Sani Tred Vs Drylock.

Sani Tred Vs Drylock.

In my previous post I told you my story of water in my basement. After fixing the gutter on the back of my house my water problems were mostly fixed, but My corner basement wall does still get damp/wet to the touch.

My plan was to use Sani-Tred in the corners and at the floor to wall area, and use Dry Lock on the rest of the wall.

First up : Wall prep. I took a wire wheel on a grinder to all the concrete block. This was a very loud and dirty process. Then Shop vaced the whole area. Wall was DRY.

Sani Tred is a 2 part rubber epoxy goo. That means you have to mix it with a hardener before you can apply it. And unless you are going to be using it all at one time then you need do this in a separate container. Mixing and applying this mess is difficult. It is like trying to paint caulking on the wall. It is thick and sticky stuff. Forget the roller, just use a stiff brush. Surprising the smell wasn’t bad at all. This takes a while to apply and is not like normal painting. Anything this stuff touches will need to be trashed, don’t even think about reusing the brush and roller. After drying there seems to be an oily residue on the wall. Coverage: there is no way your going to get 240 sq ft out of one gallon, maybe 100 sq ft for one coat.

Dry Lock is a milkshake thick paint. No mixing things together needed. It is easy to apply, but it still works better with a brush for the first coat. It smells worse than Sani Tred. This is much more like normal painting. Clean up is quick and easy

I don’t feel that Sani Tred is a Consumer DIY product. It is difficult to prepare, and apply. That said just looking at the final product, Sani Tred does seem superior in quality. If you have serious water issues then seek a professional and maybe have a pro apply the Sani-tred for you. Drylock was cheaper and much easier for the majority of my application. I would not buy Sani-tred again to do a large area. I will have to wait for the next hard rain before I have full results.

See Some follow ups on post #2

54 thoughts on “Sani Tred Vs Drylock.

  1. Gerald Brinson says:

    Interesting points about the Sanitred and the Drylock. You noted not much odour from the Sanitred. However, did the smell linger for some time. I await your comments, especially now that you had some time to test the products.

  2. Danpereda says:

    I have to say that I have not had water in the basement after using both products, but it has not been that long. We had some heavy rain with with not water penetration that I can see. If I would do it again I would only go with Drylock.

  3. Stacy says:

    A wire wheel is not recommended. A wire wheel will leave metallic streaks on the block/concrete.

    Sani-Tred is not an epoxy and does not use a “hardener”. Sani-Tred is a type of polyurethane and comes with an ‘Accelerator’. Unlike epoxies, Sani-Tred does not require a hardener in order to cure. Sani-Tred will cure on its own without anything … it just takes longer to do it in comparison to using the supplied Accelerator.

    If the temp is low then Sani-Tred will be thicker because it is ‘solvent-free’. That is why it is low odor. If the material is thick then you simply thin it as per the instructions. It’s very easy to do and it glides right on.

    You cannot expect the materials to cover 240 sq’ per gal on their own … you must distribute it yourself at the proper rate of use. The tool you were using (a brush) is the reason you were not able to apply it at the proper rate of use. A roller is MUCH easier, more effective, and more efficient. You can always expect a brush to apply anything thicker.

    The application is very easy as long as you use the right tools for the job. You wouldn’t use a brush to paint a room, but you would certainly use a brush for places where a roller is out of the question.

  4. chrissy says:

    any water yet?
    I’m thinking of doing sani tred. I don’t care if it’s hard, if it keeps my basement dry, it’s well worth any amount of work.

  5. Danpereda says:

    It has been almost a year since I have used the SaniTred product. I can not longer say it was the product that helped with the water. One of my gutters recently started leaking and water entered my basement. After reading alot. Do what the pros say and Fight the water from outside is the only way.

  6. Mike Kaslowski says:

    I have used Sani-Tred to waterproof my pool with excellent results after 2 years now. I had a handy man install it because I did not have the time to do it myself and I am not so good with those things anyway. Last winter my cousin basement started to leak so I am helping him doing research on the internet to find an inexpensive way to waterproof his basement and I thought of Sanitred which gave me great results before but I wanted to know if there is something better or cheaper out there for my cousin’s leaking basement?

  7. Ryan Hager says:

    To all concerned for waterproofing:
    I used Sani-Tred on the walls in my basement, and will be doing the floors once it warms up! Yes, the stuff is Very hard to roll UNLESS you put about 4 oz or so of Xylene to 1 gallon of the Permaflex. It thins it out enough to make it super easy to roll. Unfortunately, it will turn your basement into a smelly place. You’ll need to leave the house and air it out for 6 hours more or less. It sucks, but that’s the only easy way to apply the Permaflex I have discovered. Sanitred is the best out there [I dont’ work for them]. Like mad, trust me, if applied correctly, it will waterproof. My friend’s dad owns a concrete company and they use it for waterproofings as well.

