In this article we address the common waterproofing mistakes made by professionals and applicators. This article is very timely because more often than not there is the constant blame trading on projects between contractors, project managers, and application companies whenever something go wrong.
No matter how much the client has spent on a project when there is leakage it becomes a serious headache for everybody on the project. This article addresses common causes, mistakes and basic actions to prevent problem from occurring.
SO YOU CAN AVOID THEM
- BELIEVING CONCRETE IS IN ITSELF WATERPROOFED
No one can take away from the numerous advantages of good concrete specification and practice. However, in real life many factors such as poor placement, poor vibration, excess water and many other factor can live behind large capillary void after hydration and concrete curing. Research both by the USA and British standard setting bodies has shown that one cubic metre of normal, good quality dry concrete will absorb the equivalent of roughly 60 litres of water in just 30 minutes! This is a test in accordance with British standard 1881, part 122) and American ACI 212 standard.
Even the highest quality concrete contains a network of pores and capillaries and, without adequate damp-proofing protection, this may result in dampness or leaks causing deterioration of internal finishes, mould formation and a health hazard, especially in heated environments where damp concrete is a haven for bacterial development. It is therefore important that industry practitioners adopt a system approach by first using an admixture such as Aquafin Admix AQ100P, Hydropruf 100 and secondly using coatings such as Mariseal 600, Maricoat polyurethane system, 3rd generation Crystalline coat etc. as an additional protection.
- CONTRACTOR SAYS “ I HAVE DONE IT THIS WAY FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS AND I HAVE NEVER HAD A LEAK ”
Truth be told, sometimes it easier to stick to statusquo, after all it’s convenient and less risky. However, we are in the 21st century, the information age. Building practices today, like every other facet of life, are changing so rapidly that if we don’t update our knowledge we stand the chance of making costly mistakes on behalf of our clients. Construction chemical manufacturers spend billions of dollars across the world to undertake research on new ways of addressing old and emerging water related challenges in construction. It is therefore good that we take advantage of this wealth of knowledge in improving the life of our clients’ projects. I believe nobody will want to stick to old building systems because you do not want to try out new products for keeping your client structures water tight.
- POOR SLOPE AND DRAINAGE SYSTEM
In our earlier article 5 DEADLY SIN OF WATERPROOFING, I addressed the issue of slope on concrete roof and terrace waterproofing. The truth is, no matter how resilient and powerful the waterproofing system you installed is, the life span of the treatment will be significantly cut short when you have poor slope system that allows water ponding on the treatment. This is especially more deadly for bituminous felts sheets because of the joints, once the water gets under the scodoplast felts through the joints as a result of prolong ponding, it is just a matter of time before water migrates everywhere and the structure begins to leak.
Sometimes, a very good waterproofing system like Marithan polyurethane system, EPDM or Maricoat PU system may have been installed and yet there is leakages in the structure, the culprit on these occasions maybe flood drains. Therefore careful attention must be paid to the treatment of these areas, also a good slope would ensure that water trapping is significantly reduced
Please join us the next week to review and learn from the second part of this article.