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Water Proofing

Waterproofing defined
Methods ( Conventional )
Methods ( Modern)
Waterproofing of Basements
Bathrooms & W C
Chemicals used for waterproofing treatment
Role of Consultants

The most widely and effectively used
construction material in world today is
concrete, beside steel and wood.
Making good concrete in the laboratory is
not at all difficult.
But at the site, it is possible to make
concrete waterproof.
Ideally, the concrete is supposed to be
watertight, if it is done in a manner in which
all the parameters are followed strictly.

But, in practice, concrete is quite


Waterproofing Meaning
Any system or material (s), which helps in
preventing ingress of water into structures can
be broadly termed as waterproofing.

Waterproofing is
misunderstood term

Waterproofing is defined as treatment of

surface or structure to prevent the passage of
water under the hydrostatic pressure




If we refer back to the definition of waterproofing as an
impervious barrier designed to prevent water entering or
escaping frombuilding structures.
Problems caused by water
Rotting of timber structures and finishes such as floor joints,
beams, floors, studs, skirting, architraves and frames.
Corrosion of metals such as steelreinforcement in concrete,
steel beams, lintels,metal door framesetc.
Swelling of plasterboards and the subsequent debonding
ofceramic tiles.
Electrical hazards causing the possible short circuit of lighting
andpower points.
The blistering of paint.
Unsightly deterioration of the building facade.
Health problems due to dampness, which may lead to
respiratory problems.
Rotting carpet.

Source & Causes of leakages

Sources of leakages
Subsoil water rising by capillary action.
Cracks in external plaster
Vegetation growth
Separation gaps between partition wall
beams and the columns.
From expansion joints
Causes of leakages

Defective structural design

Use of poor quality construction material
Porous structures
Improper methodology of construction
Improper slopes on top surfaces.


of Coba
Brick Bat
system or Lime
Bituminous Treatment/Systems
Metallic Sheet Wrapping
Poly-urethane based Water- proofing
Epoxy Based Waterproofing
Box Type Waterproofing System

Brick Bat Coba system or Lime

This system was developed during the initial
stages of flat roof construction with lime
mortar & burnt clay brick aggregate
This system involved laying of lightweight
mortar on the roof and spreading it to give
gentle slopes for draining away the rainwater
immediately. The mortar consisted of
lightweight brick pieces as aggregates and
ground brick with lime as binding matrix

Brick Bat Coba system or Lime



All existing treatment, coatings on roof slab top is to be

removed and surface cleaned by hard wire brush and washed
with water.
The surface should be free from any oil, grease, dust etc.
Remedial measured by provided to all structural cracks.
Expansions joints should be treated as per standard practice
All non-structural cracks more than 0.5 mm wide and
construction joints if any, should be cut in V shape, cleaned
with wire brush and washed, the cracks are then filled by
polymer modified cement or mortar using acrylic polymer, with
addition cement slurry mix is spread upon cleaned SSD roof
surface. Over this 15 mm thick cement, sand mortar, 1:4
admixed, with water proofer is laid.
On the above green mortar, a layer of brick bats, soaked over
night in water, is laid, having an average thickness of about
110 mm, about 70 mm near rain water pipe and 150 mm at

Brick Bat Coba system or Lime

Limitations :
This system has following limitations
There is a possibility of improper compaction]
Chances of crack development on the top
Brickbat coba is a source of water retention
and absorption.
If slab has cracks the retained water may
The absorbed water may allow penetration to
the slab level.

Bituminous Systems
Bitumen is more commonly used in the form of
felt or flexible membrane formed by sandwiching
jute fabric or fibre glass/polypropylene mats with
chemically modified bitumen.
These membranes are laid on the roofing
system over a bitumen primer.
There are two types of membranes one is cold
applied and the other is hot applied which
means one needs to heat the edges of the felt
,so that they melt and stick to the second layer
in the overlap area.
On the RCC flat roofs, the bitumen felts have not
been successful because of the unacceptable
black appearance and inaccessibility of the
terrace for other social uses

Bituminous Systems
There are certain essential pre-requisites for any bitumen based
water proofing system to be successful.

