors, and vents
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
  • A grain pattern in the wood, caused by feeding termites

Drywood Termites

Drywood termite colonies typically live above ground, inside walls, door and window frames, and furniture and trees, feeding on wood from the inside out. Drywood termites get into houses and buildings by flying through unscreened vents in the attic or foundation, cracks in the window and door frames, soffits, and roof sheathing.

Drywood Termite Damage

Drywood termite-infested wood may look fine from the outside but be crumbling from within. Signs of drywood termites include:

  • Swarmers or flying adults, often occurring during the fall and summer
  • Termite fecal pellets
  • Cracks in veneer
  • Visible, maze-like tunnels

Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites build their colonies in damp, decaying wood, mainly impacting the Pacific coast, the deserts of the Southwest, and southern Florida. They mostly threaten homes with moisture and plumbing issues. Dampwood termites get into homes or buildings through swarmers or infested lumber.

Signs of Dampwood Termite Infestation Include:

  • Termite fecal pellets
  • Dead swarmers
  • Soft spots in the wood

TERM Termite Barriers for Residential and Commercial Construction

Polyguard Products specialize in protecting commercial and residential surfaces and structures from moisture, water, chemicals, corrosion, radon, and other unwanted substances, including termites.

The TERM Barrier Systems Division of Polyguard Products specializes in sustainable pest barriers without pesticides. TERM means Termites, Energy, Radon, and Moisture prevention in one building envelope solution. The TERM termite barrier applications include nine components:

1. Term Termite Sealant at Slab Penetrations

TERM® Water|Termite|Sealant Barrier applies with a caulking gun or smoothing tool, and protects against water and termites. Chemical and metal-free, Term Termite Sealant can stop termite entry by:

  • Sealing slab penetrations, seams, and gaps
  • As a part of the TERM Full Bath Trap Barrier to stop termites, rodents, fire ants moles, etc. from getting underneath bathtubs at ground level
  • Detailing small gaps and tears found during inspection or construction on horizontal or vertical portions of the TERM building envelope pest barrier system

2. TERM Full Bath Trap Barrier

Polyguard’s TERM™ Full Bath Trap Barrier is a combination barrier that blocks termites, fire ants, mice, rats, and moles from entering through bath traps (blockouts) in a concrete slab, a common open door for pests. Contractors install the non-chemical barrier after pouring the concrete slab and completing the rough plumbing.

TERM Particle Barrier for Bath Traps

After completing the rough plumbing, TERM Particle Barrier installs in the bath trap cavity. The barriers include particles too large for the termites to move, yet too small to crawl through the aggregates. TERM Particle Barrier provides a sustainable alternative to the past method of placing heavy termiticide application used around slab penetrations before pouring the concrete slab.

3. TERM Sill Plate Barrier

The TERM® Sill Plate Barrier is an adhesive sealant that prevents termites from accessing wood framing through concrete cracks or joints in the floor, which can be significant access points for subterranean termites. Used in conjunction with TERM Flashing Barrier, it bonds to the subfloor, and blocks termite access to the sill plate.

TERM Sill Plate Barrier installed underneath the sill plate provides several benefits:

  • Is a non-chemical barrier to subterranean termites
  • Provides wood, water, and vapor proofing against moisture from the concrete
  • Contributes towards a tight building envelope
  • Stops foraging insects, such as ants and cockroaches from entering at gaps between the sill plate and unlevel slabs
  • Provides supplemental protection to wood framing sodium borate treatment

4. TERM Flashing Moisture|Termite Barrier

The TERM® Flashing Moisture|Termite Barrier is a peel-and-stick barrier that provides waterproofing, energy sealing, and insect resistance. Contractors apply TERM Flashing Moisture|Termite Barrier where the horizontal concrete slab intersects with exterior sheathing, a frequent entry point for termites found on the slab’s outside or foundation wall. TERM® Flashing Moisture|Termite Barrier also prevents moisture and energy leaks at the slab and sheathing intersection.

5. TERM Wood or Tile Floor Underlayment Barrier

TERM® Wood Floor Underlayment Termite Barrier includes a 40 mils thick composite membrane of polyethylene backing and TERM Sealant Barrier, with a ½-inch extended edge that provides a complete overlap seal at the edge.

Polyguard winds the elastomeric, self‐adhesive barrier on cores with a disposable silicone‐coated release sheet that installers remove immediately before application.

When installed properly, TERM® forms a complete seal across the entire horizontal floor surface, blocking almost every entry point that a subterranean termite can find.

In addition, the barrier also provides several other significant benefits:

  • Protects wood underlayment and laminate flooring
  • Acts as a moisture barrier to protect wood flooring from moisture damage caused by moisture vapor underneath the slab
  • Self‐healing properties of the sealant component enable it to create a seal around any nails driven through the barrier during installation
  • Creates a non-structural barrier to block termites and water
  • Provides sound-absorbing and insulating qualities to create a quiet and warm floor

6. TERM Particle Barrier for Termites

TERM® Particle Barrier for Termites includes precisely-sized particles that form a non‐chemical barrier to Formosan and Eastern subterranean termites, significantly reducing the termiticides needed to protect homes and buildings. The particles stop termites from climbing up the side of the exposed concrete.

7. TERM Isolation Joint Barrier

The TERM© Isolation Joint Barrier, used in conjunction with TERM Particle Barrier, seals isolation joints (cold joints) that occur in the gaps where patios, driveways, and sidewalks connect with the structure, spaces where termites can infiltrate.

8. TERM Foundation Barrier

For twenty years, builders have applied TERM® Foundation Barriers to concrete or insulated concrete foundation walls to stop water and termite intrusion.

9. TERM Underslab Barrier

The TERM® Underslab Barrier provides the base component of the TERM Barrier System. It is a system that significantly lessens the need for pesticides during the structure’s lifetime.

Why Apply Polyguard TERM Non-Pesticide Physical Termite Barriers?

Polyguard TERM Non-Pesticide Physical Termite Barriers provide a superior solution to blocking termites, energy, radon, and moisture infiltration in one building envelope solution. Preventing termites from accessing your home or building will protect the value of your structure and save thousands of dollars and hours of repair.

Don’t hesitate to contact the Polyguard® professionals today for more on keeping termites out of subfloors.

The Best Waterproofing Membrane for Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF)

Maintaining the integrity of a below-grade insulated concrete form (ICF) wall (slab, crawl space, or basement) requires an application of the best ICF waterproofing, like Poly Wall® Home Stretch™ Peel’ N Stick ICF waterproofing membrane and TERM Water|Termite Barrier.

