Different Aspects Of Waterproofing In Building Construction
November 28, 2022
In essence, waterproofing is a procedure used to stop water from entering a structure. Waterproofing is typically done in layers and stages to establish several barriers that prevent water from entering the structure. Membranes and coatings are used to waterproof a structure to safeguard the structural integrity as well as the contents below or within. The process of establishing a “Building Envelope” is a combination of several steps. Therefore, a building’s performance is also evaluated by how well its materials work together, how they interact, and how well its enclosures are connected. The exterior weathering variables, among which site drainage and rainwater play a big part, also pose a considerable obstacle to this performance. So, with the proper waterproofing system application, protection from the elements, seepages from the ground, and vertical water transport can all be well protected in a structure.
Modern waterproofing solutions address sustainable design by taking a dual approach to the source of the problem. The method is able to multitask with ease thanks to various and unique coatings with particular chemical ratios. Due to the usage of materials, the process has a parallel effect that conserves energy. This mostly refers to the coverings on the exterior walls and floors, which reduce heat transfer into the building and so ease the burden of improving interior air quality and air conditioning. Due to their versatility and significance, waterproofing systems can also be referred to as “structural protection and rehabilitation” or “renewable engineering.”
Waterproofing plays a significant role in both the process of building a structure and the grading of a site. (In this context, “grading” broadly refers to the identification, control, and improvement of the site for appropriate construction.) A waterproofing system can therefore be used on specific elements of a structure in addition to the building envelope as a whole.
ELEMENTS IMPACTING A BUILDING’S WATERPROOFING
Every structure can be thought of as a life form because it deals with the issues of deterioration if regular maintenance is not carried out. In this approach, in addition to the occupancy load, various natural variables such as air, water, climate, wind, and humidity control the life of a building. If a structure is not adequately protected from water, it will deteriorate or suffer damage from its foundation all the way up to its plaster (via humidity and rain). Concrete becomes weaker due to the capillary action of water, which also makes it more prone to corrosion. Buildings exhibit this by developing plaster cracks, developing rot on the walls, and moisture on the ceiling.
WATERPROOFING THE PROCESS
To prevent seepage and capillary rise of water into the structure, waterproofing is applied above the structure in layers while maintaining its breathing ability. Both inside and externally, it creates a protective coating around itself to ward off any water that may be present in the structure. In order to prevent water from entering the structure, several barriers are typically built as part of a building waterproofing system. By using specific materials and construction methods, this growth of numerous layers results in a structure that resembles an “envelope” encircling the building. By preventing the entry of surplus heat from the atmosphere, this envelope might be considered a sustainable feature or a green building solution.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF WATERPROOFING
There are a few popular waterproofing techniques utilized in the building business. Waterproofing in structures/buildings is typically necessary for:
- Basement Of The Building
- Kitchen And Restrooms
- A Balcony Or A Deck
- Roofs Or Terraces
- A Green Roof
- Water Tanks
- Watering Holes
The following waterproofing methods are commonly used in construction:
- Cementitious Waterproofing
- Liquid Waterproofing Membrane
- Bituminous Membrane
- Bituminous Coating
- Polyurethane Liquid Membrane
- Waterproofing with cement
The simplest form of waterproofing in the building is cementitious. The suppliers of masonry products can easily provide the materials for cementitious waterproofing. They are very simple to combine and use. The cementitious waterproofing technology is used in interior damp spaces like bathrooms. Because of this, the contract and expansion process is not used.
Cementitious Waterproofing Applications
- plants that cleanse water
- Treatment facilities for sewage
- Bridges and Dams
- subway and railroad networks
- docks and ports for marine cargo
- Canals/locks on rivers
- parking facilities
- Waterproofing liquid membrane
Two topcoats and a primer coat make up the liquid membrane. The coatings can be applied with a sprayer, roller, or trowel. Comparing liquid waterproofing to cementitious waterproofing, the liquid layer is thin and gives greater flexibility. On the wall, the liquid hardens into a rubbery layer. The coat’s elongation abilities can increase by up to 280%. Depending on the type of polymer the manufacturer employed to create the liquid waterproofing, the waterproofing coating’s durability varies. A liquid asphalt layer made of polymer-modified polymers can be used as a liquid waterproofing membrane. Various manufacturers also offer polyurethane liquid membranes in distinct grades for trowel, roller, or spray applications.
- Waterproofing Bituminous Coating
Asphalt coating is formed of bitumen-based compounds, often known as a bituminous coating. On the basis of its formulation and polymerization grade, it is a flexible protective coat. The grade of the polymer and the fiber reinforcement can have an impact on flexibility and water resistance. Areas below the wet screed are where bituminous coatings are most frequently applied. It works wonders as a waterproofing and protective coating, especially on surfaces like concrete foundations. Unless it is treated with a more flexible substance like polyurethane or acrylic-based polymers, it is not suited for exposure to sunlight.
- Waterproofing using Bituminous Membranes
Due to their dependable performance, bituminous membrane waterproofing is a common technique for low-sloped roofs. The bituminous waterproofing membrane has a self-adhesive membrane and a torch on the layer. Asphalt, polymers, and filler are the main ingredients of self-adhesive compounds. Some resins and oils can also be included to enhance adhesion properties. The self-adhesive variety has a short shelf life since the membrane’s bonding abilities weaken over time.
There are exposed and covered varieties of torches on the membrane. To withstand weathering, the exposed layer frequently contains granular mineral aggregate. To stop the membrane from being punctured, the contractor must apply one protective screed to the other type of membrane.
- Waterproofing using Polyurethane Liquid Membrane
The flat roof section, which is exposed to weathering, is waterproofed using a polyurethane liquid membrane. This waterproofing technique is pricey. The flexibility of polyurethane liquid membrane can be increased. The level of moisture has a significant impact on polyurethane. The moisture level of the concrete slab must therefore be carefully assessed prior to application; otherwise, membranes may peel or de-bond over time.
In a structure, water damage can be a major problem. Molds and a number of other issues are brought on by water, which can weaken building foundations, create unsafe conditions inside, and harm items within. Water exposure can hasten the decay of wooden structures, but it can also harm other building materials like concrete, especially in colder areas where water may freeze and produce fissures. Not just during the rainy season, but all year round, may inadequate waterproofing be a concern.
Building permeability is preferred, not least because humidity produced by building occupants needs to be safely ventilated. Waterproofing a structure aims to keep as much water out as possible while also providing outlets and drainage to ensure that any water that does get inside doesn’t sit.