The surface to be treated should be smooth, having proper slope.

There should be no depression or cracks

The surface should be dry.
Any structural defaults in the roof or the parapet wall should be
attended to before starting the treatment.

Detailed steps in laying of the bitumen based surface barrier

systems will
i) Make surface smooth, even and dry, remove local depressions
loose dirt.
ii) Paint the dried surface with bituminous primer and allow it to
iii) Apply foundation coat of bitumen.
iv) Lay surface barrier membrane i.e. bitumen felt.
v) Apply on coat of bitumen and finish with grit or coarse sand .

Bituminous Systems
Technically, it is not preferred because bitumen layer or felt
on the terrace not only makes it watertight but also airtight.
Concrete has the breathing property.
It takes water/moisture and breathes out water vapour.
Hindrance of this breathing property of concrete develops
pore pressure which causes blisters in the felt.
After a few seasons, the blisters multiply and eventually
delaminate the felt from the concrete surface.

Hindrance of breathing property of concrete, makes the

concrete weak.
But on the asbestos cement sheets and zinc sheets in
factory roofs, this bitumen felt is the only dependable
waterproofing system. Hence most of the factory roofs in
India adopt this waterproofing system Bitumen is still the
product of first choice where it is commonly recommended,
in areas such as industrial roof waterproofing, basement
water- proofing, and damp-proof course.
Moreover, bitumen is the most economical product
presently available for waterproofing

Polyurethane Based Waterproofing


Polyurethane consists of two liquid components one is called

the Base component and the other is called reactor or
curing agent
Base is a polyol and the reactor is an isocyanide.
The combination of these two ingredients results in a formation
liquid applied rigid membrane or a foam depending upon the
In waterproofing, this rigid liquid membrane was tried with fibre
glass reinforcing mats. The systems failed because coefficients
of thermal expansion of concrete and rigid PU membrane being
different lateral movement or creep occurred with the passage
on one working climatic cycle. When exposed to ultra violet
rays or direct sunlight, most polyurethane rigid membranes
became brittle and crumbled. Apart from this, the application of
polyurethane coating needed very rigorous surface preparation.
Surface Preparation : needed, neutralization ,

Epoxy Based Water- proofing

Like polyurethane epoxy is also a two-component

system having a base resin and a reactor or curing

Base resin is obtained by dissolving Bis-phenol A
flakes in epichlorohydrin. This base is available in
various viscosity ranges to suit different application
The curing agent is an amine/polyamine aliphatic or
aromatic or an amine-adduct for general applications
and polyamide or an amino-amide for coating

After mixing base and reactor components, the

resultant viscous liquid or paste if some fillers are
added to it can be brush applied like a paint or trowel
applied like a mortar.

Box Type Waterproofing

This type of waterproofing system is used only for basement
waterproofing or structures below the ground level from outside
to prevent leakages of subsoil water into the basement.
In this method, limestone slabs (Shahabad Stones) are first laid
in the excavated pit over blinding concrete in a staggered joint
fashion to avoid the continuity of the mortar joints.
The joints are effectively filled with rich cement, sand mortar
admixed with integral waterproofing compound and cured. Over
this, the raft is laid and shear/brick walls constructed.
The limestone slabs are erected around the walls in a similar
fashion leaving a gap of one to two inches between the external
surface of the wall and the inner face of the stone surface.
The joints again effectively sealed with rich admixed mortar and
the same mortar is filled in the gap between the wall and the
stones. This stonework is continued up to ground level.

Box Type Waterproofing

In this system, the raft and the sidewalls are protected
from direct exposure to sub soil water
This system works on two principles of common sense.
First the area exposed to subsoil water is only the
area of the joint where as the whole stone is
impervious to water, hence only a fraction of area, that
is, that of the joint is exposed to subsoil water when
the joint itself is filled with rich and quality mortar.
Secondly, the path of water to reach the raft or the
sidewall is elongated. This elongated path is through
quality mortar. This system seeks to delay the
occurrence of leakages in the basements. A lot of
building structures are waterproofed using this system.
A few notable successes are to its credit especially in
five star hotels and of-course there are a few failures
as well.