  8. jessica says:

    we are considering using sani tred… we have concrete block walls which have been painted over in our basement… the problem we have right now is mold (which im sure some of you have experienced if you have had water in basement), its a pain to keep killing it… any suggestions on how to fight the mold issue or how to remove paint from concrete block we are thinking of using a grinder with wire wheel… does your block have to be bone dry before applying sani tred, someone help getting frustrated every time we get heavy rain.

  9. Paul says:

    After a lot of research, I used the sanitred in my basement. I used the Permaflex on the horizontal and vertical surfaces, and used LRB with the thickener in the corners. Then, over it all with a second coat of Permaflex. I purchased and used a Bosch cement grinder to prep the surface (surface prep I believe is key to any product like this). I used a propane torch to dry out any moist concrete. Don’t try to paint over anything wet.

    Anyhow, lots of work. However, it has now been 2 years and wherever I put the stuff (on 2 of 4 sides of the basement, and on about 1/2 of the floor around the perimeter) there is ZERO water coming in. It still comes in if the power goes out (sump fails) or hydraulic pressure pushes it up through the cracks that aren’t covered…

    But, it is as perfect as a product can be I imagine. It is expensive, and time consuming to prep the surface, but well worth the time! I’m going to buy more and finish it out, and I have no doubt that I’ll have zero water down there once I do.

    I am just a homeowner in new england, don’t work for them or anything – just tried it out and it works great.

    I recommend it – but prep the surface, listen to people that have installed it, don’t be afraid to call them – and understand it isn’t a ‘quick fix’. It takes work, but it will work!

  10. Tom Mattausch says:

    I haven’t used Drylok. With a 10 year warranty, lots of happy customers, and an affordable pricetag, it seems to be a decent solution if you are not looking to permanently solve the problem. In my mind, Drylok is similar to the Xypex coating product, or Thoroseal.

    However, if you are going to finish the basement, building your fountain pièce de résistance, or just don’t want to have to potentially strip and reapply someday, I would recommend something more permanent such as Sanitred (or ArmorGuard looks promising – haven’t used it).

    In terms of durability, when properly applied, Sanitred stands a chance of outlasting the human race 🙂 It is flexible, impervious to hydrostatic pressure (water pushing on it from the outside), and extremely abrasion resistant. One of my architect buddies was familiar with it, and in his opinion there really aren’t many similar products available. Whether that is true or not, I have found it to be a reliable product.

    If you have paint or a coating to remove, the fastest way is to use an angle grinder with a silicon carbide disc, or if that’s unavailable, a sandpaper flap disc is 70% as good. Be sure to use a respirator mask. Really.

    Sandblasting is also an option but is a large or huge mess/health issue, depending on the blast media used.

    Apply Sanitred’s Permaflex with a roller. Thin the product with Xylene 10% unless the weather is very hot. Next is the patching compound for any cracks and joints in the surface, then another coat of Permaflex.

    Sanitred’s Permaflex coating will develop an oily film around a day after being applied. This film must be removed prior to applying the patching material (“LRB”) or applying the next coat of Permaflex. See their instructions – you use Xylene or blue Dawn soap.

    Me: I use Sanitred products for my water art and fountains as a public installation artist (Sanitred will be used in my first public art installation at Arlington’s Cascade Valley Hospital, going in January ’10). I also use it for restoration work as part of my fountain design/build/repair company, FlowMotion Art LLC.

  11. John says:

    Hi i just built a pool out of blocks and I would like to tile it but I want to put a sealent on it that I can tile over
    any help would be greatly appreciated

  12. Steve says:

    I am also interested in the Sani-Tred like many of you. I applied Drylock about 12 years ago on all my basement walls and was pleased for about 7 years. Then I guess the hydrostatic pressure in two areas, one around my sump and the other beneath a window, eventually pushed the drylock off the wall leaving both areas wet and messy. So now I’m looking at finishing my basement and something that will work on my two problem areas. Like Dan in the first post I’m considering doing a combination by adding Sani-Tred to the problem spots.

  13. Jim says:

    I have begun using the product for a,leaky basement. Mixed reviews so far.
    I probably didn’t do enough surface prep, and also didn’t clean off the oily film before applying the second layers.

    I still have a distinct odor coming from the product in the basement..Wondering if this will be reduced by cleaning with the Dawn blue soap and removing the oily film?
    Did anyone else encounter the “smell” issue??
    Could just be my user error..

