The Civil Engineer’s Toolbox: Common Types and Methods of Building Waterproofing Used

Waterproofing a building refers to the formation of some type of impervious barrier over a structure. This barrier covers all aspects of the building, from the foundation and …


Waterproofing a building refers to the formation of some type of impervious barrier over a structure. This barrier covers all aspects of the building, from the foundation and roof to the walls and other structural elements present.

The ultimate goal of waterproofing is to prevent the penetration of water through these surfaces. Thanks to the addition of the above-mentioned barrier, the building’s surfaces are made water-resistant, and depending on the method used, in some cases, waterproof.

There are several waterproofing methods that can be used. Keep reading to learn what the most common methods and types of waterproofing options are available today.

The Cementitious Waterproofing Method

One of the easiest waterproofing methods used by companies, such as Helitech, is cementitious waterproofing. The materials for this method are available from any masonry product supplier, and they are easy to mix up and apply.

This method, particularly, is used for areas that are often wet, such as toilets. It’s considered a semi-flexible or a rigid type of waterproofing, but since it’s being used in internal locations, it isn’t exposed to sunlight or weathering. This means that cementitious waterproofing won’t go through the contraction and expansion process.

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The Liquid Waterproofing Membrane Method

Compared to cementitious waterproofing, the liquid membrane option is considered much more flexible. It’s made up of a thin coating, which consists (typically) of a primer coat along with two top costs. These coats are applied by a trowel, roller, or spray.

The liquid used cures into a type of rubbery coating on the wall where it is applied. The elongation properties found in this coating can reach up to 280 percent. The actual durability of the waterproofing coating is dependent on the type of polymer the used by the manufacturer for the creation of the liquid waterproofing.

The membrane is able to be spray applied to the surface. There are separate grades available for spray, roller, or trowel application from some manufacturers.

The Bituminous Coating Waterproofing Method

The bituminous coating is a coating type used for waterproofing that’s both protective and flexible. This is attributed to its formulation and the polymerization grade.

This coating is also referred to as asphalt coating. The most common uses for this type of coating includes areas under the screed wet. It’s a superior protective coating and an effective waterproofing agent, especially for surfaces, such as concrete foundations.

This type of coating is made out of bitumen-based materials. It’s not suitable to use when it’s exposed to sunlight. If long-term sun exposure occurs, the material may become fragile and brittle.

The Polyurethane Liquid Membrane Waterproofing Method

Ideal for the flat portion of a roof and can stand up to weathering and other elements. Due to this durability, this is one of the most expensive waterproofing methods available.

This material offers a higher level of flexibility. It’s extremely sensitive to the moisture present in the surface, so this needs to be evaluated carefully prior to application. If not, debonding or peeling may occur.

Waterproofing Methods to Consider

Anyone in charge of the waterproofing of a building or structure needs to fully understand the options and methods available. This is the best way to ensure the desired results are achieve and that moisture and water doesn’t cause adverse effects.

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