Waterproofing is a very ambiguous term. When we hear or talk about words such as waterproof, sealed, water-resistant, water repellent, watertight or submersible, they all point towards one direction – saving the surface from water intrusion.
When talking about concrete, the most significant factor among all its properties is its toughness. Concrete is a compound construction substance that is made using cement, water, aggregate, and admixture. Its uniqueness is identified with its plasticity, ease of placing, workability, to cast and compress when damp and durable and sturdy when hardened.
The concrete is rich with multiple properties; it ensures that the structure prepared making use of it is very durable. When we talk about the durability of any structure, it is must check the structure’s ability to hold out against any environmental conditions for over a time frame without any failure. Most importantly, it should be able to resist water permeability.
Deterioration of Concrete
Several factors lead this water-based product towards the deterioration. As it is formed by mixing it with water-aggregate-cement, it is more prone to get damaged and decayed because of the water and chemical infiltration. In spite of being a solid substance, it is quite porous and absorbent.
For making the concrete doable and for making it firm, workers add more water than what is required. When this is applied, the extra water oozes out of the concrete leaving behind capillary tracts and pores. There is also another problem of shrinkage that might arise in these cement products because of the mass getting contracted upon moisture loss.
Improper blending proportion, making use of substandard substances, inappropriate condensation all contribute in making the structure susceptible to the entrance of water chemicals which results in reinforcement corrosion and more decaying of the structure.
What can be done to prevent deterioration?
For leaving behind these problems and for making the concrete considerably impermeable, several steps can be taken. The use of good standard materials, proper mixing of content in an appropriate proportion, reinforcing in proper coverage, good curing, etc can help in maintaining the structure waterproof for a long time.
Waterproofing components play a very vital role in maintaining the structure strong and durable. These materials help in protecting structural components, buildings, and homes from water intrusion and also the chemical fluids like alkalies and acids which are very corrosive.
Waterproofing means nothing but developing a basic envelope which is a controlled environment.
Salient Features of Waterproofing Components
- The materials should possess excellent resistance to extreme hydrostatic pressure
- Eliminates any chemical or water permeability
- The materials should be strong enough to protect the structure against corrosion, seawater, aggressive groundwater, chlorides, carbonates, sulfates, nitrates, freeze-thaw cycles, etc.
Concrete is very porous that absorbs all the water and other waterborne contaminants if it is not waterproofed. Some of the materials used for waterproofing is listed below:
1. Sheet Membrane
- Cold applied polymer-altered bitumen is a sheet membrane that is formed with the polymer materials in an amalgam of asphalt which is then attached to the polyethene sheet.
- The idea behind integrating asphalt and polymer is to develop gummier and less temperature-sensitive elastic material. These sheet membranes help in eliminating all the harmful toxins and are quite clingy.
- Use of these sheets helps us attain high tensile strength, immunity against acidic soils, resilience and strong bonding capacity.
2. Liquid-applied membranes
- The liquid-applied membranes hold a solution of urethane or polymeric asphalt in a solvent base. They are applied to the positive side of concrete that is a cure.
- It is applied using a brush, trowel, roller, spray or squeegee. Applying the liquid membranes requires utmost expertise and its success depends on the proper thickness along with the uniform application.
- But there is a challenge associated with these liquid-applied membranes, in which, they get decayed when exposed to UV radiation and also cannot handle the foot traffic.
- Still, they are used widely on projects requiring multiple plane transitions and most ideally in the scenarios where pre-fabricated sheets do not work.
- The admixtures react chemically inside the concrete. They possess a unique functionality where they convert the concrete itself into a water-barrier instead of making a barrier on the positive and negative side of the concrete wall.
- Water repellents, densifiers, crystalline admixtures can be counted as the integral concrete waterproofing method.
- When talking about densifiers, they create a by-product as a result of reaction with calcium hydroxide created in hydration. This by-product helps in slowing down water migration as well as increases the density of the concrete.
- Water-repellents are referred to as hydrophobic and are available in a fluid form such as hydrocarbons, oils, long-chain fatty acid or stearates.
4. Crystalline admixtures
- The crystalline admixtures are hydrophilic and are available in dry powdered form. They tend to make use of water for growing the crystals inside the concrete and seals all the pathways for moisture.
- The best thing about them is that they do not possess any VOC and can be easily recycled when the structure is demolished.
Waterproofing different areas
When we talk about roofs, siding, foundations, etc, any penetration through such areas must be water-resistant. All the roofing materials are made to be water-resistant and for shedding water through a sloping roof. The problem arises when there is ice damming or when one has a flat roof.
Several types of waterproofing membranes are accessible nowadays. Some of them are tar paper with asphalt/tar that is used in building a roof, polyvinyl chloride, ethylene propylene diene monomer EPDM rubber, Hypalon, etc.
Usually, the walls are not accountable for standing water. Housewraps which are water-resistant membranes is made very absorbent to let the moisture withdraw. Walls need to have air barriers as well as vapour barriers.
These waterproofing components are generally subdivided by their purpose. The division is as stated below:
- By material type – Asphalt, mineral, plastic and metallic
Asphalt Waterproofing components
- These materials are used in the form of petroleum bitumens along with sand, crushed stones like mortars, asphalt mastics or concretes and mineral powder which are gained by a heating process where the hot asphalt is poured.
