IntroductionWater is the most important ingredient when the concrete is in fresh state and till it attains its complete strength. Aftermath if water enters or escapes from building elements, may have immediate or/and long- term undesired effects. Apart from damage to the buildings elements, structural damage is unavoidable if this problem is not addressed at early stages.
DefinitionWaterproofing is the formation of an impervious barrier, which is designed to prevent water entering or escaping from various sections of building structures, yet allowing the vapor to travel through (Breathable).
Types of WaterproofingThere are various types of waterproofing available for making the structural elements water tight. They are:
- Chemical waterproofing
- Sheet waterproofing
- Liquid applied membrane waterproofing
Waterproofing AreasInternal areas: bathrooms, kitchens, dining areas, shower recesses, laundries, plunge pools, swimming pools, sauna, and steam rooms.
External areas: terraces, roofs, podium slabs, balconies, retaining walls, Plunge pools, and swimming pools.
Waterproofing membranes are applied to various substrates such as: concrete, cement renders like screeds or plasters, cement backer boards, calcium silicate boards, gypsum boards, plywood, wood etc.
Importance of WaterproofingThe absence of waterproofing to the building elements may result in many damages like:
- Corrosion of steel in RCC resulting in weakening of the structure
- Cracking of cover concrete due to volume increase in reinforcing steel which may result in hazard to inmates
- Swelling of dry wall boards resulting in de-bonding of ceramic/vitrified tiles
- Electrical hazards causing the possible short circuit of lighting and power points
- The blistering of paint and making the walls ugly and un-healthy
- Health problems due to damp- ness, which may lead to respiratory problems
The Critical Performance Criteria of WaterproofingMost important criteria a membrane should possess for durability are:
- The membrane should be Impermeable.
- Flexibility - membranes need to accommodate movements which occur during the service period of the structure.
- The membrane must be durable without losing the flexibility over many years of service.
- The membrane should be able to breath, i.e., ability to allow the moisture to escape as a vapour but not allowing the water molecules to pass through.
- The membrane must be compatible with adhesives to ensure long-term adhesion where tiles are directly fixed over the membrane.
- User-friendly, the membrane must be easy to apply, relatively lightweight, non hazardous, and environmentally safe.
- It should provide a continuous film, seamless so as to not have any joints, which are weak points for seepage of water.
- The membrane must be suitable to withstand environmental and climatic conditions.
- The membrane's ability to adhere to a variety of substrates like PVC, GI, Steel, and Copper besides cement screeds/plaster and concrete, will give additional advantage as the joints of differential elements in water bodies are very critical in water- proofing the area.
- The membrane should be elastomeric so as to enable the future cracks in the substrates like plaster, which are very common due to many reasons, to be accommodated or bridged and not allow the cracks to transfer to the finish surface. The ability is called the Crack bridging ability of the waterproofing membrane.
The performance of water- proofing membrane starts from detailing all the trivial elements while designing, planning, and executing the membrane. It is important to design a complete system and be given to a single vendor so that performance of system lies with single source, ensuring the durability.
MYK Laticrete India, most innovative company in the field of tile and stone installation solutions, offers most advanced under-tile, crack-bridging, positive water proofing membranes as part of complete solutions for all wet areas, pools and water bodies. These membranes not only meet all the criteria given above but also have very low VOC content, making them most sought after in all Green Buildings.