Box Type Waterproofing

For basements, Swimming Pools and under-ground
ducts such as lift-pits, the waterproofing has to
withstand the water pressure in addition to its basic
stress. Shahabad Box Type treatment method of
waterproofing is very commonly used in India.

A base-coat in cement mortar 1:4 mixed with

waterproofing compound is laid over the Raft PCC and
above this rough Shahabad tiles of size 2-0 X 2-0 or
2-0 X 3-0 are fixed with minimum thickness of joints.
Joints are staggered. Thickness of the Shahabad tile
should be between 32mm to 40mm (1.25-1.5). After
fixing the tiles, the joints are sealed with C.M. 1:3 and
15mm metal is pressed in the joints for enhanced
strength and less shrinkage.

Over this, a joint less layer of C.M. 1:3 with

waterproofing compound approx. 25mm thick is applied
and cured for 7 days. This layer provides a smooth layer
for the raft and also protects the Shahabad tiles from
getting damaged by steel bars laying and labour

Box Type Waterproofing

Over this plastered base, raft is cast and RCC
retaining walls are erected. Shahabad tiles are
fixed to the vertical retaining walls from outside.
Cement paste is applied on all four corners of a
Shahabad tile and it is pressed firmly on the RCC
wall in line and level. At a time only a height of
1m is fixed.
Total height above the ground level is taken as 16. Joints are then sealed in C.M. 1:2 (Pointing).
The Shahabad dado is then grouted using cement
slurry with waterproofing compound and cured for
7 days.
After curing, a jointless waterproofing plaster coat
is applied and cured. Thickness of this treatment
is around 65mm to 75mm.
This entire process forms a box around the
structure and does not allow any water to seep
through or leak from the basement.

Box Type Waterproofing

Box Type Waterproofing ( Basement

Use of Shahabad tiles, joints should be grouted properly or else
the leakage would be from the joints.
It is a labour intensive work for which it requires more time for
Waterproofing membrane such as
Bituminous, polymer modified bituminous of APP (Atactic Poly
SBS (Styrene Butadine Styrene), PVC, HDPE can be used for
Since APP membrane is torch applied, it requires more skilled
labour and a protective screed to avoid any damages to the
SBS is cold applied by simply sticking with a paste. But it is not
suitable for high water table. It also requires a screed for
HDPE is the best material for waterproofing in high water table .

Modern Techniques in

Modern technique aims to understand the

understand the properties of the available
materials to arrive at a system, which is best
suited for the structure and incorporate the
design stage itself.
A single product or technique is not usually
enough, involvement of various bodies and
techniques in coordination is essential for
making structures waterproof.
For success of any system, the building
structure should have sufficient and efficient
control joints if the slabs dimensions are more
than twenty meter in any direction.
Crystalline Waterproofing System
Flexible membrane waterproofing system

Crystalline Waterproofing
The method of treatment involves saturating


water the surface to be treated.

Then mixing two and half volume of the powder with
one volume of water to form neat consistency hot
This slurry is brush applied on the saturated surface.
The active ingredients in the slurry pass through the
water bearing capillaries and react with calcium oxide
present in the concrete to form insoluble crystals,
which effectively block the capillaries.
Further the chemical ingredients of the product remain
in concrete to reactivate the process of crystallisation
and when a new capillary is developed.
This system of waterproofing, the water retaining
structures is practiced in most of the developed

Crystalline Waterproofing System

Cracks if any should be cut into V shaped grooves one inch
wide and proper size width & depth Cut honey combed areas
back to sound concrete.
Repair these areas first by priming with crystalline waterproofing
slurry and then by filling them with crystalline modified mortar
produced by mixing crystalline waterproofing powder OPC and
zone II sand in the proportion of 1:1:4 and water enough to
produce a stiff consistence paste. Allow the repair mortar to dry.
Thoroughly sprinkle water on the area to be treated till the
surface becomes saturated. Some recommend overnight
ponding for effective results
Prepare crystalline waterproofing slurry by mixing the powder
and water in the proportion of two and half volume of powder to
one volume of water to form a hot slurry. Brush apply this slurry
on the water saturated surface in two coats.
When the second coat is still wet plaster the surface with 1 : 4
cement sand mortar admixed with an integral waterproofing
compound and cure properly.

