Causes for Waterproofing Failure

A common issue when it comes to construction is waterproofing failure. It takes a lot of effort and time to ensure that a barrier is created to protect internal and external surfaces to stop the penetration of water. The installers should have the necessary skill, training and qualification in order to provide an exemplary job. When there is poor workmanship, there will always be failure of the waterproofing membrane regardless of the quality of the waterproofing materials or solutions used.

There are waterproofing contractors that cater to commercial and strata requirements that covers large scale services. When there is an issue in commercial waterproofing, there is a lot of money that will be required to fix the leakage as the scale of the project is large. With a proper warranty you will be covered for most of it but rectification will require halting of operations and there can be subsequent damage that will need further repairs if leakage is not treated promptly. A common reason for failure is selecting the wrong product. The product that is used will be incompatible with the substrate. This way the waterproofing membrane will not be able to bond properly with the substrate and it can lead to complete failure of the system. You need to check the product application sheet to see whether it is recommended for use on the substrate you have on the site. Often, when the wrong product is used, you may not be able to benefit from the warranty of waterproofing.

You should always apply the membrane on a dry surface. If the surface is damp, then the water on it can create a gap between the substrate and the membrane which can cause the bonding to fail. Sometimes, there can be oil, dust, mould etc. on the substrate. In this case, the bonding of the waterproofing membrane will not be complete. The installers should ensure that the surface of the substrate is cleaned completely to ensure that there is no contamination. The product should be applied to an even surface. This is required in the preparation of the substrate before waterproofing. When the membrane is applied to an uneven surface, there can be gaps between the membrane and the substrate and it will not ensure a tight bond.

When there is insufficient priming of the surface before waterproofing is carried out, it can contribute to improper bonding as well. You need to scrutinise the quotations and the method of waterproofing that is submitted by the waterproofing contractor to ensure that they carry out all crucial steps properly. Some tend to save costs by not applying a proper layer of primer. And if you choose a quotation based on cost only, then there can be certain areas that the contractor is skimping on. There should be an even coverage of a liquid waterproofing membrane. When there is non-uniform thickness, the thinner areas of the membrane will get damaged faster than the thicker areas. Some types of products require multiple layers so make sure you understand what each product requires for proper application.

the authorMacCowan