  14. Frank says:

    Has anyone with a stone foundation tried doing this? how would I need to prep our stone (I don’t think a grinder would be the best way to go about it)? If anyone has tried this, any feedback would be more than welcome. Thanks!

  15. Pingback: Sani Tred Vs Drylock – Wet basement – Part 2- Dan Pereda – Yeah! You found me.

  16. Kat says:

    Dan’s posting about Sani-Tred is misleading. And no, I don’t work for them but I was perusing their literature to see about using their products for my own basement. Sani-Tred is a 4 step system using their products, Permaflex and LRB/TAV. The Permaflex is their product that is comparable to DryLok. The LRB/TAV is a liquid rubber that needs an activator, so it’s a two part sealant. First you clean the walls/floor, apply a coat of Permaflex, then seal cracks with LRB/TAV then recoat with Permaflex. From reading Dan’s posting it would seem he only used the LRB/TAV.

    My own basement suffers from small leakage from hydrostatic pressure after the ground is fully saturated – a rare occurrence. Because of existing wall construction, I can’t use Sani-Tred everywhere so for my purposes it makes more sense to try to just control the water as it seeps in. I can do some sealing with Sani-Tred at the wall/floor joint and would like to put channels in the floor to divert the water to an existing sump pump. Since any remaining water that isn’t pumped out drains through the floor, I’d like to keep that feature and Sani-Tred on the floor would negate it. Then I will put in a raised floor (2″) with removable sections for access and help drying out if necessary.

  17. rick says:

    In response to Jim’s post from Jan 29, 2010. I used the Sani-tred product on a dry basement wall. I still seem to get some water that comes in thru it, but not as much as before it was applied. My biggest issue however is the lingering smell that has remained in the basement. There are 4 old wood windows that really don’t open, so not alot of ventilation other than the door at the top of the stairs. I called Sani-tred and was told to wash the walls with Dawn soap, but no difference….. the product has cut down the amount of water, but the smell that is left is not worth using the product. As soon as the cellar door is opened there is a strong odor which resembles cat urine. There is no cat and the odor started after the sani-tred application…I am almost thinking of trying to put something over the sani-tred to see if it will stop the smell??

  18. djkblend says:

    Permaflex worked for me the first thing I noticed was a drop in the humidity level It was above 70 now its below 50

  19. Mark Yochum says:

    I used Sanitred 6 years ago due to a crack in the wall and leaking from the cove. I LOVE it!! At the time I spent $1000 on Permaflex and LRB/TAV for 5 gallon buckets. Basement still does not leak. I put $40,000 in material since then in the basement. Yes I noted the oily film and the smell. difficult to ventilate the basement with those little windows. I cannot comment on DRYlock, never used. I am reading again about sanitred because my friend has water issues. I am 100% convinced of the product. Prep was a lot of work!! but once all done worth the trouble because water is more trouble!

  20. LilP says:

    I applied Drylock about 4 years ago. There was leakage in areas where I see it wasn’t applied completely. I also didn’t do a good enough job prepping the concrete, so now there are parts where the dry lock has lifted off. I’m considering Sani tred now, or maybe even dry lock again – and doing a much better job of prepping and following directions. Can I apply either of these over the dry lock from 4 years ago? Does dry lock need to be removed somehow first.
    Wishing I had just done had it done properly the first time….

  21. steve says:

    use the white permaflex,alot less smell. the gray gives off a really bad smell that you can not get rid of.i cleaned and painted over it but to no avail. the product works great only if you prep the right way. also need to cover ever pin hole or it will leak.

  22. Mark Scarbeau Contractor says:

    As a contractor have used both Drylok & Sanitred.I highly recommend both products.Sanitred is my #1 choice and recently used it on a poor concrete block foundation.For best results in blocking out damaging hydraulic water and its source hire a professional that will warranty the workmanship.You have only one shot at using & prepping the application correctly.
    Plymouth,Ma (508)667-4774

  23. Elisabeth Sartain says:

    Has anyone tried applying a sealant OVER the Sanitred to prevent/reduce the odor afterwards?
    If so, which sealant is most effective? Do you need to clean the oily surface, then wait for the Sanitred to cure for a set amount of time before sealing it?
    Will other detergents besides “Dawn” work, or are they not recommended?
    Thank you.

  24. David Stratton says:

    A user asked about mold problems in their basement. Granted, it’s been several years since they asked, but just to respond to it for those who may be reading this and wondering what the solution is…

    My wife and I own a home that is at least 100 years old. A general contractor who has helped with a number of home upgrades has shared with us that he suspects the home was originally built without a basement, and that it was later lifted off its initial foundation, a basement was dug out, concrete poured, etc, and it was then replaced on top of that basement.

