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Waterproof Application and Products for
Exterior Walls, Foundations and Other Surfaces

How To Waterproof, Coat and Seal Exterior Projects

The elements will always find a way to attack your foundation, whether it is covered by soil or painted with a standard coating. Ames waterproofing membranes are the go to solution to protecting your foundation. Using our products in an exterior application process creates a long lasting barrier between the elements and your valuables. If you have a foundation that is below the water line or has heavy run off against the foundation we highly recommend using Ames products. With our application process you will have ease of application and peace of mind.

Products in this Project

Block & Wall™ Acrylic is an elastomeric, acrylic, rubberized coating & sealant with 650% elongation that resists cracking and peeling. Block & Wall™ Acrylic is heavy duty, resists mold & mildew, and adheres to a variety of surfaces.

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Ames® Super Primer™ is a multi-surface acrylic primer sealer. Super Primer™ creates a powerful membrane that seals against water damage and seepage while strengthening the surface and adding longevity to your coating project.  

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Blue Max® Liquid Rubber Waterproofer is a water-based, strong and highly adhesive elastomeric coating & sealant with 1200% elongation that moves with the surface to resist cracking & peeling. Blue Max® is ideal for waterproofing above & below grade foundations, basements, roofs, floors & more.

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A detailed inspection of the application area must be performed before beginning any work in the installation process. This can be done independently or with your contractor. Click on each stage beginning with Application Guidelines, and follow the proper steps to ensure that your project conditions and Ames installation guidelines match.

Application Guidelines

Surface Preparation

Initial Cleaning

    • Proper initial cleaning of your substrate includes removing dirt, contaminants, and debris from existing surfaces. All loose contaminants that could prohibit proper adhesion of the Ames Liquid Membrane to the substrate can normally be removed with a stiff bristle broom, vacuuming or other means unless the buildup is severe then a pressure washer may be required.
    • All surfaces must be sound and free from spalled areas, loose nails or screws, sharp protrusions or other matter that will hinder the adhesion or regularity of the membrane installation. The surface should also be free from frost, dirt, grease, oil, or other contaminants. Clean dust and dirt from the surface by brushing or wiping with a clean, dry cloth, brush, or broom.

      Concrete should be cured in place a minimum of 7 Days. All surfaces need to be smooth, with sharp protrusions such as cold joints ground flush. Honeycomb and holes/cracks exceeding 1/8”and up to 5/8” across shall be filled with Blue Max Trowel and Caulk.

Inspection of Substrates

    • Inspect substrate for suitability to proceed with Ames Liquid Membrane.
    • If there are substrate issues, bring these issues to the project supervisor, architect, customer or Ames Research Laboratories tech services attention for recommendations.

Substrate Conditions - are specific to the type of surfaces you are working on. Incorrect conditions can cause installation deficiencies that could affect the performance of your waterproofing installation.

Inspect Substrates for:

    • Protruding or missing fasteners
    • Loose or broken backer board
    • Excessive gaps between backer board panels
    • Excessive gaps at intersections of backer board to other adjacent items
    • Excessive gaps at cutouts for water pipes, shower heads
    • Rough, sharp ridges in mortar sloping material
    • Dried crumbs of mortar slag on the surface of the shower base.
    • Mortar blocking mounting holes between drain base and clamping ring
    • Presence of mold or mildew on walls or sheathing due to extended exposure to the elements or other pre-existing conditions.
    • Wood moisture content – at or below 20% as tested at core of substrate. This will typically be a consideration when the floor sheathing has been properly pre-sloped and is the intended substrate for the Ames Waterproofing Membrane.
    • For remodeling projects, all types of existing substrates being protected with Ames Liquid Membrane Waterproofing need to be inspected for any possible need to repair or replace before proceeding with new applications.
    • Structural and environmental integrity is important in the underlying material as it will become a base for the new Ames Waterproofing System. An example of when aged and deteriorated substrates may be encountered could be when an aged existing shower or tub is being removed and a tile system is being installed.
General Guidelines
    • Ames Research Laboratories, Inc. recommends that these application suggestions be used as a guideline for applying Ames’ products. Please remember these are only suggestions.
    • Product durability depends upon surface preparation and sufficient material usage for thickness.
    • Read all instructions on the label before beginning.
    • Always run a test patch first in an inconspicuous area to ensure that proper adhesion and drying occurs with your product and that the product works to your satisfaction before proceeding.
    • Do not proceed unless you are satisfied.
      For product information or technical assistance, call 1-888-345-0809 or contact us via email.
Weather & Drying Guidelines
    • As with all roof coatings, coordinate schedule to apply materials prior to high heat of the day. Best temperature range for application is 50º to 90ºF (10º to 32ºC) When working in hotter temperatures apply in smaller areas to maintain control of the wet material during application. • Recommended minimum temperature of 40 ºF (5 ºC) and rising before applying.
    • Plan application to avoid inclement weather for 24 hours after application in cooler climates or if rain is predicted.
    • Dry times are dependent upon the thickness of application, humidity, and weather. Product should be dried and cured after 24 hours. Low temperature, high humidity, and morning dew (condensation) can delay start times and increase drying and curing times. Always test the roof after initial cure to determine if cooler temperatures and high humidity may have slowed down the drying time before walking on the roof or beginning a second coat.
    • Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU)

      Mortar joints shall be struck flush and shall be free of voids exceeding 1/8” across. Mortar droppings shall be removed from brick ties and all other surfaces accepting Blue Max Liquid Rubber Waterproofer Membrane and accessories. Allow mortar joints to dry a minimum of three days prior to application of the Blue Max® and accessories. the exposure duration or exposure conditions as required by the concrete manufacturer.

