Why is concrete waterproofing necessary? 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. Therefore, it is extremely important to use the concrete waterproofing service of a professional contractor.
Why waterproofing is required for concrete?
Concrete waterproofing is essential at below-grade areas to prevent water intrusion and structural damage.
In many areas of the world we have exhausted the building sites having the good drainage pattern inherent in previously abundantly available high-ground topography. Through this attrition, we are finding the only convenient and available sites are located in low-lying areas in or near swamps, flood plains, along rivers and lakes, etc.
These areas, with higher water tables and their concomitant water pressures are also presenting us with possibilities of even higher water heads as nearby development proceeds. We have, in addition, the rising water levels already being experienced in many of the lakes and rivers. Many of these sites have the additional problems of contaminants known to adversely affect many types of concrete and concrete masonry units.
Waterproofing is required at below-grade concrete surfaces for several reasons. The primary reason is to keep moisture from intruding into the facility. However, it is also required to protect the structural contents from water infiltration that can cause structural damage to the concrete or corrosion to the embedded steel.
Concrete is by design a porous material, and water can pass through it by hydrostatic pressure, water vapor gradient or capillary action. Water can also enter at cracks, structural defects or at improperly designed or installed joints. Waterproofing is also required to eliminate deterioration to the concrete that can occur from exterior and interior chemicals that are present at the building site.
Benefit of concrete waterproofing
Here are the five top benefits of concrete waterproofing:
It strengthens the structure
Concrete waterproofing prolongs the lifespan of your building by limiting ways that water and moisture can enter through the ceiling, walls or floor. If these areas are well protected from water intrusion, the structure can avoid damage such as rust, rotting, corrosion and deterioration.
It prevents mould
Concrete waterproofing isn’t only about ensuring the structure’s integrity but also preventing health problems.
Moisture build-up in the ceiling and walls causes fungus or mould growth. These microorganisms can cause serious health issues such as allergies, asthma and a weakened immune system. If not dealt with or prevented, critical problems can arise.
It reduces maintenance costs
Concrete waterproofing is a cost-efficient solution to save on expensive repairs. When your building is free from water damage, you can expect to have less problems maintaining it.
Water leakages can impact electrical work, paint jobs, woodwork and property items. Even the slightest amount of water seeping into a building can build-up or cause concrete to crack, which can easily lead to bigger disasters.
It provides a healthy environment
Good waterproofing systems help create a clean living area and workspace. It safeguards the property as well as the people in it.
Water is vital for life, but its existence in areas it should not be can be detrimental. A building that is vulnerable to water seepage is also vulnerable to other defects and one accident can have life-long impacts.
It increases property value
No one wants a property with waterproofing problems. Concrete waterproofing systems can prevent structural damage from water seepage. It maintains the aesthetic look of the building and adds value to your property.
It can be hard to pinpoint the location of water damage, but waterproofing your Singapore house or office can minimise the risk dramatically.
Our method & technology
Concrete waterproofing 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 are 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 Us For More Information
If you need to waterproof or repair a concrete surface, contact the experts at Waterproofing. 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 contacting a professional today!
Schedule your next waterproof concrete project in Singapore with our service. Our specialist in making your building safer. With our experience, we know the right waterproofing materials and how to apply them correctly. Contact us online or call us at +65 8333 7667 for a free quote.