    Why anyone would ever go to all of that trouble is beyond me, but the point is, she’s not as seaworthy as she once was…when the rains come–and they come big time in western Wisconsin!–she leaks quite a bit, especially on the western side of the home, which is the uphill side of the home which is situated on the side of a hill.

    The basement had quite a musty/moldy smell to it for some time, and finally we decided we needed to do something about it or it would begin to cause the whole home to mold and decay. So we contacted a company called “Badger Basement Systems”, which is a company based out of Madison, WI that specializes in assisting with addressing wet basements.

    Long story short, they recommended a heavy-duty dehumidifier. When we bought the home, there was an old (looked like it was 1970’s era) dehumidifier…one with an external coil that went through alternating heating and cooling cycles to remove moisture from the air. This thing would fill an entire 2 gallon bucket of water twice a day, that’s how much moisture was in the air down there. And it was STILL damp/moldy.

    Badger Basements left some literature with us showing how mold/fungi only thrive when the humidity of air is at 50% or above. They recommended, as a solution for our wet basement, a heavy duty humidifier that had a double-filtration element. It is programmable to multiple humidity settings, but we’ve never had to mess with it…we just leave it set at 45% and it runs when it needs to, and shuts off when it is done sucking moisture out of the air.

    Within about 48 hours of installing the unit, there was a noticeable change in the quality of the air in our basement. I also noticed that we no longer get mold growing on cardboard boxes in storage down there, which is a positive sign.

    Now our only problem is that the basement does continue to leak, so the floors and walls are wet during rainy periods of the year.

    Based on Mr. Pereda’s descriptions here, I may very well be going with Dry-Lock instead of Sani-Tred to fix the leaks in our basement.

  25. David says:

    BUYER BEWARE: SANITRED charges a 30% restocking fee for return products which have not been opened. Are the IDIOTS. Oh wait that’s for the warehouse guy to take the “un-opened” product out of the box give it a once over and put it back on the shelf? Right off the bat 30% of the purchase price is gone and you have to return the product yourself so you could be in over your head. So your running cost to return is about 35-40% almost 1/2 of what you paid for. SANITRED is over rated and over priced

  26. Ed says:

    applied sani tred over old stone foundation thin it down with xylene and used a cheap sprayer to apply it worked well. need a resperator, still have a few leaks, and cat urine smell, can’nt get rid of the odor, thought it was the xylene.

  27. Nancy says:

    I was really interested in comments by Elizabeth Sartain in March of 2011 RE: smell of sanitred. And Rick in 2010 says it smells of cat urine. We can’t get rid of the odor although our basement painted in beige is perfectly dry now. To me it is the smell of underarms on a hot day! We put in a new dehumidifier and it’s better. So has anyone else tried the plain white to decrease the odor????

  28. Mike says:

    I have used Sani-tred on a number of houses with sucess with the exception of ONE very important thing. It smells like cat urine. When I called Sani-tred about this, I was told, “Oh, I’ve never hear that complaint before.” I asked to talk to the manager, and I have yet to hear from him over this matter. They can no longer say they never hear of this problem as I told them three years ago, and again this year. I used the gray color on all my jobs.

    The product definitely works. You must get every pin hole which can be challenging at times, but results are 100% good. One of the basements I did was made of stone and mortar on all the walls. It leaked quite a bit. I used a 3,500 PSI pressure washer with an orbital head to clean the surface. If that doesn’t remove whatever is still on the wall, you are probably OK. I then used a propane tank like the one you would have on your barbecue drill with a special torch head sold by Sani-tred. I coat smooth walls with a roller and but on this job I had to use a brush for all of it. The first coat was with Permaflex, then I coated the walls completely with LRB/TAV by hand, while I wore rubber gloves. I then coverd this again with Permaflex. I, too, got an oily coating that I cleaned with Dawn detergent before my next coat. The permaflex has a chemical reaction that creates small gas bubbles that rise to the surface and, I believe, gave me some pin holes that I then coverd with a final coat over the LRB/TAV. Despite my efforts, on this very difficult wall, I had to come back again to plug a couple of larger holes that were under some stone areas that I did not cover completely.

    Also, mold will grow on Permaflex (Sani-Tred), so if you did miss a leak, and it is of fair size, you will get mold on it. However, when I have successfuly cover all the pin holes and larger holes that I missed and found later when it rained, the product has held up and looked really nice. If it didn’t smell like cat urine, despite the cost and effort required to apply it, I would be happy with it as a product that works. I can’t stress enough that some of the basement I did were VERY, VERY bad.

    Another problem with Sani-Tred (Permaflex)is that you can’t clean it with products that contain Chlorine. It will break-down the prodcut.

    Now, when I applied my Permaflex, it was so smelly I used masks connected to a special pump (cost $1,000) to bring fresh air. Some people have allergic reactions to the product so you must be careful. Also, sensitively to the product can increase with each exposure to it. You might want to ask for the Product’s Safety Data sheet to confirm what I’m saying about it.

    I am so glad to find this site as up until now, I wasn’t sure if my tenants had cats that were peeing in the basement, or what. I was fairly certain that was not the problem, but because the people I spoke to at Sani-tred acted like they had never heard of the cat-urine smell problem, I wasn’t sure what to think. The smell is REALLY bad, but my tenants to rent the houses seem to get used to it and because the basements look so good and the tenants don’t live in the basement, they haven’t complained. I am always concerned, however, when I rent the house again that someone will reject it because of the smell.

    I did these basements 3-4 years ago. I did three really bad basements, and 1/2 of one basement, and just part of a wall on the other.

    Regarding Drylock, I have not had success with it. I works for maybe a year on the bad jobs I have. I don’t recommend using it as it just doesn’t hold up, in my experience. I you want to use something else, your application will only be as good as what is below it, and Drylock will not hold up. You will have to remove it, or at least as much as you can before using, let’s say, Sani-tred.

    Yesteray I used a product from Ames called Blue Max. It is a liquid rubber product that went on really nice. It has kind of an alcohol smell to it, but it was not nearly as bad as the Sani-tred smell. Since I just used it, I can’t tell how long the smell remains. On day two (today), the smell remains, but it is not 100% dry as it has been raining (I really shouldn’t have been putting it down so close to it raining, but . . . ). The Blue Max is 1/3 the cost of Sani-tred and at least as easy to put on as Dry-lock.

    I have recently begun to suspect that pressue washing isn’t worth all the trouble as it makes the surface wet, and it shoots small partricles of debris everwhere, including the floor joists overhead, the heater, etc. What I have been trying now is chiping and scraping the walls everwhere with the claw of a hammmer and then sweeping thoroughly, and then brushing the product on in multiple directions “clean off” any dirt that remained on the wall (the dirt mixes in the newly brushe on product). Now, I’m doing this on unfinished basements. I suspect this will work fairly well, but obviously, nothing will beat pressure washer or sand blasting or grinding, but . . .

    I hope I help someone. If my review of Sani-Tred seems mixed, it is because it is. It really took care of some extremely difficult jobs and made them 100% dry, but it cost me a very smelly basement. I thought about trying to coat them with something (epoxy paint?) to try to contain the smell, but so far I haven’t.

  29. Pingback: Sani Tred Vs Drylock – Feedback to Comments – Part 3 | Dan Pereda - Yeah! You found me.

  30. Sean Orr says:

    Help!!!!!!! I mixed Sani Tred (permaflex) with laquer thinner 7 days ago and it is still as if I sprayed it yesterday. The company Sani Tred are deceitful and push this product as a easy DIY solution. It was probably the most difficult product I have delt with. When I call the company they offer me no solutions other than to pressure wash it off my walls and wash my 1900.00 down the drain. I finally got that answer after they hung the phone up on me twice. 1 time with a representative the second with a manager ( who happens to be the owners wife). I didn’t even raise my voice or curse. They don’t make it blatantly obvious that the worst thing you could possibly do is use a alcohol based thinner. They say can be applied with a paint roller. Good luck!!!!! This product comes with the consistency of thick maple syrup and I was applying it on an old stack rock and motar foundation. So now my basement is ruined and I can’t even walk on it to put my hot water heater back in. I feel duped and taken advantage of. I had several conversation with their technicians and not one time did they mention “hey by the way this product might be difficult to work with, if it is thin it with an acetone or xylene thinner do not use anything else. I wouldn’t recommend this company to my worst enemy. I need some to help give me some answers on how to possibly fix the problem or just confirm that I am absolutely screwed.

  31. Kevin says:


    How has the Ames Blue Max held up? Has the smell gone away over the past few weeks? I have read about it some online and it looks promising, but have not found any reviews of people who have used it. Thanks!

  32. Joan says:

    I am sorry to hear abou the smell that comes with Sanitred. I have seen it and makes a basement look nice.
    I may do the basement system method where they jack hammer the inside perimeter.
    I wonder if doing this kind inside trench will increase radon

  33. Joe says:

    I also had dampness and musty oder problems in my basement.
    I had Sanitred applied about 2 1/2 years ago and despite open windows and fans running 24/7 there is still a lingering chemical odor. It really doesn’t smell like cat pee. If I try to work in the basement my eyes itch, voice becomes hoarse and I later develop a headache. My wife was also diagnosed with asthma. I called Sanitred several times and followed their advice to wash with Dawn. When I complained to them again they said it was probably applied incorrectly, too thick, floor damp(which it was in spots),bleach on floor(possible, one corner is a laundry area. There were also bubbles that developed in some areas over night after application. We really don”t know what to do. The health dept. suggested that we have the air tested and so I guess that will be our next step. Has anyone had success in getting rid of the odor?

