Intro to PUMA Coating for Commercial Concrete & Waterproofing
6 minutes read
PUMA coating: roaring success, or paper tiger?
When you need to protect a concrete deck, foundation, or similar surface, there are many systems available – probably more than you’ll use in your lifetime. The reason for the option overload is that concrete products come in a sneaky-wide range of characteristics and shelf life.
PUMA (polyurethane methacrylate) systems, despite being one of the newer options, have quickly clawed their way to popularity. They already show great potential as a quick fix that doesn’t compromise durability.
As someone tasked with spotting emerging products that lead the pack, you shouldn’t pounce on – or scoff at – PUMAs without learning the system first. Keep reading to see the types, uses, and benefits of PUMAs for repairing and protecting commercial concrete.
What Is PUMA Coating?
At nearly every nook, angle, and crevice, commercial concrete construction is at risk. Your system can sustain critical damage in a variety of ways:
- Lack of maintenance
PUMA is an advanced coating for waterproofing and concrete protection, meeting high demands in turnaround time, durability, and general performance.
Benefits of PUMA/PMMA Systems
PUMA and PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate) coatings – especially PUMA – are earning their stripes in construction circles because of their high performance.
Their key traits to consider in your next project are:
Ultra-Fast Cure Times
Despite being a multicoat system, PUMAs need only 45-60 minutes to cure between coats. This minimizes facility downtime, often allowing property owners and managers to make same-day repairs.
Pull testing shows that PUMA/PMMA systems offer outstanding adhesion to most surfaces. On concrete, some systems have recorded values up to 251 psi (based on the ASTM D7234 test method).
These innovative coatings are more resistant than other waterproofing membranes to:
- Grease & fat
Getting protection up front means you can reduce maintenance and repairs later. At some vendors, a PUMA comes with a warranty of 20+ years for certain applications, while standard urethanes receive one for only 5-10 years.
PUMA-based coatings thrive in cold weather, unlike standard urethane products. You can apply them in temperatures down to 0°F. This flexibility allows you to keep making progress in wintry months.
Types of PUMA & Related Systems
Anytime you choose a protective system, it should be on a case-by-case basis. That said, the various types of PUMA/PMMA waterproofing membranes make sense for a variety of projects and job sites.
PUMA (Urethane Modified PMMA)
The true PUMA system is the best balance of wear resistance and turnaround on the market.
A highly flexible material, PUMA technology offers more elongation than its offshoots. It’s specially built to meet tough demands on commercial job sites:
- Elongation up to 400% at 70°
- Elongation ~300% at colder temperatures
- Passes ASTM C1305 (Crack Bridging Ability of Liquid-Applied Waterproofing Membranes)
The high performance of PUMA and related systems doesn’t have to come at an aesthetic cost. You can customize the look by adding any color to a tintable base or adding quartz or color flakes under a clear topcoat.
In dynamic (high-movement) applications, PUMA is king, and the price reflects that. While it won’t cost a king’s ransom, it is higher than those of some other coatings.
PMMA (Acrylic, Plexiglas)
What is PMMA? In this case, a coat by any other name is still a coat. You may know PMMA as acrylic or acrylic glass. Others know it by trade name:
The PMMA coating process isn’t much different. At first glance, it’s hard to even tell the difference in PMMAs vs. PUMA systems. Technically speaking, though, a PMMA isn’t a PUMA.
A PMMA is used for low-to-medium-movement applications. Though PMMA coatings are flexible, they have very limited elongation capabilities. PUMA shares all the features and benefits of PMMA without the limited elongation, outpacing the latter even in high-movement applications.
Hybrid PUMA/Polyurethane Traffic Coating Systems
This offshoot is a top performer that specializes in traffic coating waterproofing for the heaviest-duty applications. It’s for extreme-wear concrete areas like:
- Drive lanes
- Parking stalls
- Helical turns
- Ticket spitters
(For an example, check out this Tremco PUMA/poly waterproofing system.)
Application happens even faster, but the cost is closer to regular polyurethane.
Uses for PUMA Systems
Subcontractors and project managers generally don’t like surprises, but here’s a good one: PUMAs are more diverse than you may have heard. PUMA systems excel in many applications, not just the traffic-coating they’re most famous for:
Vehicle, pedestrian, & under-tile
Superior abrasion resistance and turnaround time
Parking garages, bridges, & loading bays
Saves time; covers initial cost by allowing you to open space to public sooner
Plaza & Desk Systems
Plaza decks, balconies, terraces
Roof restoration, replacement, and new construction
Efficient cold-weather application; waterproofs completely;
compatible with most common materials
Pools & fountains, Asphalt overlay; horizontal split slab
Superior chemical resistance; rated for constant immersion
Parking areas, stadiums, commercial kitchens, warehouses, manufacturing facilities
Can directly apply finished flooring/tile
Alternatives to PUMA Coating
There’s more than one way to save a concrete build. Popular and established alternatives to PUMAs and PMMAs include:
- Bonding agents
- Hand-applied products
- Foam & pour/pump mortars
- Rapid-set mortars
- Clear penetrating sealers
- Wall coatings
- Deck coatings
As usual, consider your project specifics before making a purchase solely based on price or quality. Your construction product supplier should be able to guide you to the right solution.
PUMA Coating: Pounce First or Pay Later
PUMA coatings are a commercial-grade solution for construction jobs that require waterproofing or other concrete protection. The point is to pay a little more for a high-end product now, helping you avoid durability issues later.
There are three primary benefits to a PUMA system:
- Rapid curing covers initial cost by allowing you to open to public sooner
- Resists abrasion & chemical corrosion
- Thrives in cold-weather applications
Compared with typical urethane systems, PUMAs and PMMAs are more ready-made for projects with tight launch windows and strict performance needs.
To learn more about protecting concrete and waterproofing your work, visit our full resource center for project managers: