The strength of a building depends upon the construction materials used and how well the building is protected from weather damage. Certain factors also determine the strength and stability of a building such as effective waterproofing and heat proofing systems that can withstand sudden climatic changes. Water seepage is a real problem and can quite easily weaken the foundation of a house, unless you invest in some good quality waterproofing materials. For your convenience, we have enlisted various waterproofing materials in Pakistan and their uses to help you make an informed decision.
So, let’s get started.
Various Types of Waterproofing Materials in Pakistan
Whether you are constructing your own house or renovating it, you should consider waterproofing your home. This is more important in areas where there is frequent rainfall or high humidity levels that allow the moisture to seep in, weakening the foundations of your residential unit. Moreover, it allows rapid growth of mold and mildew which not only look ugly but can actually threaten your house’s edifice. Therefore, it is important to invest a little on waterproofing your home or waste your hard-earned money in repairing irrevocable structural damages to the building. The following are the different types of waterproofing materials in Pakistan that you can choose from depending on where you plan to use them. We will also discuss their uses and applications in this blog.
Water is one of the most damaging and destructive weathering elements that can harm any structure or building. While there are many waterproofing materials in Pakistan, cementitious waterproofing material by far is the most reliable on concrete surfaces and for areas that are prone to water infiltration and seepage problems.
Cementitious membranes have been used to protect areas that are exposed to long-term wetting and low hydrostatic pressure. These waterproofing membranes are used to waterproof water tank surfaces, bathrooms, swimming pools, basement walls and flooring of wet rooms such as bathrooms.
Moreover, a sub type of cementitious waterproofing known as flexible waterproofing cementitious membranes is used as a protective coating on concrete surfaces in buildings to make the building safer from harmful chemicals used during the construction process.
Some of the advantages of using cementitious waterproofing membranes are resistance to water, even if it is exposed permanently, just like in a bathroom where the flooring is wet all the time. Their unbeaten ability to withstand long-term weathering, bear heavy load and resist scratches is what sets it apart from other waterproofing materials.
While a simple cement solution can significantly protect a building from weathering, it doesn’t provide enough protection against water penetration. In order to improve its capacity and increase flexibility, a polymer must be added to the system, along with water retaining agents, thickeners and additives that create the perfect waterproofing cementitious membrane.
A standard polymer-modified cementitious slurry is a mix of polymer, dry mix mortars, which is applied as a slurry using a brush or a trowel, depending upon the amount of water you use in the slurry. It is used on a mineral substrate, such as brick, stone, concrete, which doesn’t crack nor shrink.
A flexible cementitious waterproofing membrane is capable of bridging over small cracks in the substrate, which are subject to vibration, sudden movement and crack formation such as steel, wood and blocks. A flexible cementitious membrane has a high polymer content as compared to the cement ratio in the slurry. Since these coatings have a low coefficient of diffusion, they not only provide protection against moisture but also shield against the harmful elements of carbon dioxide, chloride ions and even acid rain.
Bitumen is widely used for waterproofing roofs, basements, garages and bridges. There are four main types of bitumen waterproofing methods in Pakistan – torch-applied bitumen membrane, hot melt bitumen, cold-applied liquid membrane and self-adhesive bituminous membranes. We will discuss all the above-mentioned types along with their uses and advantages.
Torch-applied bitumen membrane is mostly used in basements, retaining walls, terraces, bridges, underground structures and flat roofs. One of the major advantages of using torch-applied bitumen membranes is its high resistance to moisture and any chemical damage. Moreover, it is quite easy to maintain and doesn’t require much repair work in the long run. The installation procedure isn’t difficult, but you would need the help and support of a professional as it is not advised to go the DIY-route for this project. Proper equipment such as a torch is needed to lay the bitumen membrane on the roof. The surface must be clear from dirt and should be kept clean.
Check the torch connection and make sure the torch is kept at the lowest possible setting or else it will burn things out. There should be no gap when laying the bitumen membrane. Apply the torch fire uniformly and slowly over the membrane so as to avoid any gaps in the membrane. Pay extra attention when laying the membrane near joints.
When ending, the bitumen membrane must be overlapped approximately 3 inches on the sides and 6 inches at the end to maintain proper grip and maintain impermeability to water and moisture.
Hot melt bitumen membrane is packed in a solid block state. It is a polymer-modified bitumen. The block is then heated and applied onto the roof structure, which immediately provides protection against moisture and water. Some of its practical uses include waterproofing the roof, garages, decks, foundations and also roads.
Cold applied liquid bitumen membrane is typically meant for residential buildings. You don’t need to heat it nor apply any torch or flame to the membrane. It flows naturally, providing a seamless waterproof coating to the surface. It can be safely installed and has the capability of sealing cracks. A popular waterproofing material for renovation projects, it secures ground areas that are prone to excessive moisture and water seepage. Ideal for swimming pools and wet surfaces, you can apply this bitumen waterproofing material on your own.
Self-adhesive bituminous membranes are covered by a liner, which you can easily remove at the time of installation. This is ideal for those wanting to waterproof their home – the DIY way. However, this is more suitable for smaller areas and not particularly the entire roof. You can use it to waterproof wood structure, in basements, retaining walls and any flammable areas such as fireplaces or rooftop barbecue areas that can’t be waterproofed using the torch-applied bitumen membrane.
Polyurethane liquid waterproofing
This is mostly used in bathrooms, kitchen, roof, terrace and wet areas like water tanks and swimming pools.
Before applying the polyurethane liquid waterproofing to any surface, clean the surface and fill cracks with a mixture made of one part polyurethane-based filling and two part white concrete. Apply a two-pack polyurethane coat to the surface. Allow it to dry for about 8 hours. This is the base layer. You would then need to apply three coatings of the polyurethane liquid waterproofing with a brush having a drying out time of about 12 hours between each coating.
The last polyurethane cover is filled with a layer of 300 microns of sand to ensure greater water impermeability.
Chemical injection waterproofing
This is mostly used in home renovation projects. It is a viscous injection resin filled in cracks and gaps that keeps the waterproofing integrity of your concrete structure. Through polymer injection, the waterproofing material is forced into the cracks. This is also effective in areas like basements where you do not have access to the exterior walls. The part where polymer injection was induced becomes sturdier than its adjacent wall, which restores the structural integrity of the entire wall.
There is also chemical grout injection, which is applicable when there are a lot of cracks and it is not possible to fill out cracks individually. An expanding waterproofing grout is injected through a wall to the back side of the surface. When the chemical grout faces moisture, it expands to many times its original size, or otherwise the grout will remain inactive until it encounters water.
So, these were some of the types and uses of waterproofing materials in Pakistan. If you are looking for ways to weatherproof or insulate your home, then check out these informative blog posts on:
- Guide to weatherproofing deck, patio and walkway
- A guide to waterproofing your walls
- Insulating your home
- How to draft proof doors and windows
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