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What's The Best Waterproof Paint For Exterior Walls?

best waterproof paint for exterior walls

When we decide to paint the exterior walls of our homes, it is generally to improve how it looks. After all, kerb appeal is important when it comes to the value of our home.

However, the protection of the exterior walls is also essential, and choosing the best waterproof paint for exterior walls is something you need to be informed about.

Here we give a rundown on the best exterior paints and wall coatings that you may choose to buy, or that your professional painter may use on your home. Let’s begin!

What Is Waterproof Paint And How Does It Work?

Known as hydrophobic paints and coatings, these are literally 100% water repellent, and will protect the outside cladding of your home from direct penetration by water on the surface.

Any water that does hit your home will simply run off-preventing water penetration, and reducing dirt and staining of the walls. These paints are also known to offer an additional enhancement in insulation, as they prevent water from getting into the walls where it can potentially make its way into the home.

They also protect any wall cavity insulation that you may have inside your walls, preventing it from becoming damp and ineffective.

Are Waterproof Coatings A Good Idea?

Some homeowners have experienced problems with waterproof coatings on their exterior walls. One of these is that some poor quality options have a short shelf life, and once they are exposed to the driving rain that is common in the UK, they tend to stop working after a short period of time.

They will therefore need reapplying often – sometimes as often as once per year. Masonry paint that is advertised as waterproof, very often is not – at least only for a short time. It is also totally reliant on careful application and preparation.

The second problem is that waterproofing may simply mask problems with deteriorating walls that should be fixed, rather than simply painting over the issues that need addressing. This is especially the case in homes built during the 1970s, when experimental materials were used.

These materials are now starting to fail, and simply painting over them is not a solution to a larger problem and may not help much when it comes to waterproofing your home.

The third issue with some types of waterproofing is that it fails to “breathe”. This means that water cannot penetrate the brick or stone, or escape from it.

The damp and water already inside the wall cannot escape or dry out – causing longer term problems with damp, mould and condensation inside your home. This is exactly the issue you are trying to avoid.

best waterproof paint for exterior walls

A reasonably durable solution for exteriors, masonry paint will last for around 2 years on average before you need to reapply it again

Masonry Paint vs Hydrophobic Coatings: Which Is Best?

As illustrated above, it is easy to see why choosing the very best exterior waterproof paint is essential. But how do you know what to choose?

There are two main types available: masonry paint and hydrophobic coatings. Let’s look at each one in a little more detail:

Option No.1: Masonry Paint

These can offer a reasonably good durable solution, and will last around 2 years before you need to reapply it again. This durability is only possible if the wall has been carefully prepared, and the paint has been properly applied.

You will probably need at least two coats to get maximum waterproofing effect. While the initial cost is relatively low, the fact that it needs to be reapplied so often means it may not be cost effective over the long term.

Masonry paint is a good solution for improving the look of garden walls, outhouses and sheds – but is not always the best solution for brickwork.

best waterproof paint for exterior walls

When dried, hydrophobic coatings are completely clear-you will not even notice they are there. Itching for an injection of colour? A facade coating is your best bet-it covers wall inconsistencies to achieve a uniform look

Option No.2: Hydrophobic Coatings

To ensure thorough waterproofing of your exterior walls, you need a coating that will actively repel water. These so called hydrophobic coatings come in a range of different types, and offer all of the qualities that are needed to prevent the issues mentioned above.

For a clear coating over bricks to allow you to still see the original colour of the finish, you can use a masonry creme. These products penetrate up to 17mm into the brickwork, offering sufficient protection from water.

They are also known to offer improved thermal efficiency, and manufacturers say that these products will last as long as 20 years. Best of all, they do not affect the colour of the brick; when dried, they’re completely clear-you will not even know it is there.

If you want to add colour to your external walls a facade coating might be your best bet. These highly breathable paints require two coats and will cover a range of wall inconsistencies – giving your home a fresh and clean look.

That clean and fresh feel will be enhanced by the fact that dirt and water simply runs off the surface. You can expect a 10 year manufacturers guarantee on these products, and a lifetime of up to 20 years.