    • Adam Blair says:

      Did you ever find a solution to get rid of the sanitred smell? we have been living with it for several years and I need to get rid of it.

  34. Pete Schliebner says:

    We used Sani-Tred in our basement with great success. About four years ago we started getting seepage through some of the poured concrete walls in our finished basement whenever it rained hard and long. I had to tear out the finished sheetrock and of course the drop ceiling came down with them – what a mess and a lot of work. Eventually the leaking got so bad that there was one spot where it looked like a drinking fountain coming through the wall! After a lot of research we decided to try to fix it with Sani-Tred. Anyone who says they can waterproof a basement from the outside is lying. You cannot get under the floor. You cannot get rid of the water in saturated soil if the storm sewers can’t handle the flow. It really is that simple. Drilling holes to let more water in and adding a sump pump seemed like a really bad idea; why would I want to let more water into the basement? So, we spent about $1200 on Sani-Tred Permaflex and LRB/TAV. We also bought one of those propane tank flame throwers to dry the walls. The preparation is key to success with this product. Do not try to take short cuts, and if you do, and it doesn’t work, don’t come back here and blame the product. It is a lot of work. We applied the Permaflex with a roller after trimming around windows and corners with a brush, just like you would if you were painting. It is thick and messy and a lot of work. Then we used the LRB/TAV in the corners, on any cracks, and at the floor/wall seam (tell me again how you seal that seam from the outside – you can’t). Then another coating of Permaflex over everything. We did all the walls and the entire floor. That is the only way to make sure the leak won’t just move to a different spot. The next time we had a really heavy rain, we noticed 2 or 3 pinhole leaks. After closer inspection, we noticed that the pinholes were everywhere. So, we applied another coating paying special attention to the pinholes. Eventually we got it all covered with no more pinholes anywhere. The basement has been completely dry ever since. That was over three years ago. I am going to finish the basement with sheetrock, moulding, and carpet again this spring. I waited 3 years just to make sure the leaks wouldn’t come back. Honestly, I am amazed at how well this product worked. I even thought about going into the basement waterproofing business, because it is so amazing, until I remembered how much work it was to use this product correctly! We used the gray color but we didn’t use any Xylene to thin it, just for cleanup. Without the xylene there was no odor while applying the product and there has been no odor of any kind since. Maybe it is the xylene that is causing that “cat urine smell” people are writing about? We did have to clean off the yellowish oil that appears about a week or so after the stuff cures, but never again after that. I am shocked at the vitriol you see aimed at this product on some websites. Almost all of the naysayers make their living trying to waterproof basements from the outside and almost none of them have ever actually used this product, but they hate it. I wonder why? If you prepare the walls and floor the way Sani-Tred says you have to, rather than trying to take shortcuts, and if you apply multiple coats to the entire basement – again, the way Sani-Tred says to do it – then this product will work. It did for us. But it is a lot of manual labor. If you try to take shortcuts or only do a partial job, you will probably get bad results, but don’t blame the product. I hope this info helps someone do it right like my wife and I did.

  35. Mike says:

    After using the Ames Company’s Blue Max product, I am still happy. Since applying it in October, the block wall basement I applied it to is still dry with no signs of deterioration. It will take a couple of years before I am convinced of its ability to last, but so far I am optimistic that I’ve finally found a good product to apply to an unfinished basement. The manufacturer told me it will last for 20 years, but who knows? If I’m finishing a basement, I like a permanent solution like Sanitred, but it smells way to bad for a finsihed basement, or even an unfinshed basement based on my experience.

    And for me Drylock has always been a very temporary solution . . . but the basements I waterproof are usually fairly bad.

    The Blue Max it very nice to work with. It applies as easily as paint and is just slightly smellier than normal paint, but not bad. I needed no special ventilation as I did with Sanitred products. Drylock and Blue Max were about equal as far as working with. Blue Max was a little more in cost, but very well worth the slightly higher price ($150 for 5 gal, vs $110). Sanitred is about $500/5 gal.

    I coated my second basement with one coat of Blue Max and so far it is working well, again. Blue Max is like an elastic paint. I’m really hoping it continues to work as well as it has so far as it really is easy to use and has save me a lot of money in reduced prep work, “messyness”, and time to apply vs Sanitred which is much thicker and difficult to apply.

