Choosing the Right Waterproofing Systems for New Construction: Considerations and Options
A building is a significant investment regardless of its purpose or location. As such, ensuring it is constructed to endure whatever conditions it might face is important. One aspect of construction that often gets overlooked is waterproofing.
Waterproofing systems protect your structure from water damage, providing resilience to elements and extending the lifespan of your building. This post will explore the various waterproofing systems available for new construction projects and discuss factors you should consider when selecting the right system for your project.
Different Waterproofing Systems
These are the main types of systems used by experts like Pro Waterproofing Perth.
Liquid-applied membranes are often chosen for their versatility and ease of application. Using a brush, roller, or spray, they form a seamless, joint-free layer covering complex shapes and details. The elasticity of these membranes allows them to bridge cracks, accommodating minor structural movements without compromising their waterproofing function.
Sheet membranes are typically made from rubber, plastic, or bituminous material. They are preformed and applied to the construction surface. Sheet membranes offer a high level of waterproofing protection and have strong resistance to puncturing. However, they require skilled application to seal the seams between sheets adequately to prevent leakage.
Cementitious waterproofing is one of the oldest methods widely used due to its cost-effectiveness and easy availability. This system uses a mixture of cement and some water-resistant materials. Due to its rigidity, it’s often used in internal wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Still, its lack of flexibility means it may not be suitable for areas prone to movement or settlement.
Drainage systems work to move water away from the structure rather than blocking its entry. They use various materials, like drain tiles, gravel, and waterproofing membranes, to collect and divert water. While not technically a waterproofing solution, drainage systems complement other methods and are crucial in regions with high water tables.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Waterproofing System
Climate is a significant factor when selecting the appropriate waterproofing system. In cold climates, a system should resist frost and ice damage. In hot climates, resistance to UV radiation is essential. A system that can withstand hydrostatic pressure is crucial for areas with heavy rainfall or high water tables.
The type of building can also determine the best waterproofing system. For example, residential buildings might opt for a less complex and more budget-friendly option, like cementitious coatings. On the other hand, industrial buildings require more durable systems that can withstand heavy usage. A combination of systems (like membranes and drainage) would be ideal for basements or underground structures to handle high hydrostatic pressure.
Budget is critical in selecting a waterproofing system, as with any construction decision. While sheet and liquid membranes may provide superior protection, they also have a higher price tag than cementitious coatings. However, one should also consider the long-term maintenance costs and potential water damage repairs when comparing options.
Desired Performance Characteristics
Lastly, the performance characteristics of the waterproofing system should align with your project requirements. These characteristics include crack-bridging ability, resistance to root penetration (for green roofs), chemical resistance (for industrial settings), or compliance with sustainability goals.
Choosing the right waterproofing system is critical to the success of any new construction project. Whether considering liquid-applied membranes, sheet membranes, cementitious coatings, or drainage systems, each has strengths and potential drawbacks.
Remember to consider the specific needs of your project – climate conditions, building type, budget, and desired performance characteristics – to ensure you select the most suitable solution. The right waterproofing system will provide lasting protection for your structure, ensuring your investment is well protected from water-related damages for years.
Engaging with a professional with expertise in waterproofing systems can help you navigate these options and provide valuable guidance based on your project’s specific requirements. Make waterproofing a priority from the start, and build with confidence and peace of mind.