- These bitumens are refined using volatile solvents such as enamels and bituminous lacquers or emulsifying them in water using pastes, cold asphalts or bituminous lacquers.
- Asphalts and bitumens are useful in various areas. Some of these areas are for the painting and plastering the structural surfaces, for impregnated the structural elements, asphalt splines for enclosing the deformation points.
- They are also used extensively for the manufacturing of many autonomous material components like fibreglass roofing material, insulating mats and principal rolled roofing materials like brizol, izol, and gidroizol.
- Waterproofing components such as bituminous polymers are being used widely hold a very degree of elasticity and are immune to crack.
- In USSR, water emulsified bitumens waterproofing components are used such as elastitm, emulbit, cold asphalt mastics and bitumen-latex compositions, which allows the usage of local materials along with curtailing the cost of waterproofing process.
Mineral Waterproofing Components
- The mineral materials for waterproofing are prepared using clay, the base of cement and several mineral binding agents. For tackling the antiseepage issue, they are used widely.
- They are used in plastered coatings like plaster and cement gunite, for paints such as cement and silicate paints and in giant structural components like gidraton, aluminous cement joints or water-repellent fills.
- The enhancement of these mineral waterproofing materials is associated with the usage of surface-active as well as special additives that possess high dispersion mixtures.
Plastic Waterproofing Components
- The plastic waterproofing materials are useful in plastered surfaces like polymer mortars, faizol, and concrete painted waterproofing surfaces like polyvinyl, polyester, epoxide, paints and ethanol lacquers, glued waterproofing surfaces which comprises of oppanol, polyethylene, and polyvinyl chloride types.
- It is also helpful in enclosing the deformation joints like natural rubber’s hermetic materials, fibreglass elements and moulding strips of polyvinyl chloride and processed rubber.
- The production of these materials is increasing constantly.
- Some of the materials are going through the improvement process like Thiokol hermetic materials, polyethylene screens, and polyester fibreglass materials.
Metallic Waterproofing Materials
- The metallic waterproofing materials consist of lead, brass, copper, steel and stainless steel sheets.
- The metallic waterproofing materials are mostly used for sealing of the deformation joints in very critical areas like dams, core walls, storage tanks, etc and for surface waterproofing.
- The use of copper and aluminium foil is generally done for reinforcing the coatings and waterproof rolled rolling substances such as sisalkraft, folgoizal, and metalloizol.
Ideal Waterproofing Materials
With growing technology, there are several types of waterproofing materials available in the market that serves the waterproofing need. Let us go through some of them:
- Masterseal is a two-in-one solution spray applied polyurea membrane. This is designed in a manner that ensures a high level of protection against water.
- This can be used in all areas like industries, commercial and residential. For installing a tough, sturdy and long-lasting waterproofing membrane, this needs to be sprayed on the building surfaces.
- Some of the good properties of this system comprise of its durability, insensitive to water, resistant to chemicals and quick cure
- The biggest point of discussion over the years in construction is Efflorescence. Also known as whiskers, it is a crystalline deposit on concrete, masonry or stucco surfaces. Peterseal has been developed as a sealer coat.
- It relies on the reactive polymers with nanoparticles that are cross-linked, penetrating deep into the surface that reacts with free lime and salt. As a result of all this process, nano-sized crystals are formed inside the structure.
- When we talk about construction, the joint in any part plays a very crucial role and need special focus.
- A horizontal displacement that is right-angled to the surface of the joint which is normally resulted due to thermal and shrinkage movement.
- When constructing these areas, if proper care is not taken, then the problem arises with time where one needs to go through recurring rounds of costly repairs. Hence, the joints are most prone to water seepage problem as when the structure gets ready; it becomes very difficult to isolate the leakage point.
- Krytonite swelling water stop which is nothing but a synthetic rubber water stop which can swell up to 4 times more than any ordinary rubber and can withstand high hydrostatic pressure. It compensates for the shrinkage of the concrete by expanding.
Dr Fixit LEC
- Pidilite has come up with this amazing product named Dr Fixit Low Energy Consumption. It helps in reducing the heat and provides good insulation to the structures.
- The thermal stress on the structure is automatically reduced with the use of this product as compared to other products. Also, it helps in sealing all the leakages that result in steel expansion.
- This is a multi-purpose product that targets liners, coatings, and membranes.
- For making the applied coating tack-free, this product is the most ideal one as it possesses very high coating time.
- When we deal with the underground structures like the basement, the outer part of the structural concrete becomes inaccessible.
- In the traditional structures, there is no presence of seal between the waterproofing and concrete that results in water breakout between waterproofing and leakages of structure.
- For dealing such situations, Proofex is being used widely that possess a cell mesh that gets nicely bonded to the concrete that has been freshly placed. This results in a tight waterproof seal preventing any sort of water leakage.
When you think to opt for waterproofing your home, it is highly recommended to opt for the best firm for doing this task. You may go for Canada Waterproofers for best waterproofing services. Before water-proofing, it is necessary to examine the complete area where waterproofing needs to be done to get an idea of the intensity of the work to be done. Thereafter, the method needs to be decided as per the area of the specification that will be used. Like for some areas the crystalline method is more ideal, whereas, for some, it will be a flexible membrane method, etc. Based on the method, the components are selected and they should be of top quality and should be used before their expiry date to gain the desired results. A right waterproofing product can either make or break a project’s timeline.