Strong, durable ICF foundations support a structure and give it protection against the forces of nature (like severe winds and earthquakes) by transferring the loads from the building to the ground. In addition, ICF foundations provide fire resistance.

However, the long-term integrity of an ICF foundation depends on ICF waterproofing products to protect against moisture infiltration through cracks and penetrations. Moisture that infiltrates an ICF below-grade wall can lead to unhealthy and structurally damaging mold that can also harm the property inside the building.

Fortunately, Poly Wall® offers two superior peel and stick foundation waterproofing systems for ICF walls (expanded and extruded polystyrene ICFs): Home Stretch™ Peel’ N Stick/ICF waterproofing membrane and TERM Water|Termite Barrier. You can also use our peel and stick waterproofing systems on poured concrete and concrete masonry unit (CMU) walls, or anywhere moisture and hydrostatic pressure threaten the foundation’s integrity.

ICF, poured concrete, and CMU walls all need waterproofing systems, but there are several significant problems that can lead to cracking and penetrations in poured concrete and CMU foundations.

Problems with Concrete Walls

  • Moisture can leak through poured concrete walls through non-structural cracks, where the wall meets the floor, at the foundation wall’s top, or through the porous concrete.
  • If prepared improperly, poured concrete may crack, allowing water to leak.
  • Leaks may occur if the poured concrete foundation drops, settles, or sinks due to the soil below the foundation collapsing.

Problems with CMU Walls

  • Improperly reinforced CMU produce weak foundations that are prone to leaks.
  • Water and weather wear down the mortar used to join the CMU blocks, leading to leaks.
  • If the moisture in the soil builds up around a structure, CMU block foundations can bow and buckle.

Poly Wall® Home Stretch™ Peel’ N Stick/ICF Waterproofing Membrane

Poly Wall designed and engineered Home Stretch™ Peel’ N Stick/ICF Waterproofing Membrane specifically for the ICF industry.

Self-adhering Home Stretch™ ICF, 40 mils thick sheet waterproofing membrane consists of a strong, pliable high-density polyethylene (HDPE) facing that is bonded to a rubberized asphalt waterproofing compound. We offer Home Stretch™ ICF in 36-inch wide by 66.7-foot long rolls for ease of handling and installing with a disposable treat release liner.

The Benefits of Poly Wall Home Stretch

Made in the USA and employee-owned, Poly Wall® has 60 plus years of successful waterproofing experience, and will provide superior protection for your ICF, poured concrete, and CMU foundation walls. Specific benefits of Poly Wall Home Stretch include:

  • Factory controlled manufacturing ensures 40-mil uniform and consistent thickness.
  • The side lap design delivers increased water tightness.
  • The extended selvage edge provides asphalt-to-asphalt adhesion at the seam.
  • It offers superior durability, puncture resistance, and tensile strength.
  • When used with Polybond Clear Liquid Adhesive, you can apply Poly Wall Home Stretch in cold weather (25℉ and greater).
  • It does not contain VOCs or produce odor.
  • Release film does not easily tear, and will protect the adhesive layer.
  • Effectively begins waterproofing immediately after installation.

Poly Wall Home Stretch Companion Products

Home Stretch™ ICF, used with our other waterproofing products (Home Stretch™ Water Based Liquid Adhesive, Poly Wall® Home Stretch™ Detail Tape, Poly Wall® Blue Barrier™ Joint Filler 2200, and Poly Wall® Arroyo™ Drain Board), create an effective and complete waterproofing system for your ICF, poured concrete, or CMU below-grade walls.

Poly Wall Home Stretch Water Based Liquid Adhesive

Poly Wall® Home Stretch™ Water Based Liquid Adhesive provides superior adhesion with all the Poly Wall® waterproofing and flashing membranes under most surface conditions. Applying the liquid adhesive to dry, dust- and frost-free surfaces conditions the surfaces before the application of Poly-Wall® Self-Adhering Membranes and Flashings.

Poly Wall Home Stretch Detail Tape

Strong, pliable, and self-adhesive Poly Wall® Home Stretch™ Detail Tape consists of a cross-laminated, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) backing that is bonded to a rubberized asphalt compound. You can use Poly Wall® Home Stretch™ Detail Tape to fabricate outside and inside corners, control joints, seal penetrations, cold joints, and damaged areas of Home Stretch™ Waterproofing Membrane.

Poly Wall Blue Barrier Joint Filler 2200

Poly Wall® Blue Barrier™ Joint Filler 2200 provides a structural adhesive and detail sealant to fill voids and seams and bond dissimilar materials.

Poly Wall Arroyo Drain Board

Poly Wall® Arroyo™ Drain Board (a sheet molded drain) establishes predetermined pathways for below-grade water management. The factory-applied fabric permits water to pass into the drain core to designated drainage areas while preventing the movement of soil particles that can clog the core. You can install Arroyo Drain Board Sheet Molded Drainage as a drainage plane and protection layer for Poly Wall post-applied waterproofing membranes and liquids.

Polyguard TERM Water and Termite Barrier

For structures needing protection from moisture and termites, TERM waterproofing with non-chemical termite barriers is an outstanding solution to water and termite protection.

Subterranean and Formosan termites that make their way through a foundation can warp and weaken the structural frame of a home or building, which can cost in the thousands of dollars to repair and diminish the value of your property. Termites can also ruin your paint, wallpaper, glazings, and anything made of cellulose in your home or building.

Polyguard TERM Barrier Systems Division specializes in sustainable pest barriers without pesticides, protecting against moisture, termites, energy, and radon in one building envelope solution. The TERM termite barrier application includes nine components.

  1. Term Water|Termite Sealant stops infiltration at slab penetrations.
  2. TERM® Sill Plate Barrier prevents moisture and termites from accessing wood framing members through concrete cracks or joints in the floor.
  3. TERM® Flashing Moisture|Termite Barrier provides waterproofing, energy sealing, and insect resistance.
  4. TERM™ Wood Floor Underlayment|Termite Barrier acts as a moisture barrier to protect wood flooring from moisture damage underneath the slab.
  5. TERM® Foundation Barrier stops water and termite intrusion.
  6. TERM® Underslab Barrier provides the base component of the TERM Barrier System.
  7. TERM® Particle Barrier for Termites prevents termites from climbing from the soil up the side of the exposed concrete.
  8. TERM Full Bath Trap Barrier and TERM Particle Barrier for Bath Traps blocks termites, fire ants, mice, rats, and moles entecontact the professionals at Polyguard®ring through bath traps (blockouts) in a concrete slab.
  9. TERM© Isolation Joint Barrier used in conjunction with TERM Particle Barrier, seals isolation joints (cold joints), that occur in the gaps where driveways, patios, and sidewalks connect with the structure.

