Can You Use Redgard Over Dry Pack? (Answered)

Dry pack mortar goes by many names, such as floor or deck mud. It is a mixture of sand and Portland cement hydrated with water.

Dry pack has many uses, such as fixing repair cracks, filling holes, and any typical repair of small areas which are mostly deeper than wider. Using a dry pack comes with many benefits.

It’s economical and time-saving since you won’t have to mix sand and cement at the job site. It can also be used in both internal and external applications.

Out of the many things dry pack is compatible with, do you intend to apply Redgard over it? Keep on reading whether it’s advisable to use Redgard over the dry pack and some of the challenges you may face.

dry pack

What is Redgard?

Redgard is a waterproofing and crack-prevention membrane used in stone and tile installation projects. This product creates a waterproof barrier once it cures and prevents the cracking of stones and tiles. Due to these properties, Redgard is one of the best materials to be used as a shower tray.

Many contractors prefer to use Redgard since the application process is pretty straightforward. All you need is a roller or an airless sprayer.

Some construction experts use trowels. It features a fast-drying formula to get the job done much quicker. Redgard can be used on a wide range of surfaces, bringing us to today’s topic – can you use Redgard over dry pack?

Will Redgard Work on Dry Pack?

Redgard can act as a waterproof membrane over a dry pack, popularly known as floor mud. Considering the waterproofing and crack prevention capabilities, Redgard is mostly used to waterproof shower pan dry pack.

However, as useful as Redgard is at offering waterproofing benefits, there are some concerns associated with using Redgard over a dry pack.

First, Redgard should only be used as a second line of defense against water damage. When installing a shower pan, you must have a vinyl liner. This is the thing that will be in charge of waterproofing. The Redgard will only offer a helping hand.

The other concern associated with using Redgard over a dry pack is that it can create a temporary moisture sandwich.

If you are using a dry pack over the liner and plan to install tiles on top, there is a good chance that applying Redgard to the dry pack will result in a moisture sandwich.

As mentioned earlier, considering the features of all these products. There is a big chance that you are working on a shower pan or an area vulnerable to water or moisture, such as the kitchen.

If this is an area exposed to water, it will get to the dry pack through the grout or any crevices that weren’t properly sealed on the tiles.

When the above happens, it will find the dry pack that has been waterproofed with Redgard. Therefore, it will not seep through the dry pack or floor mud. To worsen the case, if there are no weep holes or they happen to be blocked, you will be in for a big surprise.

Moisture will be retained between the waterproofed dry pack and the tiles. That could lead to mold development which is a pretty serious issue.

As much as you may think that applying Redgard over the dry pack is an extra protective measure. It could affect you negatively in the future.

Does Redgard Offer Extra Moisture Protection on the Dry Pack?

Absolutely. Redgard is a premium waterproofing product that will keep moisture away from the dry pack. It will also prevent cracking. These are some of the advantages of using Redgard.

However, as you do so, you must evaluate what you intend to do next over the dry pack. If you want to install tiles or stones on top, you need to avoid sandwiching moisture in between.

Should You Use Redgard If You Have a Vinyl Liner Below the Dry Pack?

There is nothing wrong with getting some added protection against water. But, if there are risks involved, you need to think twice.

In most shower pan installation projects, you must have a vinyl liner that should be sloped to direct moisture into the drain. If you have already installed this vinyl liner, you need not go the extra mile by adding Redgard or anything else on top.

You can use the Redgard to lock out moisture on the walls of the shower. But for the pan, best leave it as it is.

Should you Install Weep Holes Next to the Dry Pack?

When a dry pack is used in areas exposed to a lot of water, weep holes must also be installed. Weep holes will help drain water that leaks through the grout or tiles.

Without weep holes, the dry pack will be exposed to a lot of water and may lose its structure over time. This may not happen if you have applied to Redgard.

But you will be left with moisture trapped between the tiles and dry pack. So you will still have a problem to deal with.

Is It Advisable to Redgard Over Dry Pack?

It’s good that you want to add more protection against water to your bathroom project. However, sometimes it’s not usually necessary to use Redgard. The floor bed can do its job without the Redgard.

Everything should work perfectly as long as the weep holes are working and the deck mud is slopped so that it channels all the water to the drain. If you also have a vinyl liner, you don’t need to worry about water damage to your shower pan.

Not only will Redgard sandwich moisture between the dry pack and tiles, but it will also cost more money and time to apply.

If you were to proceed with the shower pan installation without Redgard, everything would fair on pretty quickly. But since there is Redgard involved, you will need to lay it down and wait for it to cure.

There is something else that can benefit from Redgard in your shower, and it’s the walls. Redgard is an excellent waterproofing agent that will prevent water from passing through the wall and causing mold growth. If you must use Redgard, apply it on the walls; that should be enough.

Can Redgard Replace Liner?

From the above discussion on whether Redgard can be used over a dry pack, you have seen that liner also plays a similar role which is to waterproof the shower pan. That may leave you wondering, can you use Redgard instead of liner?

First, allow us to introduce what shower liners are. Shower liners are used in between mortar and tiles. Their purpose is to prevent water from seeping into the floor.

Redgard is also used in the same area, and even though it’s a great waterproofing material, it can’t replace a shower liner.

The thing about Redgard is that it’s an additional protection measure. The liner is the first line of defense against water. There is usually a lot of water on the floor in a shower setting.

Redgard can only offer temporary defense against moisture. Liner is more of a long-term water protection solution. Also, most plumbing councils and regulations recommend liners.

How to Apply Redgard Over Dry Pack?

If you have made up your mind that you want to use Redgard over the dry pack, you need to apply it correctly. Below is a quick guide on how to spread Redgard over a dry pack.

Step 1 – Gather Essential Materials

Besides the Redgard itself, there are a couple of things that you will need for this project. Redgard is applied using a roller or a paint sprayer.

It would be best if you made arrangements to get these products. You must also have PPEs which entail gloves and masks.

Step 2 – Apply Redgard

Applying Redgard isn’t a complicated process. Some preliminaries come before the application. First, the dry pack must be cleaned thoroughly.

The presence of contaminants can interfere with the curing of the Redgard. You must also ensure there are no pools of water on the dry pack.

When you are done with that, you can take a roller or air sprayer and point it to the dry pack or deck mud. A roller will guarantee a more uniform finish.

Please ensure the entire surface is covered and give it at least two hours to cure. It should turn bright red when it cures. Once it dries, apply a final coat.

A pro tip when applying Redgard over a dry pack is that you should avoid thickening it. Redgard that is too thick can crumble at the bottom, which may affect this product’s effectiveness.

What to Do If a Contractor Recommends Using Redgard Over Dry Pack?

In case you have hired a contractor to work on your bathroom, and they are recommending using Redgard over a dry pack, you may have some second thoughts after reading the above.

What you have to understand is that contractors also make mistakes. They are human. You should explain your concerns about the Redgard sandwiching moisture between the dry pack and tiles.

If they assure you no such thing will happen, ask for a guarantee. Should moisture get trapped by the Redgard, the contractor should be liable for repairs.

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