CONCRETE WATERPROOFING EXPLAINED

In discussing the importance and benefits of waterproofing concrete including walls and floors, foundations and more, Sephaku Cement explains why this step is a critical consideration when completing a concrete build.

Protecting a construct from water damage, heat, exposure to solar and UV damage and other conditions that contribute to wear and tear including rain, wind, extreme cold and even acid rain, concrete waterproofing is a must when completing any project using cement based materials especially in harsh environments..

In complying with health and safety standards, there is a lot more than one would assume that goes into erecting a new building and getting it ready for occupancy. Whether it is a place of residence or for business, ensuring that a buildings finishes, fittings, materials and furnishings offer a safe space for people to occupy, an essential consideration when erecting a building with concrete is to waterproof the installation.

Once cured, concrete and cement based installations such as concrete are a porous and permeable material, absorbing almost anything but especially liquid based matter as soon as it comes into contact. Almost like a sponge, concrete installations hold onto liquid matter which can cause unsightly staining and marks. While one may not think this to be too much of a problem as architecture and design incorporates decorative cement installations into various homes and businesses, once stained or damaged by water it is near impossible to repair water damage in concrete without removing the full installation or applying a purposeful stain to disguise water marks and blemishes. Not only can water damage to concrete applications create an unappealing appearance, but severe water damage can also be harmful to health in the presence of mould, spores and bacteria. 

Preserving the concrete structure, protecting installations from wear and tear while maintaining strength and durability by preventing unnecessary cracking are just a few of the benefits to waterproofing concrete.

To follow see how to waterproof concrete in three different ways.

Crystalline  Waterproofing

Through a reaction that takes place between the concrete and water, Crystalline concrete waterproofing offers a permanent solution to waterproofing whereby tiny crystals grow in the porous gaps of the concrete filling hairline cracks, gaps and apertures.

Concrete Sealers

Whether selecting a penetrable sealant or a “top coat”, applying a surface sealant to concrete installations is probably the more common application when waterproofing concrete. Where a penetrable sealer will sink into the pores of the concrete, this creates a permanent appearance to the concrete which is very difficult to alter should you wish to change the colour or appearance of the concrete at a later stage.

A coating sealer creates a protective film on the surface of the concrete preventing water from seeping into the sponge like pores of concrete. This application will need to be maintained offering only temporary solution that will gradually wear away due to traffic and other abrasions.  

Cementitious Concrete Waterproofing

Using a more dense concrete or by incorporating cement based non-porous materials and bonding agents along with low water ratios, results in minimal air bubbles in the concrete matrix or bond and reduces the innately porous characteristic of Portland cement. With fewer air pockets, sponge like pores are eliminated which inhibits the concrete ability to absorb liquid matter and ultimately results in a more water resistant application.

For more information and the best advice related to working with Portland cement, follow the Sephaku Blog for insights, product reviews, “how to” and more.