Waterproofing, which is an important aspect of construction aims to create a barrier that prevents water from penetrating into structures and buildings. The advancement of technology and materials has led to a greater understanding of waterproofing. Popular waterproofing methods offer improved durability and protection from water infiltration. It doesn’t matter if it’s basements or walls, bathrooms, pools, balconies, decks and roofs. The right waterproofing technique is crucial to ensure structural integrity and longevity of the building.
During the monsoon season, water damage can cause costly repairs and endanger the safety of residents. Construction professionals can protect buildings from water-related problems by using modern waterproofing methods. Explore some of the most important methods and materials in waterproofing practices today.
Waterproofing protects buildings from water damage. Water ingress can lead to structural problems such as cracking and erosion. Corrosion can compromise the safety and strength of a structure. It can also lead to the development of harmful microorganisms such as mildew and mold. This will negatively affect indoor air quality and health.
Waterproofing is important for preserving the integrity of buildings. Prevents expensive repairs and increases the lifespan of buildings. The industry has seen a shift in the use of innovative waterproofing solutions to provide better protection against water damage.
Top 10 Popular Waterproofing Techniques
1. Liquid-Applied Membranes
These membranes can be used to waterproof a variety of surfaces, including roofs, basements and foundations. These membranes are made of synthetic elastomeric or polymer-modified asphalt that form a flexible, seamless barrier. These membranes have excellent adhesion and crack-bridging abilities, as well as resistance to UV radiation. These membranes are highly durable and can be tailored to specific project needs, such as enhanced fire resistance or higher tensile strengths.
2. Crystalline Waterproofing Systems
These systems use the natural process of crystalline growth to create an impermeable barrier in concrete. These systems create insoluble crystals when exposed to moisture in concrete and lime. These systems penetrate deeply into the concrete and seal any future cracks. The crystalline waterproofing system is effective in combating both hydrostatic and a non-hydrostatic pressure of water. It can be used for structures like basements, swimming pools, tunnels and other underground spaces.
3. Sealants based on polyurethane
Sealants based on polyurethane are used to seal joints and gaps. These sealants are flexible and adhere well, allowing movement without compromising waterproofing. These sealants are widely used by construction professionals in the construction and repair of windows, doors and expansion joints.
4. Cementitious Coatings
These cement-based waterproofing materials are durable and resistant to water penetration. These coatings can be applied to roofs, terraces, balconies and other surfaces. Cementitious coats create a protective barrier that keeps water out of the structure, while still allowing the building to breathe. This reduces the risk of moisture being trapped and possible damage.
5. Bentonite Waterproofing
Bentonite, a natural clay substance, expands when it is exposed to water. Commonly used for foundation walls, tunnels and other below-grade constructions. Bentonite waterproofing involves placing a layer bentonite between the structure, and the soil. When hydrated, bentonite creates a dense barrier that is impermeable to water.
6. Drainage Systems
Effective waterproofing requires proper drainage. French drains and sump pumps as well as exterior waterproofing membranes are all techniques that help remove water from the building envelope. French drains redirect and collect water away from the building, while sump pump actively pumps water out of crawl spaces and basements. Exterior waterproofing membranes are applied to the outside surface of walls below grade to create a barrier to water intrusion.
7. Sheet Membranes
Sheet membranes come in sheets or rolls. They are commonly made from modified bitumen or EPDM rubber. Sheet membranes are applied to a variety of surfaces including decks, roofs and walls below grade. They also offer an excellent resistance to penetration of water and can withstand very high levels hydrostatic pressure. Sheet membranes are a durable and reliable waterproofing solution for areas that experience heavy rainfall or have high water tables.
8. Injection Grouting
Injection grouting can be used to repair and seal cracks in concrete. Injection grouting involves injecting polyurethane, epoxy or other grout materials into cracks in order to seal and fill them. The injection grouting technique not only stops water from entering the concrete, but also restores its structural integrity. This technique is commonly used in basements, concrete foundations, and tunnels to repair cracks and prevent further damage.
9. Water Repellent Coatings
Applying water repellent coatings to surfaces of concrete, wood, and masonry reduces the absorption of water. These coatings create a barrier that keeps water out while still allowing the substrates to breathe. Water repellent coatings increase the durability of structures, by preventing damage caused by water, such as efflorescence and freeze-thaw cycles.
10. Green Roofs
Known as living roofs and vegetated roofs, this innovative waterproofing method combines layers of waterproofing with vegetation. Green roofs offer many benefits including improved air quality, stormwater management and thermal insulation. Waterproofing green roofs also involves using root barrier systems or specialized membranes to prevent water reaching the structure below. This technique is not only effective in waterproofing, but it also enhances the environmental sustainability of the building and its aesthetics.