Watching all of the following videos before you seal your adobe or rammed earth home will save you many headaches. These videos represent literally decades of professional tips Adobe Masters has collected in order to make this tough job a little easier:
The product we are using is the “Silox Premium Adobe Water Repellent,” the only product we use on customer’s homes. Formulated for the specific and unique needs of adobe, it is an excellent product. Call Roy Spears at (520) 331-4004 if you would like to purchase the Silox for use on your home.
At the link below are found detailed instructions on how to correctly apply the Silox. Please familiarize yourself with these helpful instructions before you apply the Silox:
Scroll down the page until you find this heading:
Technical Data and General Information Sheet
The instructions begin after this.
In the first video above, notice the drenching “flood coat,” the first coat that is applied. Some homeowners have marveled at the amount of the Silox that we put on their homes, but this is critical to the overall success of the procedure. If you don’t put the correct amount of product on your walls, you are simply wasting your money and will not get the long term, desired protection your walls need.
The adobe shown in each of these videos is burnt or fired adobe, easily identified by their characteristic orange and red colors mixed together in various hues. They are fired in kilns to increase their strength and water-resistant properties.
(My apologies for the poor quality of these two videos. I have no idea why they came out this way because I filmed them with my iPhone. But like they say, this is better than nothing.)
If you have asphalt or cement stabilized mud adobe or raw, regular sun-dried adobe, you will not achieve this “flood coat” because of the water-thirsty nature of these adobes. Therefore, I recommend you mark off on your walls 400 s.f. and, in one section of these walls you just marked off, insure that you apply one full bucket on that 400 s.f.
To be clear, asphalt, cement stabilized or regular, “raw” adobe (sun-dried or what we traditionally imagine adobe to be) requires a saturation rate of only 400 s.f. per five gallons of the Silox. Burnt or fired adobe receives a saturation rate of 500 s.f. per five gallons of the Silox.
Because you will not be able to achieve the flood coat, you will have to have some idea of how much to put on the walls; the only way to do this is to mark off the walls as described above.
The following video was made specifically to address this issue of properly applying the Silox to an asphalt or cement stabilized mud adobe home. It is also applicable for rammed earth homes:
Depending on how “heavy” or “light” you spray the Silox on these walls, you may have to put multiple coats over one 400 s.f. section to achieve this recommended coverage until you get the feel of how much you will need. Do not allow the prior coats to dry before spraying on another coat, otherwise the prior coat will repel the subsequent coats. Depending on the temperature and humidity, you might only have a few minutes between coats.
The clip below shows a higher quality video of the flood coat:
Below, a short clip of the “mist coat”:
Below, a short clip on some helpful masking techniques:
Below is a short clip of the top of a burnt adobe wall that had been treated with the Silox Adobe Water Repellent and then was rained upon:
You don’t want to leave the Silox puddling on top of your walls. If you do, it will leave an unsightly and permanent spot:
Watch the short video below for some helpful tips on properly rinsing off the Silox from your plants and concrete and/or brick patio areas. Pro-tip: when sealing a house, we typically work in teams of at least two. One man is the “spray man” and the other is the “water man.”
The water man has his work cut out for him. His responsibility is to run around behind the spray man and insure that the Silox is not ponding or pooling on any horizontal surface where it will dry in its undiluted, full-strength state. This is something do-it-yourselfers must watch out for: you never want full-strength Silox to pond or pool in any area where it will dry out in the sun without having a chance to be diluted by water to thin it out. Watching the video below will help explain what I mean.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to work in teams of at least two when spraying your house with the Silox. A trained team of three is even better. A third man on the team can be the “masker” and “runner”: he can be putting on and removing the masking from the windows, doors and other items that need to be protected from the Silox overspray, as well as resupplying the spray man when he runs out of Silox.
“Spray days” are the most stressful because so much happens at one time and things must flow together on the job site for a successful outcome. For example, in spraying large houses, one has to make sure that the spray man has sufficient Silox on hand to finish whatever wall he is currently spraying. Running out of sealer halfway down a wall on a hot, sunny day can be a disaster: the drips and runs from spraying the wall, if left to dry and not making sure you complete each “pass” on the walls, will be virtually impossible to remove if you fail to complete each section.
This is just one reason why working in a team of at least two men is crucial: the man not spraying is indispensable to the man doing the actual spraying, insuring the spray man is always supplied with sealer before he runs out, that the excess Silox that has run down the walls is being diluted with water before drying in the sun, that all windows and doors are properly masked and that this same masking is timely removed, etc.
This being said, if you find you are unable to have someone help you, pace yourself, go slow, and plan on stopping your spraying of the Silox and picking up your hose to spray down whenever area where the water repellent ran down the walls and pooled at the bottom. If it is dirt at the bottom of your walls, this is no big deal and you can keep spraying, but if you have flagstone, concrete, brick pavers, etc., you want to make sure you dilute the Silox before it dries.
It is not rocket science to successfully spray your house, but there are tricks of the trade that, if followed, will make this tough job easier. I cannot stress enough the importance of having at least two people on spray days working together as a team. And watching these videos before you start spraying your walls will save you potential headaches and make your job easier with reduced stress.
What kind of sprayer should I use to apply the Silox to my house walls? This video shows what Adobe Masters uses:
In the video below, I give some additional tips on how to make the job of applying the Silox on your roof easier: