Waterproofing is one of the most important aspects of concrete construction.
Infiltration of water leads to structural issues in the building. The first damage is cosmetic, but the next is structural. By the time a stain appears on the wall, the damage has already been done to the interior.
In roof decks, if moisture is trapped, it can result in decay, and might even cause the roof to collapse. In the case of walls, water rusts the angle and the carrying beams weaken the structure. When moisture enters reinforced concrete structures, it carries chloride ions, which rusts reinforcing bars. The bars increase size, thus, chipping away at the Concrete Construction Waterproofing.
How Is Waterproofing Carried Out?
It is done by the formation of an impermeable layer over the surfaces of foundations, walls, roofs, and other structural components. The materials used for waterproofing in buildings are cementitious material, liquid waterproofing membrane, bituminous material, and polyurethane liquid membrane, etc. Let’s have a look at the different methods.
Waterproofing Methods For Buildings
- Cementitious Waterproofing
This is the easiest method, and the materials required for this are readily available with masonry product suppliers. They can be mixed and applied easily. This method is used in wet areas, like toilets. This type of waterproofing is rigid or semi-flexible. It is used in private areas, and therefore it does not get exposed to sun and the weather. This kind of waterproofing does not contract an expansion process.
Cementitious waterproofing is used in water treatment, bridges, sewage treatment, dams, marine ports, docks, river locks, dikes, etc.
- Liquid Waterproofing Membrane
The membrane in this is a thin coating, which is made up of a primer coat, and two additional layers of top coats, applied by roller or trowel. This type of waterproofing is more flexible than the cementitious kind.
After this has been applied, it takes the form of a rubber-like coating. How durable the coating depends on the variety of polymer used for making the liquid waterproofing.
- Bituminous Coating Waterproofing
Bituminous coating is known as asphalt coating. This is most commonly used in areas that beneath screed wet. It acts as a protective coating and waterproofing agent. The polymer grade and fiber reinforcement determine flexibility and protection.
This is made up of bitumen-based materials, which is not suitable for exposure to sunlight.
Upon exposure to the sun, it tends to become brittle and fragile. To make it sunlight-resistant, it has to be reinforced with polyurethane.
- Bituminous Membrane Waterproofing
Popularly used for low-sloping roofs, bituminous membrane waterproofing is made of the torch-on membrane and self-adhesive membrane. This membrane consists of asphalt, polymers, and filler.
The torch-on membrane is of both types: exposed and covered. This withstands the wear and tear caused by weathering.
- Polyurethane Liquid Membrane Waterproofing
This is used for flat roof area, which is exposed to weathering. Being a rare form of weathering, it offers higher flexibility. Polyurethane is sensitive to moisture. Before applying this, the moisture content of the concrete slab is maintained. If moisture seeps in, peeling or de-bonding of membranes may take place.
Some real estate developers tend to underestimate the importance of waterproofing. They look at it as yet another unnecessary cost. But proper waterproofing is necessary to protect interiors from water damage. It prevents the onset of health problems due to moisture. By avoiding damage, it saves your money. Waterproofing your roof makes it energy efficient and increases the lifespan. When done correctly, it decreases the humidity indoors.
Waterproofing also increases the value of your property. Construction Waterproofing reduces maintenance costs and clean-up work. After heavy rain on the floor, there is less cleaning up left to do. Hence, the basic maintenance is easier.