Using a Crack Injection Gun for Waterproofing

There are many specialized tools that are used in every trade. Whether you are a fly fisher who needs a special vice to hold tiny lures as you wind them with line, or a construction worker manning the levers of a ten-story crane, your tools help you do a job that few can accomplish.

This is also true about waterproofing the foundations and walls of homes, businesses, warehouses, and schools across southwest Ohio where Mar-Flex has been doing this work for nearly three decades.

Every soil type and building specification requires a unique approach to match the situation. Sometimes the work requires an excavation and the application of an external wrap. Sometimes the work has to be done from inside and requires layers of waterproofing and even channeling to redirect foundational water.

Sometimes, the job requires injecting waterproofing materials deep into walls. This allows you to reach spots and weaknesses not visible to the eye during an inspection. This job requires a crack injection gun.

The crack injection gun has special powers

While it sounds potentially menacing or even dangerous, the crack injection gun is simply a specialized tool to help with waterproofing and dampproofing.

The crack injection gun can take various forms. Most are manually operated and some are open while others, like the one pictured in this article, are largely self-contained.

Using this tool, your expert waterproofing team can push or “inject” caulk into cracks and seams. The use of additional force, provided by hand leverage, forces the waterproofing caulk or sealant into spots that simply can not be seen by the naked eye.

Careful application of sealant into every available spot can allow the transformation of a wall. A surface that was once porous and allowed water to seep through into a foundation or basement can be rendered largely waterproof. This can bring thousands of dollars of value and years of enjoyment to a space.

Using the right tools is important if you want to do a job well. Make sure that you have those tools at your disposal when you start your next major project.

Or go a step further and hire the seasoned professionals who have those tools to do the job expertly the first time. Consider calling Mar-Flex for your next project.


Crack injection gun. Photo provided.

Mar-Flex Uses Trusted and Tested Bentonite Waterproofing Products

Waterproofing is hardly a new science. People have been working to waterproof structures as long as we have been living in them. However, the materials available today are much more advanced than those used in the past. Through innovative use of new compounds that preserve the best qualities of rubber and plastic, materials such as Mar-Flex Bentonite waterproofing products do a far better job of keeping water than any product of prior generations – or even this generation.

Mar-Flex specializes in creating water-repellant structures using trusted products like Mar-Flex Bentonite Waterproofing Membrane. Designed to keep water out and prevent dangerous mold growth while still remaining removable, cleanable and repairable, Bentonite products are a permanent waterproofing solution for your next building project.

Together Mar-Flex and Bentonite products create waterproof structures for homes and offices that are ideal even in high water pressure and with high local humidity levels.

Who is Mar-Flex, and why bentonite?

Mar-Flex is a quality building materials company specializing in waterproofing, foundations and concrete repair. The company is well known for its use of trusted Bentonite products, including waterproofing membranes, which are vital to their waterproofing process.

Mar-Flex has been using Bentonite for years to waterproof underground structures like offices, warehouses, basements, and even whole houses.

Specifically Mar-Flex has been manufacturing and distributing Bentonite Pressurized products for over twenty years. Trust in Mar-Flex as your easy solution to waterproofing projects.

In today’s world, building codes and investors demand buildings and structures to be made safer and more reliable than ever before.

Does your property suffer from leaks? Are the neighbors always complaining about water damage in your home or business? All too often, poor waterproofing of a structure leads to extensive water damage. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can choose to use Mar-Flex, a trusted industry leader in waterproofing membranes and mortar treatments.

Although waterproofing and building structures are different, the end goal remains the same – creating a structure that is protected from water. This can be done by using bentonite products that create a waterproof membrane, reducing erosion, retaining groundwater and showcasing chemical efficiency.

Mar-Flex, Inc. is a company that is dedicated to providing quality service and products in the construction industry. The company first began operating in 1907 in Denton, Texas as the Denton Natural Gas & Water Company.

Mar-Flex provides environmentally friendly and durable waterproofing for every building site – including waterproof membranes, building wrap, EPDM underlayments, and more.

Mar-Flex is dedicated to helping you solve your problems and improve your operations. That’s why we not only encourage you to learn more about our waterproofing products and innovative solutions, but invite you to chat with our technicians to answer any questions you may have.