They come in a range of natural colours and can be used on all kinds of porous materials including brick and stone.

Finally, if you are looking for a product that will offer waterproofing for other mineral materials, such as roof tiles, you need a water repellent clear coating that will last at least 10 years.

Once again, they are highly hydrophobic, and will mean that your tiles will last longer due to not absorbing water. These can be used on various materials around your home, including window sills.

These hydrophobic formulas offers a fantastic opportunity to both improve the look of your home, and to improve its thermal performance. This means that it adds a further layer of insulation to the outside wall, preventing the walls from becoming damp, and compromising your comfort inside.

best waterproof paint for exterior walls

In some cases, damp and moisture can make its way into the home, damaging your existing insulation in the process-and even your internal walls

What Could Happen If I Don’t Waterproof My Exterior Walls?

Where to start?! From algae and lichen on brickwork, to penetrating damp inside, when your home's exterior is left exposed, issues will inevitably arise. 

In our persistently rainy climate, waterproofing your outside walls is paramount-both to keep them in tip top condition, and ensure their overall longevity. Without taking appropriate action, you're sure to run into one of the 4 following problems:

Problem No.1: Damp Internal Walls:

Water that hits exposed and non-waterproofed brick walls can penetrate the surface, and travel through any open areas (such as gaps in the grouting).

In some cases, this damp and moisture can make its way into the home, and damage the internal insulation-and even your internal walls. These walls may also never have the chance to dry out.

Problem No.2: Efflorescence On The Surface

If these damp patches contain salts, these can leach out onto the outer surface of the brick, causing white patches known efflorescence. These are very difficult to remove, and look unsightly. If the wall never has the opportunity to dry out, you will never be able to remove this white patch.

These can also “blow” your plaster on internal walls if they make their way indoors.

best waterproof paint for exterior walls

Cracked brickwork doesn't just look unsightly-if left unaddressed, mould and moss can easily grow up through the gaps, leading to costly repairs

Problem No.3: Cracks In Your Brickwork

Water that has made its way between bricks can freeze and expand, causing cracks in your brickwork.

Known as spalling, this can lead to mould and moss growing in the cracks, and damage to the brick work that will need to be repaired by an expert.

Problem No.4: Reduced Resale Value

Damp patches, white patches, mould and moss are all going to make your home look unattractive.

Protecting your walls isn’t just about the structure of the building, but it is also to do with how it looks. Waterproofing can fix this.


Hydrophobic coatings cause water droplets to 'bead' on the brickwork, rather than soak through the surface. Consequently, the interior remains protected, preventing the formation of mould

Wet Walls: How Hydrophobic Coatings Come To The Rescue

As a one-coat system, Properla Hydrophobic coatings are designed to repel both dirt and water, making for a refreshingly self-cleaning surface.

From terracotta and slate, to concrete and clay, Properla can be applied to all types of exterior, to protect the substrate from penetrating damp, (and the age-old problems that come with it.)

But how does it work its magic?

In short, the product causes water droplets to 'bead' on the brickwork, rather than soak through the surface. Consequently, the interior remains protected, preventing the formation of mould.

In the industry, we often refer to this process as 'the Lotus Effect' for the simple reason that this same 'beading' effect can be witnessed on a lotus, whereby water simply runs off the leaves, rather than soaking into the plant.

Although predominantly used on walls, Properla can also be used to protect roof tiles, where close proximity to guttering (and potential problems with run off and leakage), are an all too familiar reality.

By applying a superhydrophobic coating to your tiles, you can rest assured that their aesthetics will remain intact over time, regardless of weather extremes.

As you can see, choosing the right exterior waterproofing paint is essential. You need to choose something that will breathe, that can cover and colour your walls if you wish, that will last at least ten years, and which is reasonably priced.

A good specialist hydrophobic paint is a great option for your home and you will be so pleased you chose it. Enlist the help of the experts to install it today by calling 0800 1700 636, or by simply clicking the button below!