Flexible Membrane Waterproofing


The main product used in this system, comprises two

components one liquid and the other is a powder packed
roughly in the proportion of 1:4 by weight. The liquid
component is an acrylic emulsion and the powder
component is a polymer-modified cement with film
forming chemicals and fillers
When these two ingredients namely the pre-weighed
powder and the liquid are mixed together an uniform
slurry results.
This slurry is brush applied on the roof surface, which
upon drying forms a flexible film. Since there is cement in
this product, its compatibility with concrete is excellent.
The film further allows the breathing of the concrete
without any hindrance hence there is no problem of its
de-lamination from the concrete surface.
This film being flexible takes care of the deflections in
the slab and the movements caused because of primary
or secondary settlements, movements due to wind loads
and temperature stresses developed in the concrete

Flexible Membrane Waterproofing


Cracks if any should be cut into V shaped

grooves of a proper size in depth. Cut honey
combed areas back to sound concrete.
Repair these areas with a stiff paste of fibre
reinforced polymer repair mortar generally
sold in the name of crack fill.
Mix the powder and the liquid components of
the product to form an uniform slurry and
brush apply this slurry on the surface to be
When the waterproofing coating is still tacky
apply 1 : 4 cement sand screed and cure

Membrane Selection

When selecting a membrane it is essential to consider a

number of relevant factors including:
Whether the membrane will be exposed to weather or
protected by subsequently applied floor finishes
The type of floor finishes and adhesives that will be applied
The exposure conditions of the membrane (e.g. coastal or other
aggressive environments)
Anticipated substrate movement
Ambient weather conditions (some membranes must
applied within specific temperature and humidity ranges)
The durability of the membrane
Ongoing maintenance requirements
Availability of specialist contractors to apply certain systems
Ease of application
Re -coating time and time before subsequent finishes can be
The moisture content of the substrate.

Role of Waterproofing
The membrane must be impermeable to
prevent the passage of water.
Flexibility - membranes need to accommodate
any normal movement that may occur in
building structures.
The membrane must be durable, it must be
able to retain it's integrity over a long period of
The membrane must lend itself to design
details in a building. It must be suitable for
each specific application. The membrane is
useless if it cannot be applied where needed
because of structural details.
The membrane must be able to breathe
permitting the escape of moisture vapours
from building interior and substrates.

Role of Waterproofing
The membrane must be compatible with
adhesives to ensure long term adhesion where
tiles are directly fixed over the membrane.
User friendly, the membrane must be easy to
apply, relatively lightweight, non hazardous,
and environmentally safe.

In exposed areas such as rooftops, the

membrane should require little maintenance,
and in the event of damage must be easily
It should provide a continuous film, without
areas of weakness such as overlaps, which
could prove to be a potential source of water
The membrane must be suitable to withstand
environmental and climatic conditions.

Precautions to be taken by the Client

and Consultant

Selection of an effective waterproofing system

for a structure taking all the performance
criteria of the structure into account and also
taking into the consideration, the performance
of the materials in the system is of prime
waterproofing job.
Waterproofing jobs awarded to waterproofing
contractors purely on economical price
considerations often fail.
It is always advisable to involve the architect
or the structural engineer in selection of a
system and requisite performance guarantees
should be taken from the contractors.

Precautions to be taken by the Client

and Consultant
It is better to avoid bargaining for the job
value out of contractors margins. This
could result in stretching the product
beyond the coverage specified by the
manufacturer or substitution of cheaper
material in the system to cover the cost.
Always supervise the job and the incoming
materials for the intact tamperproof seals
and quantities.
Use the services of an engineer or architect
in selection of materials. That too only
procured from well know manufacturing

Failure of Waterproofing

Application of a waterproofing product

in non-specified areas, such as using a
crystalline waterproofing system in
waterproofing the terrace or using a
flexible membrane system in the water
tank results in failures even though the
products themselves may be genuine.
Stretching the coverage of the products
beyond the specified limits by the
manufacturer results in inefficiency of
the product and hence a failure.