Waterproofing Membranes: Should You Use Them?
To shield materials from hydrostatic pressure, waterproofing membranes are widely used. They are based on a basic concept. They use a physical shield to hold water outside the structure (in the case of a basement or tunnel) or inside the structure (in the case of a water tank or canal).
Membranes, without a doubt, offer sufficient security to the system in this respect. And, in some cases, special forms are needed for particular applications.
The concern is that the consistency of the concrete is often ignored in favour of how effectively membranes can secure it. Although this can seem to be a convenient way to address any problems with the concrete, it is not the correct method for deciding if these membranes are worth using. Let’s look at some of the most popular methods to waterproofing membranes, why they’re unsuccessful, and how to treat waterproofing membranes more efficiently to see why.
The Less Effective Ways to Approach Waterproofing Membranes
To begin, here are some of the less efficient methods for using waterproofing membranes that are commonly used.
A Waterproofing Membrane’s Crack-Bridging Ability Is Sometimes Overly Relied Upon
Membranes have the advantage of sealing gaps, according to many waterproofing stakeholders. Crack-bridging potential is a concept that applies to both layer and liquid-applied membranes. They prefer to overlook concrete placement because they believe the physical structure can discourage water from touching the gaps and entering the concrete. international codes and standards recommend healing and other best practices
. The same argument is used to argue that when using membranes, less concern can be paid to the concrete pouring sequence and control joints. In this case, they believe that the membrane system would not malfunction in the best-case situation. As a result, they are exposed to any worst-case situations that can arise.
The Variety of Membrane Products Can Make Membranes Seem Infallible
The membrane industry is also diverse, according to waterproofing stakeholders. In order to minimise the likelihood of failure, the manufacturer or contractor should opt from a bonded, unbonded, or compartmented device.The fact that each of these devices contains attachments to repair possible faults, such as injection hoses and injection flanges, backs up their risk reduction point. It’s quick to dismiss membranes as infallible with this logic. However, doing so would blind them to their own shortcomings.
Why They Don’t Work
I won’t go into great depth about each of the systems listed above. However, based on my 17 years of business experience, I’ve come to the following conclusions, which are in strong contradiction to the claims raised above.
Waterproofing Membranes Can Work, but They’re Not a Replacement for Proper Concrete Construction
Membranes, without a doubt, will provide excellent security when it is needed. However, if the concrete is not self-sustaining and integrally waterproofed, the structure is vulnerable to collapse and unnecessary leakage. As a result, they could be best suited for use in conjunction with rather than as a substitute for an integral waterproofing scheme. livable basements and high-risk developments are two examples of technologies that will benefit from this mix.
In essence, there is no quick fix for waterproofing a building. A durable, dry structure requires waterproofed concrete, proper jointing structures (construction, extension, and control joints), and sufficient reinforcement.
It’s True That Membranes Have Numerous Accessories, but That Doesn’t Make Them Infallible
A failed membrane structure does not have a fast remedy. Repairing the device after it fails necessitates much more experience and skill than installing it. As a result, we see countless efforts to use injections, which only serve to do more injury and damage to the structure. The injection is both an art and a science, and we see trial and error on the job.