Bentonite was found in dry lake beds around the world, and thought to form from volcanic ash. It was considered magical because it absorbed water, and its properties are still widely in demand today.

Bentonite can be found on dry lake beds like this one.

Photo by Kasey McCoy on Unsplash



Mar-Flex: Dampproofing for Over 35 Years

The Mar-Flex company started over 35 years ago and has grown to become a leading waterproofing company in southern Ohio. We have a wide range of dampproofing products for your next building project.

Whether you’re starting construction on a new building or editing an existing structure, Mar-Flex has the right products for any situation. We distribute a wide range of dampproofing materials to help keep your project protected from water damage as it’s being built. Our products are ideal for high- and low-lying foam applications, using hydrophobic materials, and clear and radiant barriers.

Mar-Flex is your stellar source for a wide range of products that’ll keep your building protected from water damage as it’s being built. If you’re looking to seal walls, roofing materials, and plumbing systems, we can help you find exactly what you need. We also offer great solutions for high- and low-lying foam applications, using hydrophobic materials, and clear and radiant barriers.

For over 35 years, professionals and contractors have relied on us to help them put in the best waterproofing system possible. We distribute a wide range of products that help customers protect their jobs from water damage while they’re under construction by using foam, hydrophobic materials, and other waterproof barriers.

Discover our selection of dampproofing solutions. No matter your project, Mar-Flex has everything you need. We offer a wide range of foams, radiant barriers and hydrophobic materials. The possibilities are endless when it comes to how you can use these products to provide the most efficient solutions possible.

We’re the foam experts. No matter your project, Mar-Flex has everything you need. Our gel polyurethane, polyethylene, polyolefin and specialty solutions are ready to work for you. Contact us today to learn about the customized solutions we can create for you.

Mar-Flex offers a variety of materials and products for all of your waterproofing needs. We cover any aspect of waterproofing, from radiant barrier compounds to foam sealants.

From residential homes to restaurant use, Mar-Flex is the industry standard for waterproofing solutions. Our products are available in a variety of forms, so you can find the solution that fits your needs.

Mar-Flex is your source for everything waterproofing. We offer a wide range of products including foam, radiant barriers and hydrophobic materials.

Mar-Flex dampproofing can help you protect almost anything.

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Sheet Membranes vs Liquid Membranes

Sheet membranes vs liquid membranes

Frequently our technicians at Mar Flex find ourselves in discussions with customers, resellers,  designers, and specifiers. And a question that arises is whether sheet membranes or liquid membranes are better.

This is a hard question to answer definitively, except to say, it depends a great deal on the situation.

Sheet membranes

Sheet membranes are part of systems that are becoming more and more popular in the marketplace. Most membranes bond really well to substrates. This allows the flooring systems to be bonded over so that there’s no adhesion issues at all.

Well, one advantage of a sheet membrane is that you have a uniform shape. It’s  factory made, and you’ve got uniform thickness, so you don’t have any risk that there could be any differences between the film thickness of the membrane.

Secondly, it’s not as elastic as a liquid membrane, but it’s far higher strength. So when you have a concrete bit or concrete slab with hairline cracks, a sheet system makes sure that you’ve taken care of those cracks. So that sheet is an anti-fracture system as well as a waterproof membrane.

Third, installation of sheet systems is far quicker because there’s no coming back to the second coat or the third coat.

Liquid membranes

If sheets are so great, then when would you use a liquid over the sheet?

Sometimes it comes down to cost

Liquid membranes can be used in the place of a sheet, and can be effective when properly installed. This means that applicators will be asked to work harder because they’re concerned with a liquid membrane reinforcing cracks in the concrete.

Sometimes certain joints on the substrata need to be reinforced with a sheeting system. This happens a lot with timber flooring, where installers are putting additional reinforcement over all the joints. They put an extra layer of of liquid membrane down.

From a customer standpoint this will work just fine, but as an installer, when you actually analyze all of that, you could have done it a lot quicker with a sheet, and at a much better quality.

Contractors value time over material cost

There are many situations where a sheet is far quicker than a liquid, AND it is far more effective. However, it will be more expensive.

As a contractor, your time is more important than the cost of materials. Using high quality systems helps your company build a strong reputation for building quality, durable projects.

