Understand construction

Basement Water Proofing & Construction

Sep 21 2019

Varshnee Raj

Most builders discuss basement waterproofing as a very serious issue. But when we get a clear insight of why this is so we understand that basement water clogging has proven to cause major issues in a large number of buildings. It becomes a threat to the foundation and of course nobody likes a wet, soggy basement

Waterproofing refers to designing or adding features that prevent water from entering the section of the building that it doesn’t suppose to. But the first step to keeping your foundation or basement clear of water if from the begging of the project itself. Hydrostatic pressure seems to have a great impact in general on buildings when we dig the foundation. The deeper you go more the pressure increases and this keeps ascending If any water body is nearby or during monsoon season. Waterproofing is necessary to protect the structural integrity of the project and hence is very important.

Ways to waterproof

Membranes are the first choice when it comes to choosing waterproofing methods. The main reason for the same Is that the material should have a way of stopping water from entering the wet area into a dry area when used in a building wall.

  1. Bentonite:
  2. Sodium bentonite is a upcoming waterproofing material being widely used in the past few years. It Is a clay material and can take large amount of water by swelling upto 15 times its natural volume and adjusts itself into voids and cracks. Once swelled up it fits in and stays well in place. This is very easy to use and today a combination sheet membrane of bentonite and butyl rubber.

    It is important to inspect and reinsure the integrity of the seal before backfilling as here the seal isn’t formed until the foundations gets backfilled and the water reaches the panel.

  3. Sheet membrane

    Metal sheets in form of lead, stainless steel flashing or trays , Multiplayer bituminous paper system with gravel topping, asbestos asphalt sheeting, PVS , Neoprene rubber and a wide variety of sheet membranes are often chosen for this purpose. The biggest advantage of going with sheet membranes is that it can provide highly trafficable surfaces and also comes with great insulating properties. Also, they have a consistent thickness al along the sheet and show elongation.

    But the issue does arise when it is exposed to extreme temperatures and much worse make it very difficult to recover from a deformation. Also, cost wise these are quite expensive and go higher including labor.

  4. Liquid membranes :

    This provides a continues seamless homogenous layer with no overlaps and is considered the greatest advantage. Also, liquid membranes come with considerably the low-in place cost and its ability to breathe makes it a great material for waterproofing. But again inconsistent coverage causes great issue with such membranes.

    4. Cementious waterproofing:

    This is the easiest material to pick for waterproofing. It is readily available to also offer great bonding and a durable coating compared to any other . But this comes with a huge advantage that they do not work as efficiently when it comes to joints and cracks.


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