Waterproofing – Structure Waterproof or Water-Resistant
Waterproofing is the process of making an object or structure waterproof or water-resistant so that it remains relatively unaffected by water or resisting the ingress of water under specified conditions. Such items may be used in wet environments or underwater to specified depths.
Water resistant and waterproof often refer to penetration of water in its liquid state and possibly under pressure, whereasdamp proofrefers to resistance to humidity or dampness. Permeationofwater vaporthrough a material or structure is reported as amoisture vapor transmission rate.
Waterproofing is used in reference to building structures such as basements, decks, or wet areas.
In construction, a building or structure is waterproofed with the use of membranes and coatings to protect contents, and structural integrity. The waterproofing of thebuilding envelopein construction specifications includes roofing and waterproofing materials.
In buildingconstruction, waterproofing is a fundamental aspect of creating abuilding envelope, which is a controlled environment. The roof covering materials,siding, foundations, and all of the various penetrations through these surfaces must be water-resistant and sometimes waterproof. Roofing materials are generally designed to be water-resistant and shed water from a sloping roof, but in some conditions, such asice dammingand onflat roofs, the roofing must be waterproof. Many types of waterproof systems are available, includingfelt paperortar paperwithasphaltortarto make a built-up roof.
Walls are not subjected to standing water, and the water-resistant membranes used ashousewrapsare designed to be porous enough to let moisture escape. Walls also havevapor barriersorair barriers.Damp proofing is another aspect of waterproofing. Masonry walls are built with a damp-proof course to preventrising damp, and the concrete in foundations needs to be damp-proofed or waterproofed with a liquid coating,basement waterproofingmembrane (even under the concrete slab floor wherepolyethylenesheeting is commonly used), or an additive to the concrete.
Within the waterproofing industry, below-ground waterproofing is generally divided into two areas:
Tanking: This is waterproofing used where the below-ground structure will be sitting in the water table continuously or periodically. This causes hydrostatic pressure on both the membrane and structure, and requires full encapsulation of the basement structure in atanking membrane, under slab and walls.
Damp proofing: This is waterproofing used where the water table is lower than the structure and there is good free-draining fill. The membrane deals with shedding of water and the ingress of water vapor only, with no hydrostatic pressure. Generally, this incorporates adamp proof membrane(DPM) to the walls with a polythene DPM under slab. With higher grade DPM, some protection from short-term Hydrostatic pressure can be gained by transitioning the higher quality wall DPM to the slab polythene under footing, rather than at the footing face.
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