The Importance of Waterproofing in Building Construction

  • 15.11.23
  • Construction Products

Discover why waterproofing in construction is an essential protective measure to comply with health and safety regulations alongside the structural quality of your building.

Too much water absorption inside a concrete construction environment can create a fire and ice-like situation for builders and property developers alike. Not only is it miserable to work in the rain, but heavy downpours or leaks on-site can create severe problems with the final surface strength of your concrete construction.

And with waterproofing only costing 1% of your construction budget but with the potential to cause 90% of the damage if ignored, such minor costs should not produce such significant impacts.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of waterproofing in construction with advantages alongside the types and methods prevalent today in the industry.

Discover why waterproofing in construction is an essential protective measure to comply with health and safety regulations alongside the structural quality of your building.

Waterproofing in construction - Hickman & Love

What is Waterproofing in Construction?

Waterproofing in construction creates a protective barrier between freshly laid concrete and the external elements, such as rain or leaks. Essentially, by keeping the water out, you can help safeguard the reinforcement of your structure.

Therefore, any foundations, walls, and roofs with fresh concrete must be covered to prevent water penetration from damaging the surface and compromising your levels.

In freezing conditions, water has the potential to crack concrete as it expands, while water can also be corrosive to concrete when exposed to high humidity.

Various waterproofing materials in construction are available for different purposes, as not all materials are suitable for all requirements. It depends on the method and your construction requirements.

In 2020, the value of the overall waterproofing membranes market was $33.5 billion, with projections to reach $38.8 billion in 2025, rising at a CAGR of 5.4%.

The Advantages of Waterproofing in Construction

Waterproofing in construction delivers a few benefits that make it a worthwhile investment before you commit to your project.

The advantages of waterproofing in construction include:

– Reducing water absorption to prevent spoilage to surface strength and the development of cracks in the future.
– Avoid seepages in walls and ceilings and stop water from entering your structure.
– Increase the longevity of your structure and limit corrosion.
– Cost-effective and efficient application helps reduce initial costs and delays future maintenance.
– Establishes a healthy living environment and safeguards the occupants and building structure.

6 Types of Waterproofing in Construction

Waterproofing methods in construction involve different materials and chemical components. You must pick the correct material, as not all types suit every method.

Here is a list of six types of waterproofing in construction:

1. Bituminous Membrane

Bitumen, otherwise known as asphalt, is a highly effective waterproofing material produced by distilling crude oil. Bituminous membranes can come in different product types, from paints to physical protection boards.

These waterproofing products prevent damage across various applications, such as during deck finish installations while resisting penetration from abrasive backfilling materials.

At Hickman & Love, our bitumen membrane Protection Boards are lightweight and easy to manoeuvre with a standard dimension of 2mtr x 1mtr at 3mm thickness. However, bespoke sizes are available on request.

With complex hydrocarbons and calcium, iron, sulfur, and hydrogen, bitumen offers an effective self-adhesive waterproofing membrane, ideal for covering sloped or more complex surface areas like roofs.

Worth $2.74 billion in 2021, the bitumen membrane market is expected to reach $4.23 billion in 2030 at a CAGR of 4.92%.

2. Bituminous Coating

Suitable for waterproofing surfaces beneath wet screed, bituminous coating is highly waterproof, durable, and cost-effective.

A bituminous coating also helps with corrosion resistance and dampproofing your construction with its formulation and polymerisation grade.

3. Sodium Bentonite Sealant

Expanding when wet, sodium bentonite products can work as seals during your concrete construction projects. For example, cast-in-place concrete construction joints require sealants that can expand in contact with water to form an effective seal and protect your concrete.

A Dyna Quell Waterstop is an example of one of these sodium bentonite products that can protect your concrete and provide effective waterproofing for your construction requirements.

4. Cementitious Waterproofing

Cementitious waterproofing is one of the most common waterproofing products. With a cement-based polymer coating, cementitious works as a waterproofing solution for concrete construction, as the cement can create strong and durable moisture for concrete walls and floors in the form of epoxy or latex mixes.

However, cementitious waterproof coatings can be sensitive to temperature while expanding or contracting water contact. Unlike a sodium bentonite sealant, cementitious waterproofing struggles to protect joints, with water penetration potentially entering cracks and holes in your structure.

5. Polyurethane Membrane

Typically used in flat roof waterproofing applications, polyurethane provides a superb waterproofing material for construction requirements. With excellent shielding properties to protect buildings from water and humidity, polyurethane membranes also boast impressive UV resistance.

However, despite being a highly flexible waterproofing material, polyurethane membrane is unfortunately more expensive. It also requires caution as the material is sensitive to moisture. This sensitivity requires you to check your moisture content before its application. Otherwise, the membrane can peel and break over time.

6. Liquid Waterproofing Membrane

Besides polyurethane, other liquid waterproofing membranes can also offer effective waterproofing methods in construction, with numerous liquid waterproofing membrane formulas used as protective coatings across features such as flat roofs, decking and balconies.

Typically, you can define liquid waterproofing membranes by a primer coat and two topcoats applied as a more flexible alternative to cementitious waterproofing as it transforms into a rubbery coating after the liquid has cured. Depending on the polymer, the elongation properties of this waterproofing method can reach up to 280%.

Contact Your Local Waterproofing Construction Experts 

Hickman & Love helps businesses reinforce their futures with reliable, affordable, high-quality concrete reinforcement products, including waterproofing in construction.

Our waterproofing products include dynamic and customisable bitumen Protection Boards for general waterproofing in construction requirements and a Dyna Quell Waterstop ideal for cast-in-place concrete construction joints.

As a member of MPA British Precast and a CARES-certified business, we guarantee all our products are quality assured to deliver the highest standards for your construction requirements.

For further information or to order please call +44 (0)121-557-2191 or email enquiries@hickmanandlove.co.uk we look forward to hearing from you. Or like us on Facebook to keep up to date with projects and news.


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