For us to better comprehend concrete waterproofing and its mechanics we need first to understand the meaning of concrete and waterproofing. Concrete is a heavy and rough building material that is made from a mixture of gravel, broken stone, water, cement, and sand. This mixture can be poured or spread into molds to form a stone-like hardened sheet; these sheets are often known as concrete slabs.
Waterproofing is a process of reinforcing a material so that it can be more water resistant and making it more capable of averting water entry. We can now conclude by describing ‘concrete waterproofing’ as the process of making concrete water resistant and less likely to be affected by water.
From a general view, houses can be built by concrete in which case you would have a concrete foundation, concrete walls and concrete ceiling. Concrete is a very porous building material and if it is not waterproofed it can easily absorb water which will cause cracks and eventual relapse of the structure. You can get quality concrete protection products from GSG Distribution. Another feature of a water damaged concrete structure is the presence of molds and water borne parasites.
Concrete waterproofing can be performed in 3 ways; you can choose to waterproof from the exterior (Positive) side, interior (Negative) side and the integral system which is the concrete itself. There are four types of concrete waterproofing methods namely:
Crystalline admixtures are typically hydrophilic and often come in a dry or powdered form. Using the interior (Negative) system, they differ with other methods because they are not hydrophobic, and they tend to use the existing water to grow crystals inside the concrete. These crystals effectively close off any pathways that may encourage any water entry into the concrete.
Admixtures are a more integral way of waterproofing. They are usually added at the batching plant/onsite where the concrete is manufactured. They use the integral system whereby the chemical reactions occur within the concrete itself making it waterproof.
Liquid applied membranes offer concrete waterproofing options that use the exterior (Positive) system. They can be applied (hot or cold) with a squeegee, brush, roller and trowel or even sprayed over the concrete. The solvent used for waterproofing is made from polymeric asphalt or urethane.
The sheet membrane system is made from cold applied polymer-modified bitumen which is composed of active polymer materials with asphalt and is attached to a polyethylene sheet. These sheets are reinforced on the concrete to make it more waterproof and self-adhering during high temperatures. The sheet membranes are usually stronger and more durable than asphalt when used on its own.