Did you know? Exposure to water can erode concrete over time unless a waterproofing material is applied to protect it. Once the concrete erodes and deteriorates, it can be very expensive to repair. For this reason, it makes sense to apply a suitable waterproofing material that can prevent water from seeping into the concrete.
In fact, many building codes now require liquid waterproofing on all new concrete basement wall or structures, precisely for this purpose. In this post, read about what you can do to protect your concrete foundation and what solutions you can expect from professional concrete waterproofing services.
Concrete Waterproofing Methods
Waterproofing concrete can be done a couple of different ways. The best way to do it depends on the integrity of the surface, access to it, and a few other factors that will become obvious as you learn about how waterproofing products are applied.
Liquid Waterproofing Application
The most common way to waterproof concrete is to use a liquid waterproofing product specifically designed for that purpose. Liquid waterproofing gel is a thick substance that turns into a rubber-like coating once applied to the outside of a concrete wall. For the waterproofing project to succeed, the concrete must be completely cured and clean. This technique is very successful for new basement walls, foundations, or any other concrete surface that will be below grade.
To apply it, you must use a special mop or roller to rub it on, then allow it to dry thoroughly. Once the waterproofing liquid has dried and become rubbery in texture, you can backfill soil against it to secure it in place.
Crystalline Slurry Compound
Another product that is an effective waterproofing method is by using what’s known as a Crystalline Slurry Compound. When this mixture is applied to concrete, it chemically reacts with water and unhydrated cement particles. It will form needle-shaped crystals that fill capillary pores and micro-cracks in the concrete. The result is that the altered concrete crystals act to permanently block the pathways for water and waterborne contaminants. Moreover, the moisture introduced over the lifespan of the concrete will initiate crystallization, ensuring permanent waterproofing protection.
A similar product is available and commonly used as a waterproofing parge coat (a thin coat of mortar applied to refine the surface of concrete) for spalled or honeycombed concrete, or as a waterproof plaster on masonry walls, where a higher compressive strength surface is required.
Rubberized sheets, another concrete waterproofing technique, uses large square sheets of a very sticky rubbery substance. The sheets are placed against a concrete wall or foundation that will be below grade. Once the sheets are placed against the wall, the sheets permanently adhere and become impossible to remove. Rubberized sheets provide more uniform coverage and thickness than liquid-based solutions, and are easier to apply. However, the seams between the sheets create an entry point for moisture and is often more expensive than alternative solutions.
A very user-friendly technique is to apply a cementitious waterproofing material. It is applied to the concrete surface like you would apply a layer of mortar. The cementitious waterproofing is mixed and applied to the concrete in a thick uniform layer. When it dries, it is as hard as the concrete itself. However, cementitious waterproofing is not flexible and eventually is likely to crack and need repairs.
Bentonite sheets resemble cardboard layers with bentonite waterproofing sandwiched in between. The sheets are attached to the concrete below grade. When water penetrates the layers, it causes the clay to expand until it is swollen to many times its original size. The disadvantage of this method of waterproofing is that it requires water to activate it, and its effectiveness is difficult to determine until water has infiltrated the material.
Repairing Leaks & Cracks
Many products are effective for repairing concrete leaks and cracks. To use a repair grout, you will need to prepare a chase by chiseling into the concrete, and stop the flowing water with a special plug. The plug is a rapid-setting hydraulic cement product. When it is mixed with water, it is designed to stop flowing water in concrete. It sets hard within 2 minutes and has high-compressive strength. These characteristics enable the plug to stop water even under high-hydrostatic pressure.
Once the water flow stops, the concrete can be permanently repaired with repair grout. To do that, you would fill the chase to the surface with the repair grout. Once the leak is repaired, you can apply a waterproofing product to protect the entire structure against water, prevent further concrete deterioration, and reduce the likelihood of further leaks developing.
Contact Waterproof Caulking For More Information
If you need to waterproof or repair a concrete surface, contact the experts at Waterproof Caulking. Their knowledgeable professionals can answer your questions and inspect your property to determine the best of the aforementioned concrete waterproofing solutions for your property. Save yourself time and avoid costly mistakes by contact a professional today!