Why You Need the Best ICF Waterproofing Membrane

The best waterproofing membrane system will protect your ICF, poured concrete, or CMU foundations walls from moisture intrusion, and will maintain the wall’s integrity against structurally damaging and unhealthy mold. Moisture can lead to costly repairs, long-term damage, and decreased property value.

Applying a quality waterproofing membrane, like Poly Wall® Home Stretch™ Peel’ N Stick/ICF waterproofing membrane or a TERM moisture and termite barrier, will protect your building or home’s integrity and value.

Don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Polyguard® today for more on choosing the best ICF waterproofing membrane.

The Best Drainage Panels for Under Decks

Maintaining the integrity of your beautiful new deck requires installing high-quality under deck drainage panels, like Polyflow® BD Sheet Molded Drainage Mat. Drainage panels will protect the deck’s substructures from moisture, keeping the space below the deck dry and usable for recreation, storage, etc. In addition, preserving your deck’s attractiveness and integrity requires a design that protects against heat and provides adequate ventilation to remove accumulated water.

What Are Under Deck Drainage Panels?

Under deck drainage panels installed under the decking, either above or below the joists will catch and redirect water in one of three parts of the deck – the deck’s surface, between the joists and decking, or below the joists. Maintaining a dry deck frame preserves its integrity and extends the deck’s overall lifespan.

Below the Joist Deck Drainage Systems

Below-joist drainage systems consist of rigid vinyl or metal pieces that attach below the joists of the deck. They create a slope that moves water to a gutter that is attached to the ridge of the deck beam, and directs it to a drainage area.

Below-deck joint drainage provides an ideal system for retrofitting a deck because you don’t need to dismantle the deck for installation.

Problems with Below-The-Joist Deck Drainage Systems

Installing a deck drainage system below the joists creates an attractive ceiling for the space under the deck, but it can lead to several significant problems, especially in hot-humid climates:

  • Drainage panels below the joists allow the rain to soak the deck boards as rainwater leaks through the boards, over the joists, and into the below drainage system.
  • The drainage system encloses the framing, so it can take longer for the beams and joists to dry, which can lead to rot damage of the wood.
  • Below the joist systems allow debris to accumulate at the top of the drainage system, and they require a removable panel so you can regularly clean the spaces between the joists.

Installing the deck drainage panels above the joints offers the best option for providing 100 percent protection from moisture penetration, and it also helps to hold the screws and fasteners in place longer.

Above-Joists Deck Drainage Systems

Above-joist drainage systems installed between the joists and the decking consists of a series of gutters made from a waterproofing material like rubber polypropylene that drapes between the joists.

When water falls between the decking’s cracks, the system captures and funnels the water to the deck’s outer edge, where it drops into a gutter that guides the moisture to a drainage area.

When properly installed, an above-joist deck drainage system provides the best protection for the deck’s framework, and a drier space below the deck.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to retrofit a deck with an above-joist deck drainage system, making it best suited for new deck construction. Installing an above-joist system to an existing deck requires removing all the decking then reinstalling once completing the drainage system installation.

How Much Do Deck Drainage Panels Cost?

Drainage panels for under decks cost between $4 and $9 ft2, depending on your needs and the quality of the panels. Under-joist systems that create a finished ceiling are generally more expensive than an above-joist system when building a new deck. However, the above-joist systems do not include the cost of a finished ceiling.

The Best Drainage Panels for Under Decks

Choosing the proper drainage systems, whether for a new deck or existing deck, should provide a waterproofing system that maintains the deck’s integrity. In addition, the best-quality deck drainage system will create and protect the usable-living space underneath, even in foul weather. It can also provide storage space for your valuable yard equipment, and declutter your garage.

Selecting a simple-to-install deck drainage panel will help ensure a correctly placed, and functioning deck drainage system. In addition, a straightforward method to install drainage panels reduces the need for skilled workers and specialized, costly tools – saving DIYers and contractors both time and money.

You may also want to pick a deck drainage system that allows for electrical, and gas installation that will also enable you to add features like lights, ceiling fans, entertainment components, and more to the below-deck space.

Why Polyguard Has The Best Drainage Option for Under Decks

Polyguard designed our lightweight, high-capacity Polyflow® BD Sheet Molded Drainage Mat to provide a solution to lightweight drainage of a new deck. It is compatible with our engineered Polyguard’s Balconyguard™ Membrane.

Polyflow® BD Sheet Molded Drainage Mat

The Polyguard Polyflow® BD drainage system provides under deck drainage. It comes as a sheet-molded drain, to create pathways for deck water management. The fabric allows water flow to specific drainage exits. Additionally, the punched core increases the release rate of water from within the system.

Polyflow® BD Sheet Molded Drainage Mat contains a geocomposite of a fabricated pre-punched impermeable polymeric core covered on both sides with a non-woven filter fabric. Polyflow® BD’s compressive strength of 5,200 lb/ft2 and flow rate of 12.5 g/min/ft allows for use in balcony decks with less than 3-inch of concrete and foot traffic only.

Easy-to-install Polyflow® BD ensures successful installation, ensuring the removal of water from the deck, to increase its lifespan, and save both money and time, during and after installation.

Polyguard’s Balconyguard™ Membrane

You can use self-adhesive, 60 mil Polyguard’s Balconyguard™ waterproofing membrane on wood deck balconies and terraces that are covered with lightweight concrete. However, before installing Balconyguard™ Membrane, we suggest you contact either Polyguard Technical Services or representatives of an authorized company for assistance with job-specific details or shop drawings.

Simple to install, Balconyguard™ Membranes provide several significant features and advantages specially designed for waterproofing decks, along with exposed multi-story walkways covered with lightweight concrete:

High strength PET film
Tensile strength meets ASTM D412
Treated removable release film
For easy installation and detailing, our Balconyguard™ System includes custom corner boots, saving builders time and money
Elongation meets ASTM D412
48-inch wide by 50-feet rolls (200 ft2), lessening seam occurrence by 25 percent, compared to 36-inch wide products — saving time and reducing the required seams

Polyguard Offers the Best Drainage Panels for Under Decks

Polyflow® easy-to-install BD Sheet Molded Drainage Mat and our other waterproofing products offer the best-quality under-deck drainage panels to protect the deck’s integrity and ensure a usable-below-deck space even in rainy weather.

