Waterproofing basically means making the home water-resistant. It is important because water can cause a lot of damage to a building, first aesthetically and then structurally. Exposure to water, high levels of humidity and water seepage can lead to mold growth which can cause serious health problems and generally results in poor air quality.
Failing to waterproof the house properly can be very costly, not only in terms of money but time, effort and the stress which comes with handling such problems. On the other hand, spending time to make the waterproofing system efficient could save lots of unnecessary stress in the future.
All the areas which get the most wet in the house should be waterproofed. So in this idea book we will guide on the basics of how to waterproof a flat terrace, sloping roof, basement, toilets and external walls. But before we get started on that, we will first introduce you to the most important principles of waterproofing.
You don't want any space in the house where water is collecting and leaking into the structure. The best way to avoid this is is to make sure the water runs of the building as quick as possible. To do that you need to increase slopes as much as possible because it will make water run off the surface of the building faster.
Most of the time, water intrusion happens at critical junctions like the seam between two facade systems.It is of utmost importance for the architect and other professionals involved in the design of the building to understand these junctions properly in order to prevent problems in the future.
Water intrusion tends to occur either due to a mistake in the design or in the installation process. Some of the common mistakes include ineffective use of primers, insufficient preparation of the surface or neglecting the importance of thermal and wind movements of the structure.
Waterproofing flat terraces can be challenging because with a flat surface, water cannot run off the building fast. This could eventually lead to water seepage and a lot of damage to the house. If it's possible, try to make the terrace slope as much as possible. A slope of 1 in 100 or steeper is recommended for flat terraces, but most importantly it should flow towards drainage outlets. Use smooth surfaces rather than rough surfaces as it can help to increase the speed of the water flow off the building, preventing the pooling of water.
It's also best to use a waterproofing membrane, which is basically a thin layer of water-resistant material which prevents water from seeping into the building. The waterproofing membrane should be placed on top of the concrete. Next, a filler material should be laid. Finally, you need a layer of finish such as tiles, stones or any other durable materials which can endure exposure to the elements.
Waterproofing the roof starts with the cleaning of the substrate surface because all waterproofing membrane requires good adhesion. A high water pressure hose may be the most efficient way of cleaning the substrate. Next, the surface needs to be primed in order to improve the adhesion of the membrane. Primers are necessary to stop the butuminous oils bleeding from the roof. Make sure the surface is dry before applying the primers.
Then comes the treatment process. Typically, details such as as wall to floor type corners, metal flashing terminations and penetrations such as pipes, vents and drains are pre-treated with reinforcing fabric embedded into the liquid membrane and/or with a flashing grade sealant. Finally you can apply the liquid membrane to the roof.
In order to prevent interior water damage, sealants and coatings can be used to waterproof the basement. As for the exterior, the goals is to prevent water from seeping into the interior by installing exterior drainage systems and coating the exterior walls with a waterproof barrier.
Water damage in the toilet is often occurs when the toilet plumbing is not done right. However, if it is done properly by either using a drop slab or with undersung plumbing, it should save you a lot of trouble in the future. If you decide to use the drop slab design, the toilet should be built about a foot below the rest of the slab so as to form a tub where all the plumbing for the toilet can be laid. After that, the tub is filled up with concrete based filler material and tiles are laid over the top. Here's some inspiration for choosing tiles: 6 best tiles for an Indian bathroom.
Wherever pipes pass through, holes are punctured through the slab. Then usually it is hidden behind a false ceiling so that any leaks will drip into the false ceiling before it drips into the toilet. These type of leaks can be easily repaired without interfering with the plumbing and overall structure.
Firstly, it is important to understand the cause of the dampness on the external walls. It could simple be rainwater or it could be cracks in the structure of the building or even a ruptured water pipe. Whatever it is, the problem needs to be fixed first before applying a waterproofer.
One common problem is clogged gutters so it's always important to start with cleaning and maintaining your gutters so that there is no spill over of water. Next, you need to choose a suitable waterproofer. Make sure you select a breathable formulation that is especially designed to allow walls to breathe and eliminate moisture. However, before you apply any waterproofer, it is very important that the walls are first prepared. Use a filler to patch up any holes and cracks and allow it to dry first before sanding away the rough surfaces. The walls should be completely dry before applying the waterproofer. Depending on your needs, a second coat can be applied after the first coat is totally dry.
We hope this idea book has been informative and helpful. For more ideas like this, please also read our article titled 10 innovative ideas for hiding ugly walls.