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

A Common Home Waterproofing System

Contractors often leave the work of waterproofing to companies that specialize in that work. This is because the application and selection of materials is so important, and keeping the home waterproof is a primary indication of a quality build.

When the waterproofing experts show up, they work in the trench around the foundation.

First they chalk out the foundation line. This is all done in preparation for the waterproofing work.

Spraying the membrane…

The first step of actual waterproofing is when they spray the walls with a waterproofing membrane. In this case, they are using a black asphalt based waterproofing membrane.

The footings on the foundation wall are sprayed first, and then the technician sprays on up to the grade line. After they spray the wall with the membrane, they will double check to make sure there are no visible cracks and there is a definitive layer visible around the entire exterior.

Once the membrane is applied, the weeping tile system should be put in place, prior to the application of the membrane.

Applying the drainage board

Next the technicians put the selected drainage board on top of the tar around the foundation. They will wrap it like a coozie on a beer can.

The board acts as an additional water barrier. It creates an barrier between the dirt and the wall. If any moisture or water gets behind it, this moisture allows the water to drop right down to the footing.

The membrane is actually doing the the waterproofing on the foundation.

The board is then applied using physical fasteners.  It goes all the way around the perimeter and they just roll it out like sheets of paper towels, only far more durable!

If you were to look closely, you would see a sort of dimple on it. It creates airspace behind the dirt. So when it’s backfilled with rock and soil, if any water or moisture gets in behind the wall, it allows the moisture to drop in a private river, right down to the footing into the weeping tile.

The weeping tile directs that moisture away from the house via the stormwater or wastewater system.

After the tech is done putting on the board around the perimeter, the stone “slinger” or stone truck comes by to put stone all around the perimeter along the base of the trench.

Once he’s done that, we call the inspector to come in and inspect the foundation to make sure the steps have been followed according to the local codes.

But you don’t have to know or do all of this yourself. Mar-Flex has been installing, waterproofing, and providing materials to waterproofers for years.

Photo by František G. on Unsplash

Waterproofing Membranes Can Fail. Here’s Why it Happens

When contractors are waterproofing commercial, or industrial spaces, they often rely on sheet membranes to offer the best possible protection against water. In concrete waterproofing, sheet membranes are applied to either external surfaces. Together the concrete and membrane form a nearly impenetrable barrier.

Despite the double barrier, waterproofing membranes can still fail. Here are some common reasons why.

A failure of skilled application

The application of waterproofing sheet membranes is a very labor intensive task. The workers who apply it need training and experience to do the job well under the best circumstances. However, because it is so dependent on labor, this is where the failures occur. Some estimates suggest that poor workmanship alone accounts for 90% of all waterproofing membrane failures.

Debonding can be caused by several factors, including application to an uneven surface or to a wet surface. Application to contaminated surface, lack of primer, or insufficient priming of the surface prior to installation of the waterproofing sheet membrane can lead to debonding.

Further, insufficient coverage or uneven application of a membrane prevents establishing a uniform thickness of the waterproofing layer. This can result in the failure of the application as thinner parts of the membrane get damaged quicker, not fully bonding overlaps pose potential breach of the waterproofing layer. Membranes can then come apart at the seams  and allow water to penetrate.

Companies can overcome this with training, experience, and teamwork. Everyone needs to do this the first time, so experience alone isn’t the answer. But careful oversight can prevent catastrophe.

Choosing the wrong components

Choosing the wrong membrane, using the wrong items for the intended application, or matching the membrane with the wrong substrate can lead to the failure of the waterproofing application.

In matching the selected membrane with primers, it is important to select complementary products. Failure to do so can lead to an unbonding of the membrane and failure of the waterproofing. Unbonding is when the sheet membrane no longer forms a watertight seal with the concrete, allows water migration between the membrane layer and the concrete.

To mitigate this problem, sheet membranes for underground waterproofing applications must meet international standards. Choosing from EPDM, TPO, or PVC membrane types is important, but selecting the right primers allows the sheet membrane to be fully mechanically adhered to the substrate, however these might not be the right combination for below grade applications.

