Your house or commercial building can be sending clear warning signs when its foundation fails. Cracked or buckled walls, uneven floors and jammed windows and doors tell you that your foundation has been damaged. Clogged floor drains, hydro-static pressure, floor settling and a cracked foundation are all common causes of water damage in the basement. There are fewer things graver for a homeowner than wet soffits, walls and floors.
What looks like just a tiny trickle or puddle are the warning signs of a much bigger problem. Moisture in your walls and soffits can lead to several expensive and more time-consuming repairs. From structural damage, water in your walls and the building’s structural elements like columns and beams can be a severe problem. So what can you do to keep your interior and exterior walls and structural elements dry and prevent moisture intrusion? This is where waterproofing comes into play.
Waterproofing—the process of making a structure and a surface watertight or water-resistant so that it remains relatively unaffected by water or resists water intrusion under certain conditions. Waterproofing is designed to prevent water from entering a structure.
To protect your home from water, working directly with a professional waterproofing contractor can help address significant moisture issues and potential water damage in some house regions. Most moisture problems occur in the basement, attic, bathrooms and other areas. Moisture can lead to water damage, mould and costly repairs, which is why it’s a good idea to waterproof your home.
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Types of Waterproofing in Sri Lanka
Protection from water, all surfaces and structures that can somehow come into contact with water are necessary. In a country house is a foundation, basement, roof. Inside the house or apartment is a bathroom and a bathroom, where leaks and floods are possible. Inside the house, the structure may be a heater, which must protect from condensation or precipitation. Please note that it is necessary to protect from water not only where it can penetrate but also where the wash or condensation can adversely affect the structure’s material.
Interior waterproofing refers to protecting your interior walls, floors and soffits from water leaks. Interior waterproofing is essential not only if you have noticed signs of water in your home’s interior areas such as walls, stairs and soffits, but also to prevent future damage to your home. Several interior waterproofing solutions are available, including drains, sump pumps, de humidification, safe-wall waterproofing panels, vapour barriers, and wall treatments.
Interior waterproofing prevents problems in your home:
- Mould growth
- Water leaking into your home
- Structural damage
- Property damage
Not all interior waterproofing methods are recommended. It’s best to have your home or crawl spaces evaluated by a professional to determine the best approach for your home’s needs.
When you built your home or building, the foundation contractor installed a perimeter drainage system and sealed the walls, right? Well, maybe. Far too often, home builders and contractors use damp proofing methods instead of waterproofing methods. This sprayed-on material looks like a proper waterproofing emulsion, but it is watered down and not nearly as thick.
Moisture is carried from the outside of the building to the inside through four main mechanisms: water flow. Water takes the path of least resistance, and if that’s the path to the basement, that’s where the water will flow. Second, capillary action. Concrete is a porous material; it is challenging yet absorbent. Think of capillary action like a wick. When the concrete absorbs concrete cures in water, that water until it is completely saturated, and then it releases moisture and water vapour to the interior of the house.
The next step is vapour diffusion. Vapour diffusion is similar to capillary suction, only with water vapour. Water vapour needs only the tiniest openings to penetrate a structure and increase moisture—finally, air movement. Every time a door or window is opened, not only is air brought into the home, but the air is drawn from the basement to the upper levels of the house.
There are several internationally recognised standards when it comes to waterproofing baths. Various forms of chemicals and materials can be used when waterproofing bathrooms. It is used to repair concrete – floors, columns, beams, slabs & waterproofing toilets & bathrooms etc. Since it bonds firmly to old & new concrete, it reduces shrinkage, prevents cracking, dust absorption & improves abrasion resistance.
According to the Sri Lanka Building Code and the relevant authorities, waterproofing is a standard that you must comply with a construction project. Be assured that your waterproofing specialist can help you meet the strict waterproofing standards. Waterproofing is the method of making your bathroom or shower watertight or water-resistant. It is suitable for wet areas such as bathrooms, showers, swimming pools and even roofs. When you have a waterproof bathroom, it will not be affected by constant contact with water. You can achieve this in several ways, such as waterproof tiles or shower waterproofing systems.
How Waterproofing is Done
As mentioned earlier, waterproofing is a critical step in the design of any structure. There are many types of waterproofing membranes, and their application depends on several factors, including the use of the system and the construction process. Waterproofing membranes are commonly used in the construction of homes (basements), parking garages and patios.
Waterproofing is also found in specialised applications such as shower stalls, bathroom floors, mechanical rooms, swimming pools and planter boxes. Saltwater and marine applications have special requirements as they must withstand corrosion from salt, sand and wave action.
Several types of materials can be used for waterproofing in bathrooms and showers: liquid and paste impregnating compounds; rollable, paste or sheet protective materials; penetrating waterproof mixtures; all defensive combinations of waterproofing have their advantages and disadvantages, which must take into account. The selection of a coating is determined by the plumbing system’s technical characteristics, the complexity of the material application, and the price category of the product. Classically for bathrooms are two options for protective coatings: Coating and roll (film).
Common Waterproofing Questions & Answers
Does waterproof paint really work?
The short answer is yes. Contractors and builders have used waterproof coatings in all buildings and construction projects with excellent results. But careful prep work is critical; the layer can’t stop water unless it can bond solidly to masonry.
Where is waterproofing used?
Waterproofing is used in relation to building structures (such as basements, decks or wet areas), watercraft, canvas, clothing (raincoats or waders), electronic equipment and paper packaging.
How do I waterproof my walls?
Make sure the wall is clean and dry. Scrape off any peeling paint and sweep the walls to remove dirt and debris. Fill any holes in the wall with expanding hydraulic cement. Allow the cement to dry for 24 hours. Cover the wall with a second thick layer and, if necessary, a third layer of waterproofing material.
What is the best concrete waterproofing solution available in Sri Lanka?
There are several concrete waterproofing materials and solutions available in Sri Lanka from different manufacturers. We recommend that you first consult a waterproofing specialist for advice during a site visit.
How long the waterproofing solutions last?
That depends on the solution you choose. Some low-cost solutions are suitable as a temporary patch, but the long-term solution can last 20 years or even longer. Some waterproofing solutions come with a lifetime warranty, which is now available in Sri Lanka.
How do you apply waterproofing paint?
Apply the waterproof paint with a brush to any areas missed by the roller or paint sprayer. Finish painting in natural areas, such as where the concrete ends. Wait for the paint to dry and then inspect the wall for any small areas that were neglected and paint them.
Do I need to seal concrete before painting?
If you are painting concrete indoors, it is important that you seal the concrete. This will prevent moisture from seeping under the paint and causing mold. Use a masonry sealer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how many coats to apply and when.