Contact Polyguard® professionals today to learn more about the best drainage panels for under decks.

Dealing With Contaminated Soil in Construction Projects

Contaminated soil in construction projects often leads to costly and time-consuming problems for builders and contractors. First, time delays occur while you identify and classify the contaminated area. Then, proper contamination management requires safe, compliant, and expensive handling of the toxic-harmful materials, which can further delay your project’s start time. To avoid potential harm to the environment, building, and future occupants, the property owners, and their builder or environmental contractor must manage the contaminated soil according to best practice guidelines, including those published by the EPA.

However, if you suspect contaminated soil at your construction site, Polyguard recommends hiring an experienced environmental contractor to handle the clean-up of your job site. They can provide licensed equipment and vehicles to transport contaminated materials to an accredited transfer station for decontamination. They can also deal with the mandatory permits and licensing requirements. We also recommend choosing construction products that will protect your new building or home from harmful soil contaminants, like our Polyguard below-grade chemical resistant membranes and drainage boards for foundation walls.

What is Contaminated Soil and How Does it Get Into the Soil?

Contaminated soil contains a concentration of pollutants higher than naturally occurring amounts, which can harm people, plants, water, buildings, foundations, and more.

Manufacturing situations are responsible for most of the contaminated soil:

  • Mining releases sulphuric acid, arsenic, and mercury
  • Fuel storage release hydrocarbons
  • Steelworks releases lead
  • Demolition exposes soil to asbestos fibers
  • Leaks, spills, and pipeline ruptures can contaminate the soil with human, agricultural, and industrial waste

What to Do if You Suspect Soil Contamination at the Jobsite

Generally, you must take four steps if you suspect soil contamination at a job site: a desktop study, soil testing, clean up, and remediation.

Desktop Study

A desktop study of site history can establish the need to investigate potential contamination. It includes maps, statutory authority, utility data, trade information, photo records, technical data, etc.

Trial Pits and Borehole Investigation

Desktop studies that find concerns or if the site lacks history will require a trial pits and borehole investigation. Trial pits and borehole investigations involve obtaining soil samples at different depths and locations to determine the nature and level of contamination.

Clean-Up Techniques

Clean-up involves excavation and removal of contaminated soil, using care to limit the spread of contamination.

Remediation

Contaminated soil remediation (treatments) can occur in-situ (on-site on undisturbed soil) or ex-situ (on- or off-site excavated soil). Treatments for contaminated soil include biological, chemical, physical methods, depending on the chemicals present in the soil and the extent of the contamination:

  • Biological treatment (bioremediation) uses indigenous bacteria to break down hydrocarbons from petroleum storage in the soil.
  • Chemical treatments, like soil stabilization, use reduction and oxidation to convert contaminated soils into non-hazardous soils.
  • Physical treatments, like soil washing or thermal treatment, use water or heat to separate or remove contaminants.

Effects of Contaminated Soil on Foundations

If the water in the soil contains pollutants like chlorides, magnesium, and sulfate ions it can deteriorate a concrete foundation. Therefore, maintaining the integrity of a foundation requires the application of a below-grade foundation barrier and drainage board. The barrier and drainage board will protect the foundation from water pressure that can crack the concrete, allowing infiltration of contaminated groundwater and soil vapors, which can lead to costly repairs and maintenance.

Stopping polluted water and harmful contaminants from entering the foundation requires a high-quality, below-grade waterproofing membrane and drainage board, like Polyguard below-grade chemical resistant membranes and drainage board for foundation walls.

Polyguard Chemical Resistant Membranes

UNDERSEAL® CRM™

For walls requiring chemical resistance, 85-mil Underseal® CRM™ is an excellent solution that is proven to resist high concentrations of soil, vapor, and water contaminants.

Robust, pre-applied Underseal® CRM™ sheet membrane contains a multi-component, chemical resistant backing laminated to a coating of waterproofing adhesive mixture and an integrated robust and nonwoven geotextile fabric. Installed horizontally, Underseal® CRM™ furnishes a continuous seal underneath the concrete slab. You can also install it behind vertical “blindside” cast-in-place concrete walls.

ULTRA CRM™

Post-applied, 60-mil Ultra CRM™ furnishes a strong sheet membrane with multi-component, chemical resistant backing laminated to a thick coating of waterproofing adhesive compound, that is capable of resisting high concentrations of vapor, fluid, and soil contaminants. Ultra CRM™ was designed for poured concrete foundation walls, parking garages, tunnels, etc., requiring chemical-resistant waterproofing.

Lightweight, high-capacity Polyflow® Drainage products provide customers with solutions to lightweight drainage that are compatible with our engineered sheet and liquid membrane materials. Our simple-to-install products lessen excavation needs, saving time and money.

Polyflow® Drainage Mats

Polyflow® 15, 15P, 10, and 10P Sheet Molded Drainage Mats, installed vertically over Polyguard waterproofing membranes, directs moisture into the drain core while restricting the movement of soil particles that can block the core. In addition, our Polyflow® drainage mats diminish hydrostatic pressure when connected to our high capacity collector and outlet drainage system, Totalflow™.

Polyflow® 18 DRAINAGE MAT

The design of our high-capacity Polyflow® 18 furnishes a lightweight drainage system compatible with our below-grade engineered sheet and membrane products.

Lightweight and simple to install, the Polyflow® 18 drainage mat provides a compressive strength of 21,000 psf, capable of handling complex horizontal applications. Additionally, this product uses a woven filter fabric specifically for concrete pours to allow flow under loaded conditions.

Dealing with Сontaminated Soil in Construction Projects

Contaminated soil at a job site can significantly halt construction and increase building costs. Left unmanaged, the contamination can harm the environment, people, plants, and even the future building, including its foundation. Therefore, before construction begins, working the cost and logistics of dealing with the contaminated soil into the project’s budget and timeline will contribute tremendously to the project’s success.

For more on dealing with contaminated soil at construction job sites and protecting your foundation from harmful pollutants, contact the professionals at Polyguard® today.

The Best Vapor and Termite Barrier for Protecting Concrete Slabs and Foundations

Concrete slabs and foundation walls will inevitably crack, allowing entry of water, contaminants, and termites The best concrete waterproofing blocks water before it reaches the concrete joints or cracks, thus protecting the building envelope from water damage. Above grade, flashings (pictured below) and air barriers block moisture and air leaks, improving air quality and providing energy savings.

