Modern waterproofing systems are extending the life of constructed spaces with smart application, as Varsha Trehan gives an update on products and market news.
Are you among those who think that water proofing is just about stopping those pesky drips in the rainy season? Consider this – In Chongqing, China an impressive 10,000 square meter factory rooftop is a full-fledged farm; tractors, poultry, livestock – the complete works. This living roof is supported by a building following codes and modern waterproofing technology products like impermeable membranes. As they say, "Howzzat"!
Waterproofing, is an important part for any construction project looking for a sustainable and well finished product, with a low maintenance life cycle. Correctly done, it offers great value to the quality of structure, preserving from within and protecting the exterior façade, simultaneously. Water proofing systems have quietly matured from being repair treatment elements to essential infrastructure features.
Make a good start
So, one can carry out waterproofing closer to completion of construction, right? Wrong. "The best time to plan for waterproofing is at the drawing board, that is the time the project is being designed," advocates Hasan Rizvi (Vice President, STP Ltd). Getting a good start on this aspect in a project, offers long term benefits.
"This will help to give proper care and necessary importance to the waterproofing system during the planning, scheduling and application stages," says T D Prathaban, Managing Director, Cera-Chem Private Limited. His opinion is shared by D.Ravi, Director Marketing, Techny Chemy who details the thought process, "People generally like to have the water- proofing treatment only once the structure starts leaking or, there is dampness and other problems; rather than making provision for these at the initial construction stage. Prevention is always better than cure. More over prevention is economical and easy when compared with repair."
Keeping in mind that it is a technology we are considering, Rudrabir Ghanti, Engineering Consultant, Dura Build Care Pvt. Ltd opines, "Waterproofing is often a neglected area during construction, with many contractors looking for cheaper solutions, thereby compromising in quality. It is important that waterproofing system manufacturers and consultants are made an integral part of team right at the design stage, to suggest appropriate systems for different stages of construction. Parameters like water table head, UV exposure, chloride resistance, adhesion, application challenges, joints design, flexibility, breathability, crack bridging abilities, surface preparation, curing etc must be taken into account before finalizing the waterproofing system."