Waterproofing in building construction is the process of making a structure water-resistant or impervious to the ingress of water. Waterproofing is essential as it prevents water from penetrating buildings and helps to keep the interior areas dry. It helps in reducing the humidity inside the building, minimizing the damage done to furniture and alike.
In areas that experience high annual rainfall and occasional flooding events, waterproofing is a must. It is important for basements and foundations to be waterproof especially in areas where the groundwater table is high. In the case of high water table, water in the soil is likely to exert hydrostatic pressure on the basement floor and walls. This can force the water through the cracks, which can result in structural damages along with moisture-related problems such as mold, mildew and decay.
During monsoons, we all would have come across water seepages in the ceilings and walls or dampness in the aftermath of flooding. This is due to poor waterproofing. By waterproofing your house, you can safeguard your building from damage as well as the things inside your house from humidity and water exposure.
Areas where Waterproofing is needed:
- Basement of the building – since it’s in direct contact with the Earth and moisture from the ground.
- Kitchen, Toilet and Bathroom – as water is constantly used in these areas.
- Balcony areas, Roof /Terrace – Areas that are directly exposed to the elements like the roof, balcony and all outer walls and adjacent inner walls.
- Swimming Pool – If you have one either in roof or floor.
- Water Tank – If there is a leak, water can seep in through the roof.
Advantages of waterproofing
Few important reasons that you should consider for is
- Safeguards the structural integrity of the building
- Prevents mold, mildew and decay
- Prevents metals from rusting and wooden furniture from decay
- Prevents seepages from the ceiling and walls
- Prevents dampness inside the building
- Property value increases
Waterproofing increases the resale value of a building, which is perhaps one of the biggest advantages. Investors/buyers hardly even consider houses without waterproofing. Several homeowners live in houses with damp and leaky basements, often fearing the cost of waterproofing.
However, getting this essential exercise done with fetches noteworthy rate of return. A waterproofed basement increases the utilizable square footage in a house, simultaneously ruling out the possibility of a looming structural failure.
Process of waterproofing
Waterproofing is done in layers, above the structure, retaining the breathing property of it, to avoid seepage and capillary rise of water into it. Internally in repels the water content present in structure and externally it forms a protective film around itself. Typically, building waterproofing system is done by creating multiple barriers for stopping the inflow of water, so that it cannot enter the structure.
This development of multiple layers, by the materials and techniques in it creates an “envelope” kind of structure around the building. This envelope can be treated as a sustainable feature or a green building measure by avoiding the inflow of excess heat from atmosphere. This can be done by the application of various paints, coatings and other material finishes and cladding which help creating a transition between the outdoor and indoor temperature.
This transition between the temperatures helps the structure in following ways:
- The minimum difference between the indoor and outdoor temperature of a building causes less signs of weathering and safeguards the structure. This happens in a way that the effect of contraction or expansion during various seasons in the material composition of building is reduced, by matching or equalising the room temperature and outdoor temperature.
- Reduces the load on the HVAC system, and other processes that a building occupant tends to use for making the room temperature habitable. This reduction can be well counted in savings of electricity consumption, potable water consumption and other resources consumption. This tends to take the building towards a greener environment.
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Waterproofing in building construction is the...