Concrete Vapor Barrier

Additionally, building envelope barriers can be upgraded to function as a non-chemical physical termite barrier, which is increasingly important in the Southeast, Southern California, and Hawaii where destructive Formosan termites are infesting more and more regions.

Best Concrete Vapor Barrier

Because the slab construction process is very destructive, you need an extremely puncture-resistant waterproofing barrier. Both Polyguard Underseal waterproofing, and Polyguard TERM® Underslab Water and Termite Barrier have over 230 pounds of puncture resistance.

USGBC and LEED Considerations

Polyguard’s waterproofing, building envelope, and termite barriers contribute to sustainability and increase the life of the structure.

Polyguard physical termite barriers not only eliminate structural damage, extending building life, but also block entry of termites and almost all other pests, The result is less disruptions for occupants, and a reduced need for poisonous termiticide and pesticide treatments.

HPD’s provide transparency of product ingredients. Polyguard waterproofing, air barrier, and termite barrier products will quality for USGBC LEED MR credit Building Product Disclosure and Optimization.

Polyguard building envelope materials have no VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) except for some of the liquid adhesives used on exterior concrete to prepare the surface.
Pokyguard systems also use a solvent-free water-based primer which is replacing solvent-based primers in many applications.

LEED V4 standards call out the implementation of IPM (Integrated Pest Management). “Nonchemical pest preventive measures, either designed into the structure or implemented as part of pest management activities.”. TERM Barrier System products allow you to design non-chemical termite and pest barriers not just in several locations, but around most points of the building envelope.
LEED AQ Credit 5 offers another credit opportunity, as both underslab products have been shown to block transmission of pesticide residuals, as well as radioactive radon.
LEED also has ID1 Innovation in Design credit. Polyguard’s TERM Barrier systems will qualify for this credit.
Polyguard’s building envelope products are designed to stand up to the harshest of conditions and have been proven through 50 years of use.

Other Benefits of Underseal Underslab Water and Termite Barrier Membranes

  • Superior puncture resistance of 230 pounds,15 times greater than the resistance of Class A Vapor Barriers
  • Eliminates water leaks.
  • Creates a solid adhesive and mechanical bond with the concrete slab to prevent water migration between the concrete and membrane
  • Installs easily due to its conformability to irregular surfaces on the job site.
  • Offers full-adhering, watertight laps at all joints.
  • If a crack develops in the slab or base material, the barrier’s stress-absorbing and elongation properties will maintain a watertight seal.

Poly Wall Home Stretch Waterproofing

Poly Wall Home Stretch Waterproofing

Poly Wall® Home Stretch™ Waterproofing Membrane is specifically engineered for use with Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) technology. It is also excellent for use on poured concrete foundation walls, to contribute significantly to durable construction and healthy indoor environments.

TERM - Non-Chemical Termite Barriers & Waterproofing

TERM – Non-Chemical Termite Barriers & Waterproofing

Polyguard professionals are here to answer your questions on selecting the best moisture barrier for protecting concrete slabs and floors. Contact us today!

4 Cold Weather Construction Issues and Solutions

Architects and builders of homes in cold regions must include sufficient cold climate insulation and quality air and moisture barrier systems to ensure airtight, comfortable, healthy, durable, and energy-efficient homes.

In addition, building cold climate houses challenges builders to stay on time and make a profit. Construction in cold weather can slow or even stop some projects due to frozen ground, high fuel costs, and safety issues. However, if a project can’t wait for temperatures to warm, work can continue with the proper preparations, planning, and communication with clients.

Cold Weather Construction Issues

Winter-cold weather construction presents several issues that builders must contend with to ensure a profitable year-round business, such as installing cold-climate, energy-efficient features like insulation and air barriers, and also contending with frozen ground, fuel costs, and safety. Builders must address these issues during the project bid and contract negotiations with a client. It is necessary to fully explain all the implications and costs of building in cold climates in order to establish realistic expectations for completing the project.

Best House Design for Cold Climates

1. Home Insulation and Air Sealing for Cold Weather Construction

Cold climate home design must include cold-weather insulation with a sufficient R-value to minimize the transfer of warm-indoor air to the cooler exterior wall system (thermal bridging). The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) mandates the R-values of insulation required to achieve best practices in insulating homes based on eight geological climate zones in the U.S.

Home Insulation and Air Sealing for Cold Weather Construction

Leaks and gaps in a wall’s assembly can encourage conduction and convection, which decreases the R-value of the insulation. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reports that uncontrolled air leaks can add 10 to 20 percent to heating and cooling bills. Furthermore, air leakage can lead to damaging and unhealthy condensation and reduce the performance of the HVAC and insulation, which reduces the indoor air quality (IAQ) and comfort level of the home’s interior.

The best house design for cold climates must include the best building materials for cold climates, specifically, sufficient insulation to stop thermal conduction and a permeable vapor barrier. The barrier should stop warm, moist indoor air infiltration into the cold cavities in the exterior walls and unheated attic spaces. It should also permit moistures that accumulate in the wall system to evaporate. In addition, the barrier’s strength should resist damage during and after installation to stop potential air leaks.

Fortunately, Poly Wall® Building Solutions (a division of Polyguard) gives builders a cold-weather solution to air and moisture infiltration for above- and below-wall systems. Our strong and durable waterproofing products stop structurally damaging and unhealthy mold due to condensation, to enhance the performance of the insulation and HVAC system and improve the comfort and IAQ level of the structure’s interior.

2. Frozen Ground Issues During Cold-Weather Construction

Frozen ground presents a significant challenge during and after cold weather, which leads to costly project delays and unhappy clients:

  • Pouring concrete in the winter can ruin a project.
  • Concrete blocks poured into the frozen or semi-frozen ground will crack during the spring as the soil warms and settles into its normal position.
  • Winter concrete may crust because the top freezes first, while the bottom remains soft.
  • Poured concrete takes a long time to set in freezing weather.
  • As the weather warms, melting ice and snow causes more water and mud in the building site.

Frozen Ground Solutions

During the planning phase of your project, communicating cold-weather issues with your building team and client can help ease their impact on the project’s budget and schedule. Let your client know, early on, the effect of frozen ground on the project’s timeline to ensure their realistic expectation for project completion.