    I do not work for any company, in case anyone is curious. I am a landlord who buys old houses that are in poor condition usually, I fix them up and then rent them. Where it was costing me $3,500 in materials to do a basment with Sanitred, I am able to do a basement for $600 with Blue Max and do it much more quickly.

    I have been experimenting with a more moderate prep regimen with Blue Max. I used the claw of a hammer to pick at the wall loosening all the loose material. I then sweep it down with a fine broom, and then hand apply the material with a bruch in multiple directions to help “mix up” and dust that might have remained so that I apply the product to virgin wall (or as close to virgin as my picking would obtain). So far, my success on just one coat has been 100%. The material drys a darker blue color which isn’t bad looking in itself. For a finished look and for better protection, Blue Max should have probably 2 coats of their top coat. The last job I did I used one coat and it still showed some of the blue. It looked ok, especially for an unfinished basement, but for a room finished look, a second coat would have been needed. Since I didn’t want to waste money on a product that might not even last, I held off on the second coat to see what would happen. So far, it is working really well. Even better than I expected . . . and it was so pleasant to work with. You use water to clean up, its smell is about like that of paint (Sanidtred is very smelly, and xyelene is a horrible-smelling product, too). Drylock is about like using Blue Max, but I found drylock doesn’t last for me.

    I hope to keep posting as the years go by to let you know what I’ve been doing. Santitred, you’ve got to get rid of that smell, and stop mistleading your customers about “never hearing about the smell issue” before. You’ve heard it from me and from others on this thread. I feel deceived by Sanitred after knowing what I at least think I know now. And Drylock, I am always surprised to hear others give it such good reviews. It drys hard so it tends to crack with any movement of your walls. How could a brittle product ever be a permanent or longer lasting solution? My brother says drylock works for him, and he believes my prep of the surfaces was not good enough. Maybe, I don’t know, but I do know my prep for Blue Max was as good as my prep for Drylock so any more prep would be a waste if it is good enough for Blue Max.

    Hey, I should be selling this stuff, huh? I am really impressed so far.


  36. SJ says:

    I am in the process of finding a solution to my basement leaking/seeping problems (old poured concrete with lots of cracks from settling). I’ve been through the drill of contractors telling me to use epoxy injections (prior owners did that and they all leak now), dig up my yard to get at wall, tear up my basement floor, put in a sump pump, ect. But logic tells me that an interior penetrating rubber barrier seems like the least intrusive and costly solution. Sani-Tred makes a very persuasive argument for this on their website.

    However, prior to this I had never read about the bad smell of Sani-Tred’s PermaFlex (Sani-Tred’s website only claims the LRB is odor free). If there is one thing my wife will not tolerate other than a wet basement it is a permanent cat urine smell. Could the odor have come from diluting the PermaFlex with Xylene? Have any of you found it to be relatively odor free if Xylene wasn’t used? Is the color a factor in its smell?

    Because of pricing, ease of application, and availbility through Ace hardware I plan on testing a small amount of Blue Max and their Peel & Stick to see if it works on a particularly leaky crack and wall/floor leak. Instead of a power wash I’m using Sunnyside’s Multi-Strip to remove all the paint (from the MSDS it appears similar to Sani-Tred’s Off the Wall Remover).

    I’ll advise of my progress if my experience provides anything informative.

  37. Felipe Vasquez says:

    I am using the sanitred system for my field stone and mortor basement. Still not completed but I am convinced it will “permanently solve the moisture problem once completed. As far as the smell is concerned, I do not think that the sanitred is the cause of the smell I too have (had it before applying product). The smell is due to mold and mildue growth as a result of high humidity. As a test, prior to using the sanitred I used a “mistor” to apply a product called “concrobium.” This product is used in mold abatement. Nevertheless, about a day after using it, the smell disappeared. However, it returned because I did not yet get rid of the high humidity because I have not completed the installation of the sanitred. I would suggest the same thing I am suggesting to myself. Use the sanitred system to seal the basement, use a hygrometer or temperature n humidity device (amazon) to see what the humidity is in the basement before applying the sanitred, then check it aftarwards and it should drop below 50% unless you have another moisure source. Then once the humidity is below 50, use a mistor and concrobium (home depot)to kill the mold and the smell. Since you solved your humidity problem, the smell should not return.

    • Kelly says:

      Good comments Felipe.

      I have used the Sanitred product on my very damp and crumbly stone and mortar basement.
      I used it right out of the bucket with accelerator and I did not use a thinner of any kind.
      Prepped the surface with an electric chisel hammer to expose as much of the solid stone face as possible.
      Torched the surfaces with the propane tiger torch.
      Painted on the first coat of Permflex with a large brush.
      All of this was quite a big job and took many hours to complete.

