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Unread 04-20-2020, 04:00 PM   #1
JSrenovations
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Help Please - Mapei AquaDefense Changed Color after it gets wet?!

Need advice. We started the flood test a short while ago. To our surprise, MapeiAquaDefense changed from dark green back to bright green after it gets wet?!

Frankly, we are rather concerned. There is nothing about this behavior in the Install Guide, or any Google Search. We had expected it to stay dark green.
  • Mapei: We used 3-4 light coats. Min 12 hours between each.
  • Kerdi-Fix used on seams & corners.
  • Final cure time allowed before flood test is 48 hours.

Walls: GoBoard
Base: Mudbed (linear pitch via houston method)

Waterproofing: Kerdi-Fix, Mapei AquaDefense

Is this normal? The color change has us really concerned. We had assumed it would remain dark green after curing, and there is nothing on the Internet to contradict this.

Thank you!
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Unread 04-20-2020, 04:50 PM   #2
jadnashua
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More coats isn't a good thing. The goal is a certain wet film thickness of each coat so that when the stuff dries, it is the design thickness. Each coat should be applied perpendicular to the one below to help even things out and minimize the possibility of a pinhole or void.

Only used the stuff once in a class, so cannot help with the color change. Maybe the bigger question is did your flood test pass, and was the coating still intact after you drained it? A properly constructed shower will never see as much liquid water as in a flood test. In general, after a shower, things will quickly dry out so no prolonged water pressure on the stuff.
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Unread 04-20-2020, 04:55 PM   #3
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>> Maybe the bigger question is did your flood test pass, and was the coating still intact after you drained it?

Flood test started only an hour ago. We will let it run for at least 48 hours, possibly 72.
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Unread 04-21-2020, 07:02 AM   #4
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Aqua defense

It is perfectly normal for aqua defense to lighten when exposed to water, it is not an indication of anything being wrong with the product.
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Unread 04-21-2020, 06:07 PM   #5
JSrenovations
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Hi Jason,

Thank you. It is unfortunate that the reality is contrary to expectations, including someone who took your class.

It is rather counter-intuitive that a waterproofing solution would have ANY color-change reaction to moisture. The other tile professionals that I consulted with shared my concern and expectations.

Please discuss with your team at Mapei. IMO, the Install Guide should have a note about this behavior.

Best regards,

J.
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Unread 04-21-2020, 06:30 PM   #6
Tool Guy - Kg
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Hi, JS. Sorry I didn't see this yesterday. The color change you've witnessed isn't unusual for liquid waterproofing products. Multiple liquid waterproofers change their color in the manner your's did.

I think this could be common knowledge to folks who have flood tested pans. However, I don't personally know many pros that are comfortable with liquid waterproofing as the primary means of waterproofing for a shower pan. I think this is the nucleus of many hybrid showers.....most being a sheet membrane for the pan and liquid for the walls/niches/benches. And because the sheet membrane makes up the pan and several inches onto the wall, a flood test never reaches the liquid waterproofing. So, perhaps there's not a lot of pros that have seen the color change.

Good on you for doing a floor test. Do you have a wet thickness gauge to help you get the material on the correct thickness? Or do you work off the math on how much waterproofing you're supposed to apply for a given area?
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Unread 04-21-2020, 09:51 PM   #7
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I have experienced this with redgaurd, custom building products tech people said it was normal, I didn't feel comfortable with the reaction to the flood test and I haven't done a shower pan with a liquid since. I haven't heard anything from the customer about it and that was about ten years ago. So it is holding up or they didn't call me for the failure. I have been a sheet membrane guy since.
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Unread 04-22-2020, 01:25 AM   #8
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aquadefence is blue here
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Unread 04-22-2020, 02:38 AM   #9
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Tool Guy >> Good on you for doing a floor test. Do you have a wet thickness gauge to help you get the material on the correct thickness? Or do you work off the math on how much waterproofing you're supposed to apply for a given area?

Yeah we always do a flood test. Min 48 hours. Honestly, we really didn't need a gauge. We knew that some of our areas were on the light side, given the custom design of our mud bed for a linear drain. So, we used 3-4 coats, depending on area, and lots of cure time between.

The mud bed is a big flat pitch for most of it. Shout out to Lazerus for the Houston Method. Then two narrow pitches in the "trough" area - to a standard Oatey drain with weep holes. The actual linear drain sits in that later on. This gives us some 1/2" of "float" to set the linear drain with the floor tile, in exactly the right spot.

Our preferred waterproofing method is Wedi Subliner Dry and Wedi sealant for the entire base area, with some Hydro Ban if needed. Unfortunately, our usual supplier is not available due to C-19.

We had bought some Kerdi membrane and tubes of Kerdi-Fix. Then, found out that Kerdi membrane is very different from Wedi and Noble (will not wick moisture). We did not feel comfortable taking a risk with a custom design, so changed gears to Mapei.

12 hours to go, and we'll see how the flood test went.
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Unread 04-22-2020, 05:38 PM   #10
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Flood Test Passed. Over 48 hours

Update. Flood Test Passed. 50 hours total.

Extra note from Patty @ Mapei.
It is important that the water during flood test stays clear. If it turns cloudy or milky then product was not cured properly.

Hopefully, Mapei will update their Install Guide.

On to the next phase ...
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Unread 04-22-2020, 05:39 PM   #11
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Aqua D

Thanks for the Update...I will pass on the info...
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Unread 04-22-2020, 05:40 PM   #12
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But how do you know the thickness of your waterproofing? Initially, you said you put on 3-4 light coats. Sorry, but if I put the waterproofing with a heavy nap roller and do all I can to roll it on as heavy as I possibly can, I’ll need a dead minimum of 3 of these heavy costs to reach the proper thickness. How thick are these “thin” coats? And are you rolling, troweling, or spraying?

If the directions tell me I need 1 gallon of waterproofing per 40 sq/ft or something and I’ve got 40 sq/ft to cover, I know I’ve got to keep applying it until I consume the whole gallon.
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Unread 04-22-2020, 06:52 PM   #13
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Tool Guy >> Sorry, but if I put the waterproofing with a heavy nap roller and do all I can to roll it on as heavy as I possibly can, I’ll need a dead minimum of 3 of these heavy costs to reach the proper thickness.


Perhaps you are looking at a different install guide?

Mapei requires "2 coats using a 3/8 nap roller and final dry thickness of 20-30 mils".
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Unread 04-22-2020, 10:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSrenovations
. final dry thickness of 20-30 mils".
how do you know if you met that thickness? It is a shame they don't list a wet film thickness that they would like you to achieve. 10 people can use a 3/8 in nap roller and you would likely have a wide range of results, so too thin or too thick
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Unread 04-23-2020, 01:55 AM   #15
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Passing a thorough flood test indicates the required thickness was met. 10 gallons of water in a small 37x42 shower pan exerts a lot of pressure. If there were even one pinhole, there would be a significant drop over 24 hours. We went slightly more than double this time.

With Mapei, there is nothing to indicate that extra product is an issue. Same for Hydro Ban (our favorite). Note: with RedGard too heavy an application has been proven to result in cracks and failure.

If one wishes to use a gauge during application of Mapei, there should be no harm in it, but Mapei does not call for it. For someone who is doing a liquid membrane for the first time, it may be prudent.
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