3. Fuel Costs Issue During Cold-Weather Construction

During cold weather, fuel costs increase because you will need more fuel to run the boiler to heat water, on-site heat, and more. Sometimes the dramatic increases in fuel use will mandate delaying the project until things warm up.

Fuel Cost Solution

Plan your project milestones so that it is weathertight before it turns cold. You can then complete the interior of the project during the cold weather, using the permanent heat system of the structure to save money and fuel over temporary heating systems.

4. Safety Issues During Cold-Weather Construction

Safety Issues During Cold-Weather Construction

Building in cold-weather presents several significant safety concerns that can slow projects due to worker injury or damage to the job site:

  • Extreme cold weather threatens the safety of workers, making hypothermia, frostbite (especially on the extremities), and trench foot significant concerns during cold weather construction.
  • High winds during cold weather can knock over walls, ruin scaffolding, and displace unfinished construction.
  • During frigid weather, precipitation on a job site will freeze and expand, potentially cracking or breaking whatever surrounds it: concrete, wood, etc.
  • Ice on a job site poses a significant danger to workers from slipping and falling and equipment losing traction, and potentially sliding into the crew.

Solutions To Safety Issues During Cold-Weather Construction

Preparing and reviewing a safety plan for your job site can help protect your workers and equipment during cold weather:

  • Monitor the weather to avoid exposing your workers to severe weather.
  • Inspect and clean the job site of snow, ice, and icicles, including roofs, walkways, scaffolding, and ladders. In addition, spread salt to melt icy patches.
  • Provide a heated indoor space for your workers to warm up.
  • Make sure workers have access to all the needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for winter weather:
    • hard hats with warm liners
    • gloves that allow dexterity
    • waterproof boots with non-slip soles
    • wool socks
    • layered clothing with moisture-wicking thermals as the inner layer and a waterproof outer layer
    • anti-fog goggles, safety glasses, and face masks to ensure unobstructed vision

Stopping Air and Moisture Infiltration with Poly Wall® Waterproofing Systems

Poly Wall Building Waterproofing Systems stop air and moisture infiltration for above- and below-wall systems, which is vital for cold weather construction. The Poly Wall waterproofing system includes air barriers, below-grade waterproofing systems, liquid flashings, and window and door sheet flashings.

Poly Wall Air Barriers

Poly Wall has successfully waterproofed above-grade residential walls in cold climates for over ten years with their self-adhering, non-permeable Aluma Flash™ Plus weather-resistant barriers. Poly Wall also makes permeable Blue Barrier™ Liquid Wrap 2300 for application over surfaces and substrates like exterior gypsum, plywood, and OSB.

Aluma Flash Plus

Fast and simple to apply, chemical- and sunlight-resistant Aluma Flash Plus effectively adheres when used according to the manufacturer’s installation and performance requirements. Aluma Flash Plus is a 40-mil rubberized asphalt waterproofing membrane, laminated to two layers of high-strength polyethylene film, with an upper protective layer of aluminum — to ensure a strong waterproofing material. The aluminum surface of long-lasting Aluma Flash Plus works well with higher exposure houses because it reflects heat, to reduce energy costs.

Poly Wall Below-Grade Waterproofing Systems

Home Stretch ICF Waterproofing Membrane

Poly Wall engineered and designed the Home Stretch™ ICF Waterproofing Membrane for ICF walls (insulated concrete form). However, it is also a superior waterproofing product for poured walls, CMU (concrete masonry unit) foundation walls, and protection against hydrostatic pressure and other crucial waterproofing applications.
Simple to handle and install, Home Stretch contains a self-adhering, 40 mil thick sheet waterproofing membrane that is made of a strong, pliable, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) facing, bonded to a rubberized asphalt waterproofing substance.

To complete your ICF, poured concrete, or CMU, below-grade wall waterproofing system, Poly Wall suggests using Home Stretch in combinations with their Blue Barrier™ Joint Filler 2200, Home Stretch™ Detail Tape, Arroyo™ Drain Board, Arroyo™ Outlet Channel, ​​Home Stretch™ Water Based Liquid Adhesive, Home Stretch™ Liquid Waterproofing, and Quick Grip.

Home Stretch Liquid Waterproofing

Poly Wall® provides Home Stretch Liquid Waterproofing for below-grade poured concrete, precast concrete, CMU, and other vertical foundations surfaces exposed to hydrostatic pressure. However, for complete foundation wall waterproofing, Poly Wall® recommends using Home Stretch Liquid Waterproofing in combination with Blue Barrier Joint Filler 2200, Arroyo Outlet Channel, Arroyo Drain Board Arroyo™ Tee Outlet, and the Arroyo™ End Outlet Channel System.

Poly Wall Liquid Flashings Products

Poly Wall® also has several waterproof barrier systems for doors, windows, penetrations, and gaps:

Poly Wall Window and Door Sheet Flashing Products

Poly Wall also offers five unique door and window flashings: WindowSeal® Window Flashing, Aluma Flash Plus™, Butyl Flash, Aluma Flash™, Aluma Flash Plus™, and ArcFlash™.

Poly Wall Products Provide Solutions for Cold Weather Construction

Winter-cold weather construction presents several issues that builders must contend with to ensure a profitable year-round business, like installing cold-climate insulation and Poly Wall high-quality moisture and air barrier solutions. Additional cold weather issues include contending with frozen ground, fuel costs, and safety, which can all cause delayed completion times and additional costs.

It is imperative to clearly explain all the potential problems and added costs associated with building in cold climates to your clients in order to establish reasonable expectations for finishing the project.

Don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Polyguard today for more on how we can help with solutions for cold weather construction.

Understanding Bridge Deck Waterproofing Membranes and the Best Options Available

Applying a high-quality bridge waterproofing membrane, like that offered by Polyguard, to a new or existing bridge deck will stop the contact of moisture and chlorides with the concrete, which leads to deterioration and corrosion of the steel reinforcement. Bridge waterproofing systems also protect the bridge’s integrity, extend its life, and lessen repairs and maintenance that can lead to costly and disruptive bridge closure.

Bridge Deck Waterproofing Membranes: Best Options Available

Many of the aging bridges and overpasses in the U.S. were built over 50 years ago, and desperately need repairs or replacement. According to an American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), of the 617,000 U.S. bridges, 4 out of 10 need replacement or repair (220,000), with 5 percent (11,273) specifically requiring deck rehabilitation, which can be a significant business opportunity for contractors that work with bridge deck waterproofing.

