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A Guide on What Is Cement Waterproofing, Its Types and Advantages

Ever wonder how buildings stay dry, even in heavy rain? The secret is cement waterproofing. Waterproofing acts as a protective covering shielding structures from water and moisture and ensuring that the building stays dry and safe.


If you plan to build a house and are worried about how to keep it safe from rain and dampness, cement waterproofing is a great answer. Just like wearing a raincoat in the rain, we cover our home with a waterproof layer to protect it from issues that could arise from water seepage. 


Waterproofing is a critical measure in construction projects, as water seepage can not only cause unsightly damp patches, mildew, and structural water damage but also impair the building's overall strength. By implementing waterproofing, we can effectively preserve the integrity, appearance, and durability of cement-based structures in various environments. In this blog, we'll explore what cement waterproofing is and the different ways it's done to ensure optimal waterproofing.


What is Cement Waterproofing?

Cement waterproofing refers to the application of a safeguarding barrier comprised of cement mixed with certain waterproofing chemicals onto a structure's surfaces. This protective measure is designed to prevent water or moisture from penetrating into the building structure. The mixture forms a strong, water-resistant layer that ensures the integrity and dryness of the structure. This essential procedure in the construction industry enhances the durability and lifespan of buildings while providing a cost-effective solution to water and moisture-related damages.



Types of Cement Waterproofing

This type of waterproofing can be carried out in several ways depending on the requirement of the structure, location, and potential exposure to water. Here are the popular types:


1. Cementitious Waterproofing

This method involves mixing a waterproofing compound with cement to create a paste that is applied as a thin coating to the surface. Once it dries, it forms a protective layer that is highly resistant to water penetration. This type of waterproofing is easy to use and highly versatile, often employed in internal wet areas like toilets and kitchens. Its advantage lies in its durability and ability to adhere well to different surfaces and it's often used in basements, rooftops, and water tanks.


2. Liquid Waterproofing Membrane

A liquid waterproofing membrane is a thin coating applied with a roller, spray, or trowel that cures to form a rubber-like waterproof layer over the concrete surface. It offers excellent flexibility and durability, making it an ideal choice for complex scenarios where structures may undergo tiny shifts or movements. They are commonly used on roofs, balconies, and wet areas. The ability to create a continuous barrier without joints is a notable benefit of this method.


3. Bituminous Coating

Bituminous coating or asphalt coating is a type of waterproofing used for flexible protective coats due to its excellent water resistance. Applied in a thick layer, these coatings provide an effective waterproof barrier. Though limited mostly to below-ground concrete structures due to its weak resistance against exposure to sunlight, this coating is excellent for foundations and concrete footings due to its robust adhesive properties.

4. Bituminous Membrane

Bituminous membrane waterproofing is a reliable technique used primarily on low-slope roofs. It consists of a self-adhesive and a torch-on membrane. The self-adhesive element is a mix of asphalt, polymers, and fillers which may lose its adhesive properties over time. The torch-on membrane is applied and then surfaced with granular mineral aggregates to protect against weather damage. This type of waterproofing, especially torch-on sealing, is preferred due to its durability and cost-efficiency.


5. Crystalline Admixtures


Crystalline admixtures are added directly to the concrete mix, where they react with water and not hydrated cement particles to form insoluble crystals. These crystals fill the pores and capillaries in the concrete, effectively blocking water ingress. This method seals and protects concrete from water penetration and is suitable for a wide range of concrete applications.


6. Admixture Waterproofing

Admixture waterproofing is a process that introduces compounds into the concrete to decrease permeability, which results in increased water resistance. Admixtures can be used with new concrete during the mixing process to improve overall durability and longevity. This method is particularly beneficial for large-scale projects where ensuring consistent waterproofing throughout the concrete is essential.



Advantages Of Cement Waterproofing

When it comes to safeguarding structures against the harmful effects of water infiltration, cement waterproofing offers a multitude of benefits. Let's delve into the advantages that make it a wise investment:


1. Increase Durability

Waterproofing significantly enhances the durability of structures. By creating a protective barrier against water, it shields concrete and masonry materials from moisture-related degradation. This prolongs the lifespan of the structure, reducing the need for frequent repairs and replacements.


2. Reduces Cost of Repairs

Preventing water damage early on through waterproofing can save you substantial costs in the long run. Water infiltration can lead to cracks, erosion, and other forms of structural damage, which call for repairs. It acts as a proactive measure, reducing the need for extensive repairs down the line.


3. Prevents Corrosion

Water intrusion can lead to the corrosion of reinforcement steel within concrete, compromising the structural integrity. It effectively reduces the risk of corrosion by preventing water from coming into contact with the steel, thus maintaining the structural strength of the material.


4. Prevents Seepage

One of the most common problems in construction is water seepage through walls and floors. It effectively prevents water seepage by creating an impermeable barrier. This is particularly beneficial in areas prone to heavy rainfall, ensuring that interiors remain dry and safe.


5. Prevents Dampness

Dampness in walls not only leads to stains and peeling paint but also poses health risks due to mildew growth. Proper cement waterproofing, particularly techniques like crystalline admixtures that prevent dampness in walls, ensures a dry and healthy living environment.

In conclusion, cement waterproofing offers several advantages that go beyond just preventing water damage. It involves a small initial investment but delivers long-term benefits by preserving your infrastructure, preventing expensive repairs, and enhancing the lifetime of the structure. It is critical to choose from the right type of waterproofing methods discussed above, based on the specific needs of your structure.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. How long does cement waterproofing last?

Typically, cement waterproofing can last between 5 to 10 years depending on the type of waterproofing used and the overall maintenance. However, this can vary based on environmental conditions and the quality of the application.


2. Is cement waterproofing done before plastering?

Yes. Cement waterproofing is usually done before plastering. The waterproofing layer acts as a barrier against water seepage, preventing it from reaching the plaster layer.


3. How long does cement waterproofing take to dry?

The drying time of cement waterproofing can vary depending on the type of waterproofing material used and environmental factors. However, it generally takes about 24 to 48 hours for it to dry completely.


4. Which grade of cement is used for waterproofing?

Cement used for waterproofing is typically OPC (Ordinary Portland Cement) of grade 43 or 53, or PPC (Portland Pozzolana Cement).


5. Can cement waterproofing be used for roofs?

Yes, cement waterproofing can be used for roofs. However, the specific type of waterproofing used would depend on the material and structure of the roof. Bituminous Membrane Waterproofing and Liquid Waterproofing Membranes are commonly used for roofs.

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