Another common problem is blister. Blister is caused by insufficient prime at the surface. As a result, trapped air builds up under the membrane causing debonding and blistering. These blisters are prone to puncture and then result in a breach of the waterproofing layer allowing water to pass through to the concrete. Waterproofing sheet membranes are exposed to a high risk of damage.

Often this damage occurs in the subsequent stages of the construction schedule. Both puncturing and tearing represent a breach of the waterproofing layer and thoughts of failure.

The effects of time

Many waterproofing membranes deteriorate over time, due to exposure to UV rays, harsh environments, aggressive groundwater, or permanent ponding leading to the disintegration of the waterproofing layer. Ultimately this leads to the failure of the membrane.

In conclusion, membranes are not recommended for certain types of projects. Efficient and long lasting waterproofing solutions require newer technologies that permanently reduce permeability and improve concrete properties and durability.

Photo by Holly Obermiller on Unsplash


What is Hydrostatic Pressure?

Technically speaking, hydrostatic pressure is

“The pressure exerted by a fluid at equilibrium at a given point within the fluid, due to the force of gravity. Hydrostatic pressure increases in proportion to depth measured from the surface because of the increasing weight of fluid exerting downward force from above.” –

But what does this mean for someone doing a construction project? What forces does a construction manager (or industrious home do-it-yourselfer) have to consider when waterproofing below-grade or even below-water walls and foundations?

This means, in part, that a product simply being water-repellant or even waterproof in common testing in a laboratory is not the same as that product keeping out water in a wall or foundation that will be exposed to water.

How does hydrostatic pressure impact waterproof surfaces?

Hydrostatic pressure is not constant in a given spot over time. This is because the nature of hydrostatic pressure means that it changes based on the depth of the water.

Why? There are two variables at work. First is the water itself. Second is the depth of the water or, more precisely, the pressure exerted by the weight of all the water above it.

You have experienced this pressure before if you have ever dived into deep water, like the deep end of a pool, or if you have gone a few body lengths below the surface when snorkeling or scuba diving.

If you have done those things, you have felt hydrostatic pressure against your eardrums. The additional pressure of the weight of the water above compressed your ear drum. At first it just muffled the sounds, but then, if you dove deep enough, the pressure even may have caused some pain.

This increased pressure works against your waterproof eardrum membrane in much the same way as it works against a waterproof wall membrane.

Eventually, if the water gets deep enough and the pressure gets high enough, the pressure causes a fissure or rupture.

Or, even if there is not a large leak, water can still be forced through the tiny pores and pockets that are part of a concrete pour. Over time, this water gets forced in and adds to the degradation of the wall and the foundation.

This is why your building project must account for water around the foundation. And it must take into account the effects of hydrostatic pressure.

Photo by David Bartus from Pexels

Waterproof Construction Adhesive

For your next construction project, you want to select adhesive products that are up to the task. That is, they need to be able to withstand the forces they are going to face over the lifetime of the finished product.

They will also need to bond well with the materials being used in the project.

Your favorite adhesive from your favorite company or supplier is unlikely to be the best solution for every project. And if the contractor you use seems to have a “one adhesive” approach to all of their work, it might be wise to look around for a company that approaches each project with the best possible tools and resources.

Your professional Mar-Flex supplies will include or suggest the right waterproof construction adhesive for the project.

What to consider when choosing construction adhesive

  1. Surface type. Construction materials differ from one another on a molecular level, and thus different adhesives will work better with different materials. The best construction adhesive will be formulated to work well with both sides of your project. For instance, if you are adhering glass to metal, you will use a different adhesive than when waterproofing stone against concrete.
  2. Drying time. Often waterproof construction adhesive instructions include two times: a drying time and a curing time. The drying time is the time it takes for the chemicals that make the adhesive pliable to evaporate. This is simply when the product becomes unable to move or ben, but it is NOT when it is fully set. The curing time is the time it takes for the remaining ingredients to crystallize and become fully active in waterproofing and bonding. Only after a product has cured is it ready to do be exposed to the elements and daily use.
  3. Strength and longevity. Strength of an adhesive is scientifically measured by two different measures, based on the two ways an adhesive might be stressed. One is lap shear, or how the waterproof adhesive holds up when the materials around them want to move laterally against the glue and/or the other surface. This is extremely important if the waterproofing adhesive is being applied to vertical surfaces. (Note: when possible, adhesives should not be the ONLY thing holding up vertical building materials.) The second measure of strength is peel strength, or how the adhesive holds up against perpendicular stress, as if someone is pulling the two surfaces apart.