Bridge Waterproofing Membrane

Causes of Bridge Deterioration

Increasing traffic levels, the greater weight of today’s vehicles, exposure to harsh weather, and chloride ions from de-icing salts, all threaten the integrity of bridges, particularly those not protected with a bridge deck membrane system.

Some of the short-term problems of bridges without deck waterproofing membrane include scaling, spalling, and cracking of the concrete, further allowing penetration of moisture and chemicals into the concrete. Over time, a substantial amount of water within the concrete can cause extensive freeze-thaw damage and corrosion of the bridge’s steel components, and can significantly damage the bridge’s integrity. Failure to correctly and timely maintain and repair a bridge can result in severe consequences, such as the bridge’s collapse.

Reasons Why Bridges Need Bridge Deck Waterproofing

NOTE: The waterproofing membrane requires an asphalt overlay to protect it from traffic.

All new and existing bridges require an application of bridge deck waterproofing membranes to protect against early deterioration and costly repairs:

  • Stops water from penetrating through bridge cracks, which lead to freeze-thaw damage to the bridge deck. Furthermore, moisture and oxygen will oxidize and corrode steel parts of the bridge, which cause further cracks and spalls that worsen corrosion.
  • Stops defrosting salt from passing through cracks of a concrete bridge that will cause corrosion of reinforcement. Moisture and chloride will deteriorate concrete bridge decks, cause cracking, scaling, and spalling, and eventually erode the steel bars within the concrete.
  • Protects a bridge in the event of dangerous leakage of chemicals from tanker traffic, which can deteriorate concrete bridge decks.

Polyguard Bridge Deck Waterproofing Membranes

Polyguard provides the best option for a bridge deck waterproofing membrane, to protect the long-term integrity of the bridge, increase its lifespan, and reduce maintenance and repairs.

Most states’ Department of Transportation recognizes the use of Polyguard Pavement membranes to protect bridge decks from moisture. Our membranes contain a rubberized asphalt waterproofing adhesive that is laminated to polypropylene fabric backings. To stop the membrane from sticking onto itself while in the roll, a disposable silicone-treated release sheet is applied to the laminated membrane.

Polyguard has several waterproofing membranes and companion products for bridge decks:

Tough and Long-Lasting 665 Waterproofing Membrane

Self-bonding, 665 Waterproofing Membrane consists of rubberized asphalt laminated to a woven solid polypropylene mesh backing, that forms a minimum 65 mil membrane.

Flexible and durable 665 Waterproofing Membrane, with a perm of 0.05, provides lasting bridge deck waterproofing protection by maintaining its integrity against environmental attacks and traffic. 665 Waterproofing Membrane offers:

  • Strip Tensile Strength of 50 lbs./in.
  • Puncture resistant up to 200 lbs.
  • 20% Elongation at break of fabric
  • Grab Tensile Strength 150 lbs.
  • Pliability at low temperatures

A silicon release allows you to simply cold-apply our 665 Waterproofing 50-foot long, 4-foot wide Membrane with no heating equipment or special adhesives. Acceptable projects for 665 Waterproofing Membranes should not be where temperatures exceed 325°F.

In addition, we recommend applying 650 RC Liquid Adhesive before the membrane, to concrete bridge decks. Between 40º F and 50º F, new asphalt pavement surfaces do not require adhesive. Only use liquid adhesive for old concrete or asphalt surfaces (except milled surfaces) for temperatures less than 70º F.

650 RC Liquid Adhesive

To enhance the membrane and bridge deck pavement bond, apply Polyguard 650 RC Liquid Adhesive – an asphaltic solvent-based liquid adhesive primer, below the waterproofing membrane. Simple to use, 650 RC Liquid Adhesive meets the requirements of ASTM D-41.

Strong and Flexible 650 Sheet Membrane

Tough, flexible, 60-mil, post concrete pour 650 Sheet waterproofing/vapor retarder membrane stops vapor and water transmission through a bridge deck’s concrete slabs. Self-bonded and cold-applied 650 Membrane permits application down to temperatures of 25° F.

Wide Polyguard 650 Membrane allows the fast and simple application to continuous flat surfaces, like a bridge deck. It also comes in a narrow width for construction joints, trimming corners, and other applications.

You can buy 650 Sheet Membrane in sizes: 36″ x 66.7′ and 48″ x 50′ rolls.

Minimize Cracking and Corrosion with NW-75 Pavement Underseal Membrane

Peel and stick, Polyguard NW-75 Pavement Underseal offers superior waterproofing solutions for localized areas of failure in bridge decks (10 percent of pavement area and less) before paving with a new overlay. Subgrade weaknesses can cause the asphalt to crack which permits water to infiltrate the subgrade, which can quicken failure and create a weak spot in the pavement. The situation often repeats itself even after digging out and repairing the area. Pavement Waterproofing Underseal can help prevent future pavement failure by lessening the amount and severity of reflective cracking.

NW-75 performs two functions. First, it protects against cracking. Second, if a crack does occur, the waterproofing seal built into the NW-75 prevents water intrusion.

Puncture-resistant, NW-75 Polyguard 65 mil underseal membrane provides a permanent seal underneath the pavement to reduce the severity of pavement cracking and stop steel corrosion on bridge decks. NW-75 can also properly repair joints and cracks.

Polyguard Is the Best Option for Bridge Deck Waterproofing Membranes

Polyguard Is the Best Option for Bridge Deck Waterproofing Membranes

Polyguard products are the best option for bridge deck waterproofing. Our waterproofing membranes and companion products will keep moisture and chlorides from infiltrating a bridge deck to prevent deterioration and corrosion. Applying Polyguards’ high-quality products to new and existing bridge decks will preserve their integrity, extend their life spans, and reduce the need for repairs and maintenance, which can lead to costly and disruptive bridge closure.

For more information on bridge deck waterproofing membranes, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Polyguard today.

How to Insulate an Outdoor Water Tank

In cold climates, commercial and residential outdoor water tanks need tank insulation to protect against freezing, which can damage the tank and plumbing, and compromise the safety of the water supply. Other methods for protecting outdoor water tanks from freezing include submersible electric water heaters, electric heating blankets, and external heating systems. However, thermal insulation does not require energy or maintenance after installation, and provides a cost-effective way to protect an outdoor water tank from cold temperatures.

Outdoor Water Tank Insulation

Why Apply Storage Tank Insulation?

