Highway Underseal Protection

Provides Protection Against:

Puncture Resistance

Construction Damage

Underseal® is highly Puncture Resistant. Current ASTM requirements for commercial grade vapor barriers are:

 ASTM Requirements for Commercial Grade Vapor Barriers
                                                                                                    Class A              Class B              Class C        UNDERSEAL®
Puncture resistance to 1" steel rod (ASTM E154)        2200 grams      1700 grams      475 grams    430000 grams

Self Healing

Polyguard UNDERSEAL® will self-seal small punctures against moisture vapor. Permeability tests were performed on three samples of UNDERSEAL®. Simultaneously, the lab tested three samples of Underseal® which had been punctured by roofing nails.

Moisture Vapor transmission was 0.01 perms for both punctured and non-punctured samples with no significant difference.

Construction and Traffic Abuse

Nevada Department of Transportation
The Nevada DOT Special Studies Section installed Polyguard highway weight scale tape, a fabric backed sealant/adhesive system on US 395 and left it exposed over six months to a million vehicles "without signs of undue wear and tear". Their report concluded that the material was "extremely durable and can withstand a wide range of weather conditions". - October 1988.

Vapor, Water, and Mold

UNDERSEAL® Seals Out Water and Moisture
The permeability rating of UNDERSEAL® is 0.02, which represents impermeability to both vapor and water. Since mold requires moisture, UNDERSEAL® blocks mold formation.

The waterproofing portion of UNDERSEAL® technology uses the classic technology of Polyguard's 650 Waterproofing Membrane. This sheet membrane technology, developed in 1970, had become the most widely specified type of commercial waterproofing by the 1990's. In the mid 1990's, Polyguard sponsored a year long search by FW Dodge Spec Fax Service. This search revealed that, on U.S. projects > $5 million in size which specified sheet membrane waterproofing by name, 54% (131 of 244) specified Polyguard's 650 Waterproofing Membrane by name.

Pesticides & Other Toxic Chemicals

UNDERSEAL® Seals Out Pesticides
Tests by ASTM F 2130 of UNDERSEAL® against two widely used pesticides (fipronil and permethrin) and against chlordane (banned by the EPA in 1988) showed zero penetration of the pesticide through the sealant.

Radioactive Radon Gas

UNDERSEAL® Seals Out Radioactive Radon Gas
Christie Whitman, former EPA Administrator, stated: "As many as 22,000 people die from lung cancer each year in the United States from exposure to indoor radon gas".

Today a number of vapor barrier materials represent themselves as radon barriers. However, few have been tested against actual radon gas. The reason is that radon gas is RADIOACTIVE, and there is only one laboratory in the United States with the capability of testing. That lab is at a major university. Scientists at that laboratory believe that radon barriers should be tested using radioactive radon isotope of mass 222, and that testing should be performed for both permeability AND diffusion, using samples installed on representative concrete mix.

Polyguard UNDERSEAL® has been subjected to these tests, and has been found to reduce radon permeability by one order of magnitude, and to reduce radon diffusion by two orders of magnitude. These tests were performed on uncracked, unjointed concrete. If the concrete had been cracked, the improvement would have been infinite. Remember that UNDERSEAL® has been designed to seal even after the slab above cracks, or its joints shift.

Methane Gas

UNDERSEAL® Seals Out Methane Gas
If your project has a methane gas concern, note that UNDERSEAL® has been tested for resistance to methane gas permeability. Results show extremely high resistance.
- April & October, 2003.

Methane permeance results

Oxygen permeance results

* Tests performed on Underseal Protected Wall Waterproofing Membrane also are applicable to Underslab Waterproofing Membrane & Split Slab Waterproofing Membrane. These materials contain the same components as Protected Wall Waterproofing Membrane, except that Underslab Waterproofing Membrane & Split Slab Waterproofing Membrane are thicker. For Underslab Waterproofing Membrane & Split Slab Waterproofing Membrane, resistance to methane gas permeance should be slightly better because of the increased thickness.

Underseal® Will Continue to Seal, Even if the Slab Above Cracks, or the Joints Above it Shift

Several State DOTs published research which showed that Polyguard highway membrane underseals, which contain similar components to UNDERSEAL® , continued to seal pavements even after the pavement had cracked above it, or the joint had had opened above it. Each DOT removed concrete cores from the cracked pavement or opened joint, and in all cases reported that the Polyguard membrane underseal was intact and still sealing. Prior to the final report, up to 17 million vehicles had driven over the Polyguard membrane underseal.

Mississippi Department of Transportation
Final Report State Study No. 67-18 Evaluation of Joint Sealing Tape - September 1992.

New York State Department of Transportation
Research Project FHWA/NY/SR-94/114 "Membranes for Pavement/Shoulder Joints" noted that pavement cores with Polyguard underseal had been removed from concrete joints after 4-6 years under traffic. The underseal had remained intact. - December 1994.

PENNDOT (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation)
Research Project 79-6 (Interim Report, page 12).

Underseal® Highway Underseal Protection Acts as a Stress Absorbing Anti-Fracture Membrane, and Can be Expected to Reduce the Amount and Severity of Slab Cracking Above the Membrane

Georgia Department of Transportation Research Project 7502 Final Report
“...waterproofing membranes have reduced the rate of reflective cracking... ...even when reflective cracking appears over joints with membrane treatment, the cracks appear to stay tighter than cracks over joints without membrane treatment...”. Georgia DOT research, based upon a 6 year evaluation of 20 test sections of I-85. Source: Transportation Research Record 916, paper presented by Wouter Gulden and Danny Brown, Georgia Department of Transportation. Polyguard Membrane used in research.) - September 1984.

Polyguard's highway membranes contain similiar components to our Architectural UNDERSEAL® products. Although components are not identical, we believe results of highway tests will translate to the building construction setting.

Other Research and Usage for Highway Applications

Vermont Agency of Transportation "Saving Chloride Contaminated Bridge Decks"
"Results of ongoing research in Vermont now strongly suggest that a properly selected and applied waterproofing membrane will reduce the oxygen and moisture supply at the rebar level enough to lower corrosion activity to non-destructive levels." (State of Vermont research, based upon a 4 year evaluation of seven chloride contaminated bridge decks, Source: Paper presented at 4R Conference, by Ronald I. Frascoia, State of Vermont, Agency of Transportation. Polyguard Membrane used in research.) - November 1989.

Polyguard highway underseals - Research and Usage Summary
Over 35 states have approved or used Polyguard underseal.