Cleaning up and following directions

A good construction project is only as solid as its weakest link, material, or construction shortcut. So reading the instructions and getting the right material for your waterproofing project is important. Work with an expert supplier to make sure your products match the results you want.

What is Backfill Saturation and How Can it Ruin Your Building Project?

Every builder and owner dreams of a dry foundation, with water effectively repelled from the outside, and no seepage, dampness, or water intrusion for the history of the project.

In reality, this is a very challenging standard to try and meet. A construction manager faces multiple obstacles in defeating his nemesis: water.

Fortunately, through a combination of construction techniques, approaches, and materials, we know there are a lot of avoidable mistakes. One such obstacle is backfill saturation. If backfill is poorly done, and the foundation incorrectly prepared, backfill saturation can defeat even the stoutest of waterproofing materials.

What is backfill?

When builders dig the hole for a building project, they are often disturbing soil that has sat and compacted in one place for decades or maybe even centuries. The impact of time, the elements, and pressure has often compacted the soil into almost unworkable solid clay.  This clay is hard for water to get through, because time and pressure have closed all the small crack, while the water itself carried away the loose soil and gravel.

Clay repels water.

However, when the hole is dug for the new home, this clay and other materials are set aside to use later to fill in the hole around the completed foundation. This fill-in material is called “backfill.” It is the “fill” you put “back” in around your completed foundation.

Why is backfill saturation a problem?

This backfill might include the same clay that was originally in the foundation space, but there is now a key difference. It has been dug up and moved multiple times. Instead of being a solid, water-repelling block of clay, it is now filled with holes, channels, and cracks through which water can run.

No matter how you pound it down, it won’t be as waterproof as the clay around it that was not disturbed in the building process.

Water will naturally run to this new basin, and saturate it. This is backfill saturation.

This water, if not appropriately accounted for, will then sit against the new foundation of your building project. The lower it is, the more pressure it will exert, and over time it will seep through the tiniest cracks and airholes into your structure.

Make sure you or your construction manager account for backfill saturation in the plans for your next project.

Armor for Your Basement

Every day, hidden from view, your foundation is doing battle. It is fighting the hidden forces of water, pressure, and time.

If you were a general, you would not send your troops into battle without equipping them with sufficient armor to protect them. Why would you do that to your foundation?

At Mar-Flex, we know the forces your foundation is up against. And, more importantly, we know the right equipment and materials to use to help your foundation win the battle every time.

With our Armor series of waterproofing resources, you can be sure that your basement and foundation remain dry.

Armor Air Barrier

The Mar-flex ArmorAir Barrier permeable air barrier system is designed to stop air infiltration and exfiltration in the building envelope. It also allows the transmission of water vapor, preventing condensation in the wall assembly.

ArmorFlash Transition Strips

Transition strips create impermeable barriers which protect vulnerable areas like joints, edges, and corners between barrier materials from the water.

Armor Foundation Membranes

Water-based and solvent-based membranes help keep your foundation protected from both dampness in the ground and from running or standing water against your foundation. Pick from a range of options to fit your needs to your solution.

ArmorClay Bentonite

Bentonite clay expands when wet, absorbing several times its weight in water and makes for a very stable, below-grade solution. The Mar-Flex Bentonite clay membrane uses nature’s own waterproofing techniques against it, protecting your project from damage.

Armor drainage board and tile

With a wide range of drainage board and tile options, Mar-Flex offers your project increasing damp-proofing and waterproofing options. Additionally, our products might help you achieve your desired LEED status.

Look through the options and talk with one of our knowledgeable staff members today.

When you are at war with water, you want to make sure you have taken every possible precaution in order to triumph. The Mar-Flex Armor Series of solutions can help make that happen. With solutions that undergird, surround, and line your building project, you can be sure to create a dry, sound foundation that lasts for years to come.

You can trust that with our expert installers and full warranty, we will not only do the work, but we will also stand behind it. That is the level of service and commitment to quality you can trust.