Applying insulation to an outdoor water storage tank will ensure a year-round steady water supply for drinking, cleaning, and many other uses. In addition, water delivery can be streamlined for many commercial applications, including commercial food and beverage preparation, agricultural and irrigation, fire suppression, and industrial manufacturing. Many families find home water tanks very useful. Long-term water storage saves money on water bills, maintains the family’s standard of living during water restrictions, contributes to conserving natural resources, and provides water for irrigating a home garden. 

Protecting Outdoor Water Tanks from Extreme Temperatures

Extreme cold temperatures compromise the integrity of water storage tanks and plumbing because water expands as it freezes. If the water tank freezes, it can take a long time to thaw, particularly in winter. Therefore, you must winterize the tank before the first frost, with outdoor tank insulation, or submersible electric water heater, electric heating blankets, or an external heating system in order to keep your winter water supply safe.  

Outdoor Water Tank Insulation 

Wrapping a water tank with insulation will significantly limit the risk of freezing; however, the amount and type of insulation that should be used depends on the climate. Colder temperatures require more protective and robust insulation. In addition, you should insulate any pipes running to or from the tank since these will freeze much faster than the water tank. 

The 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC C403.12.3) mandates insulation for piping associated with cooling and heating that carries fluid with an operating temperature of 105 °F or more, or 60 °F or less. Furthermore, you must protect the insulated water tank and piping from exposure to moisture, sunlight, and wind, in order to prevent damaging the insulation’s effectiveness. 

Polyguard has all the products you need to protect and insulate your outdoor water storage tank and piping: ReactiveGel RG-2400®, PolyPhen® Phenolic Insulation, and Alumaguard®.

ReactiveGel RG-2400 stops corrosion under the insulation (CUI) for metal outdoor water tanks.

Insulating an Outdoor Water Tank with Polyguard Products

ReactiveGel RG-2400 (Blue Goo) applies to a clean, rust and debris-free water tank and piping until you no longer see the metal. For large tanks, you can directly spray the RG-2400. For large pipes, polyguard also recommends installing our mesh fabric before applying the insulation and vapor barrier.

Polyguard RG-2400 offers a series of products to stop CUI for water tanks, meeting the specific needs of your commercial or residential metal outdoor water tank: 

  • RG-2400 LT – for systems up to 250º F (121º C).
  • RG-2400 ET – for 350° F (177° C) operating temperatures, crucial for steam lines with temperature cycles ranging from ambient to hot. 
  • RG-2400 AK – stops stainless steel and copper stress crack CUI, used on in-service HOT Line applications up to 250º F (121º C).
  • RG-2400 NP – anti-corrosion gel is applied to new piping systems up to 230º F.
  • RG-CHW – offers a solution for CUI on chilled water systems with 40º F – 140º F temperature ranges.

PolyPhen Phenolic Insulation prevents heat loss to your outdoor water tank.

PolyPhen® Phenolic insulation installs over the RG-2400, to efficiently stop the flow of heat and vapor to and from the water tank and pipes. Computerized cutting-technology by specialist fabricators improves the insulation system’s value by providing a consistent tight-fit. 

Eco-friendly, flame-resistant, closed-cell Polyguard PolyPhen® offers a range of rigid foam insulation densities designed for commercial, industrial, and residential applications like water tanks and piping. With thermal conductivities between 0.17 – 0.24 Btu in/(hr ft2), you can apply PolyPhen® closed-cell insulation to insulate surfaces in the temperature range of -290° F to +250° F (-180° C to +120° C). The insulation thickness varies depending on the water tank and piping temperature.

Why Choose Phenolic Insulation?

Phenolic materials are a reaction from mixing phenolic resin mix solids and a surface-acting agent to create a network of bubbles that is cured into a closed-cell foam, to enhance its thermal and moisture resistance over open-cell foam. 

Phenolic insulation’s low thermal conductivity gives it double the insulating capabilities of other insulating products like fibrous glass (open cell), cellular glass (partially closed cell), and elastomeric (closed cell).

The high R-value and low thermal conductivity save money because it needs less insulation to maintain the same performance as other materials.  

Furthermore, fire-resistant phenolic insulation achieves an ASTM E84 25/50 Class A flame and smoke rating. In addition, many phenolic foams do not burn at all when exposed to an E84 flame test, yielding a perfect 0/0 rating. 

Environmentally-friendly phenolic insulation produces low levels of toxic gas emissions. Old insulation can also be remanufactured into a new product.

Alumaguard and Alumaguard Cool Wrap controls moisture infiltration

Flexible, energy-saving Polyguard’s zero perms Alumaguard® weather-proofing cladding stops damaging air, moisture, and vapor intrusions to water tanks and piping insulation. 

Submersible Electric Water Heater

A submersible electric water heater can prevent your tanks from freezing by delivering a current from a heating element to a conductive substance, like steel, which heats the water, and prevents ice formation. Extremely cold areas may require a combination of submerged heaters and insulation. 

Electric Heating Blankets Wrap 

Electric heating blankets wrap around the tank like a jacket, and generate heat from an electrical source, to provide temperature controls in response to weather conditions. Electric heating blankets cost more and require additional upkeep than insulation material but provide an effective way to prevent your tank from freezing.

Exterior Heating Systems for Large Tanks

Large water tanks at high risk of freezing may require heating systems on the tank’s exterior. These costly, complicated, and large systems use a lot of energy but are necessary for extreme situations. 

Tips for Minimizing the Risk of Freezing 

Besides the use of insulation and electric heating systems, you can minimize the risk of your tank freezing by following these helpful tips; 

  1. Purchase a large tank since it will freeze slower than a smaller tank. 
  2. Select a round tank since a smaller surface size insulates more effectively than a similar square or rectangular tank.
  3. Inspect and repair all cracks and leaks in the tank and network of pipes since the defects will increase heat loss and quicken the freezing process.
  4. Place the tank underground for more stable and consistent temperatures.
  5. Choose cheaper plastic tanks because they can withstand the force of expansion due to freezing better than a metal tank. 
  6. Keep the water running with a plumbing system or pressurized water line, anything to keep the water moving. 

Insulating an Outdoor Water Tank with Polyguard Products

Polyguard products provide a superior solution to insulating and protecting your outdoor water tank against freezing, to ensure a constant and safe water supply. PolyPhen® Phenolic Insulation, combined with ReactiveGel RG-2400®, and Alumaguard® will guarantee your outdoor water tank’s long-term integrity and performance, and protect against freezing conditions, corrosion, and vapor and air intrusion. 

For more on how to insulate an outdoor water tank, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Polyguard today.