      It took me some weeks before I got around to applying the second coat so I needed to wash the walls to get rid of the oily deposit.
      Then I applied the LRB/TAV to the areas that required re-pointing and applied a bead to all of the corners.
      Once that cured, I applied the second coat of Permaflex.

      I’ve done about 2/3 of the basement and that was about 2 years ago. The areas that I’ve Sanitreded are still absolutely dry. The 1/3 basement which has not yet been Sanitreded remains very damp in spring through fall.

      There definitely is a lingering odor to Sanitred, although it does diminish with time. I also used the gray. I will try the white for the remaining section.

      Felipe’s comments relating to odor and humidity make sense as I have also noticed that the odor is most existent when the untreated area of the basement is most damp, thus raising the humidity in the whole basement. That is, I believe that the high humidity actually seems to reactivate the odor of the Sanitred.

      In winter time when the furnace is on, basement humidity is very low, I cannot smell the Sanitred at all. Therefore I expect that when the remainder of the basement is completely Sanitreded, the humidity should always be low and the odor should pretty much disappear altogether.

      In any case, my plan was to seal the entire envelope of the basement with 6mil poly, joints sealed with tuck tape before studding, drywalling and installing flooring… just to make doubly sure that no odor makes its way into finished living space.

  38. Adam says:

    Do not use sanitred. The product does a great job with water proofing but leaves a cat urine smell. It has been two years since Used this product on a problem wall in my basement… now I am left with a horrible stench coming from behind the wall(finished basement) that will not go away. I am going to have to rip out the wall and peel of all of the sanitred…. do not buy!

  39. Pingback: Dan PeredaSani Tred Vs Drylock - Wet basement - Part 2 - Dan Pereda

  40. Pingback: Dan PeredaSani Tred Vs Drylock - Feedback to Comments - Part 3 - Dan Pereda

  41. Bill says:

    DO NOT USE SANITRED!! The permaflex has a very strong chemical odor that never goes away. I did not thin it. i used the grey permaflex and mixed it with the catalyst and activator as directed. When I contacted the company, they said it would go away. But it does not. The deserve a class action lawsuit.

  42. dave brooks says:

    Proceed at your own risk. This is not a product for homeowners or DIYers. The directions are poorly written and the company does not have a satisfaction guarantee. I bought $400 of their product, my project came out poorly and all Sanitred offered was a 5% discount on MORE product. Also beware of temperature fluctuations. Even a few degrees can dramatically alter the result.

  43. david brooks says:

    The author’s summary is perfect:

    “I don’t feel that Sani Tred is a Consumer DIY product. It is difficult to prepare, and apply. That said just looking at the final product, Sani Tred does seem superior in quality. If you have serious water issues then seek a professional and maybe have a pro apply the Sani-tred for you. Drylock was cheaper and much easier for the majority of my application. I would not buy Sani-tred again to do a large area”

    This was exactly my experience as well. Not a product for DIYers.

  44. Mike says:

    This is a follow-up to various posts I made before. I believe it was after about 6 years that the smell greatly faded. This would be the product to use IF it didn’t smell. Not sure why some are saying they didn’t have a problem with smell. Only on one job did I cut it down with Xylene, as instructed, but that make the product even worse to put on. The smell on the house cut with Xylene and the house done at the same time that had no cutting done both smelled the same. And it was not a Xylene smell. It was a cat-urine-like smell. I only used grey so I can’t vouch for the white working or not. The product does tend to get a black mold growing on it at times that you can wipe off. There is nothing magical about Dawn dish detergent. It definitely doesn’t get rid of the odor. It is just good at cleaning up a oily surface. I do wonder if I got bad batches of the product. Some jobs seem to smell more than others. I’m telling you, IF THIS PRODUCT DIDN’T SMELL, it would be a great product. Although, as someone else said, it is also hard on the body and you can get more and more allergic to it as you use it. I am surprised they can stay in business with the smell it leaves. And with how harsh it is on the body. I personally learned to use a mask that pumped in fresh air from the outside while applying. Be careful. But the smell after 6-10 years did seem to go mostly away.

    Regarding Blue Max, it was definitely not as effective as Sanitred, but it was better than DryLock. The blue max would tend to blister from the wall and let efflorescence through. The only cure is to peel it off the wall (not that hard to do) and re-coat it. For my rentals, it stopped the inspectors from complaining about peeling paint, but it did not stop the water permanently. The next job I do with it (its been a while), I’ll use the trowel grade as a coat, too. But I’m not sure they still sell that. The one job I used that with it, seemed to have come out better. So my final verdict on Blue Max is not done.

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