Application Techniques

Spray Application

  • When spraying airless equipment sizing should be a flow rate of 1.0 to 3 GPM, 2500 to 3000psi, heavy duty reversal-clean tip (without diffuser pin) sizes 629 (12” fan .029 orifice size) to 633 (12” fan -033 orifice size). For long hose runs, hose sizes that are 5/8” should be reduced to ½” before connection to gun swivel.
  • Alternately, you can size your hose for shorter runs at ½” and a whip line of 3/8” or ¼” at the gun for improved gun control.
  • Consult Ames tech services for assistance in determining if your specific airless sprayer is suitable for the project.
  • If the airless sprayer has a machine filter in addition to the intake rock screen, we recommend either a 40 mesh filter or temporarily removing the machine filter cartridge altogether.
  • Airless equipment should be cleaned after use without delay.

Squeegee and/or Roller Application

  • Pour out a ribbon of material in a line across the surface of the roof.
  • Squeegee or roller spread the material out to the recommended wet mil application rate.
  • Pour out successive ribbons of material adjacent to the first area applied and follow the same procedure to the recommended wet mil application rate.
  • Back roll through the squeegeed material to even up the coating thickness as you move across the roof applying coatings.
  • 24” to 36” roof squeegees with broom style handles are recommended.
  • 18” by 1” to 1 & 1/2” nap rollers/frames are recommended.
  • 9” roller covers can be used for small jobs and embedding fabric.
  • 4” mini roller frames and covers work great for embedding flashing around small detail areas.
  • If roller covers dry in the sun, replace them promptly with useable roller covers.
  • Clean squeegees as needed to avoid excessive material buildup.
  • Rollers can be rolled up into plastic sheeting to keep the roller covers moist and to extend the useful life of the roller covers.


After inspection, repair, and the pre-filling of joints, corners and cracks, you can begin the application of Ames Liquid Membrane. Although most application process will only require two coats, please pay careful attention to mil depth and condition of your substructure.

Application Process

Step One Surface Preparation
  • Follow all cleaning recommendations in the General Application Guide.

  • Ames Research Laboratories always recommends a spot adhesion test of all materials to be applied to the site be conducted after surface preparation and cleaning has taken place. This is to verify that there is proper adhesion and that your surface will be protected.
Step Two

Once Adhesion has been verified use Blue Max Trowel Grade or Caulk to fill cracks and holes from 1/8 inch to 5/8 inch. Trowel Grade can be used to fill in uneven surfaces and create a smooth surface for the waterproofing of your interior walls. (Allow all crack and holes to cure for seven to 10 days) Where the floor and interior wall of your basement meet. Ames recommends a bead of caulk be run along that junction for best protection. (Allow 7 to 10 days for full cure.)

Step Three
    • Surfaces with joints, cracks, or where two unlike surfaces come together, require Ames® Peel & Stick™ Seam Tape (PS250, PS450 or PS650) to provide some additional strength and reinforcement. It is important to seam tape all joints and cracks to avoid future cracking and leaking. Prime all surfaces with Ames® Super Primer™ or Ames® Block & Wall® Acrylic coating prior to setting the Seam Tape in place.

Step Four (optional)
    • Apply a liberal topcoat of Ames® Block & Wall® Acrylic coatings over the Seam Tape and allow to completely dry. A minimum of two coats is recommended and allow at least 24 hours to dry between coats.
Exterior Block and Wall Diagram
Exterior Below Grade Diagram

Post Application

Weather & Drying

Ames® products are best applied between 50° to 90° F (10° to 32° C) on warm dry surfaces. Products start to dry in 2-8 hours. If possible, wait a minimum of 24 hours between coats for best results. Depending on thickness of application and weather the products cure in 24 hours. Low temperatures, high humidity and evening and morning dew will require increased drying/curing time.

Clean Up & Storage

Clean tools and small spills with pure water, no soaps or detergents needed. Store unused product in its original container, tightly sealed and protect from freezing. If unopened, most Ames products will last on the shelf for two (2) years. Dispose of this product in accordance with local, state, or federal requirements.

Health & Safety
      • Use hand and eye protection when using this product
      • Wash with soap and water after contact with skin
      • If eye contact occurs rinse with clean water and seek medical advice if symptoms continue
      • Keep out of reach of Children.
      • CA Prop 65 This product may contain chemical(s) known to the state of California to cause cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Inspection, Testing & Repair
  • Inspect after final coat is dry and repair any obvious deficiencies.
  • Document the substrate conditions before, during and after completion of an Ames Liquid Membrane project. (professional application only)
  • If excessive materials remain this indicates insufficient dry millage of the product was applied.
  • Continue to apply all unused materials to the surfaces until materials are depleted and the calculated dry millage for the project is reached and to recommend product specifications.
  • Follow all warranty guidelines and requirements.

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Block and Wall
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Ames Technical & Sales Support Staff

Ames trained support team has over 80 years of combined knowledge and experience in the paint and coatings industry. They are available Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 4:30pm PST to answer any questions you have about Ames waterproofing roof coating and sealant products, the application process, becoming a Retailer/Distributor or reaching out to locate contractors and much more.