Water damage in a home can be incredibly destructive, creating emergency situations that are expensive to fix and can put the home’s contents and structure at risk. It is far easier to prevent water damage than it is to correct it once it occurs, and waterproofing plays an essential role in preventing such disasters. So, how does waterproofing work?
What Is The Purpose Of Waterproofing?
Waterproofing is an important step in helping your home avoid water damage. It involves creating an impervious barrier across important surfaces within and outside the home to prevent water from getting inside.
It is a relatively simple and affordable approach that can keep a building safe from expensive damage in the future. It also helps strengthen the foundation of a property, reduce health hazards and keep energy costs down.
Where Is Waterproofing Used?
Many people associate waterproofing with basements, but it is also used in bathrooms, kitchens, decks, balconies, roofs, terraces, water tanks, interior and exterior walls and swimming pools.
Statistics from insurance industry research show that 98 percent of all basements will experience water damage of some type during their lifespan. While ensuring that appliances, plumbing and water heaters are in good working order can help avoid problems, waterproofing takes this one step further by putting a barrier in place that will provide protection in the case of leaks or flooding.
Types Of Waterproofing Methods
There is no shortage of waterproofing methods that can be employed in residential and commercial buildings. The right choice depends on the surface that must be waterproofed and its environment. Exposure to the elements, the degree of flexibility needed and cost are other important considerations that can influence this decision. Some of the most popular and effective types of waterproofing are cementitious waterproofing, liquid waterproofing membrane, bituminous waterproofing, bituminous coating and polyurethane liquid membrane.
One of the easiest methods of waterproofing is cementitious waterproofing, which involves materials that are simple to mix and apply. It consists of sand, silica-based substances and inorganic and organic chemicals. Once the mixture is combined with lime, a hydration reaction occurs that forms a waterproof seal. It normally needs to be mixed with water before applying, but some experts also include an acrylic additive that makes the coating even more durable. It comes in spray and liquid formulas.
Although it is quite easy to use and will last for many years, cementitious waterproofing is not the best choice when a high degree of flexibility is needed as cement does not bend or flex well. It is often used on concrete structures such as walls, foundations and walkways.
Liquid Waterproofing Membrane
A liquid membrane is an approach that involves a primer coat and two topcoats applied using a roller, trowel or spray The liquid layer’s thin coating provides greater flexibility than cementitious waterproofing. After the liquid cures into a rubber-like coating, it boasts significant elongation properties.
A popular choice for many residential and commercial applications, bituminous membrane waterproofing uses asphalt or coal tar. Bituminous membrane waterproofing can be used to protect roofs with a low slope and is found in roll form. It is considered very affordable, but it does have some drawbacks.
The self-adhesive varieties are made of polymers, asphalt and filler. Resins or oils are sometimes added to make it more adherent. However, this type tends to have a short shelf life because its bonding properties reduce over time. In addition, it is not considered sustainable because it is made from crude oil, and it does not hold up well against UV radiation and extreme temperatures.
Bituminous coating, or asphalt coating, uses bitumen-based materials to form a flexible and protective coating. The grade of polymer used can impact the degree of protection and flexibility offered. It is considered a high-quality waterproofing and coating agent that is particularly suited to surfaces such as concrete foundations. However, it is not recommended for areas with heavy sunlight exposure unless it is modified using more flexible materials, such as acrylic-based polymers or polyurethane.
Polyurethane Liquid Membrane
A polyurethane liquid membrane is a popular choice for flat roof areas that are exposed to lots of weathering. Although it can be more expensive, it is superior to many other varieties because it offers a high degree of protection and flexibility. It is often used to add waterproofing to balconies, bridges, water tanks and pedestrian decks.
Polyurethane creates a seamless waterproofing membrane, which is important in some applications, and it can fill capillary cracks. It is important to note that it will also harden the uppermost surface of concrete. It excels at resisting oils, detergents and other types of chemicals. The application should be left to professionals because this material should not be inhaled or come into contact with skin.
Speak To Experienced Waterproofing Contractors
Waterproofing is the best way to keep your building safe from moisture and maintain a healthy foundation. If your home or building needs high-quality professional waterproofing services, speak to the experienced waterproofing contractors at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration. Offering below-grade waterproofing systems as well as spray-on penetrating sealants, their experts can provide the right solution for your property’s specific concerns.