During the construction of your home, you may not have paid particular attention to its waterproofing needs. Among many first-time homeowners, we have found that most spare little thought for the dangers of water. After all, when we mention water, you likely see it as a positive element short of flooding in your home. However, it is precisely a lack of attention to detail that could lead to the flooding of your home.
The Hazards of Water Leakages
Water is actually dangerous when it has infiltrated the foundations of your home. How does this happen? Water is a highly mobile substance, capable of finding the smallest of holes to penetrate into your home. Even if the spot of vulnerability is located at height, capillary force to catapult water up to it.
An alternative to this scenario is that if your home has poor workmanship, then ponding may occur. Ponding refers to the accumulation of water in an area of your home’s outer surface. Often times, if the designated water exit path is not set up correctly, or if it has been choked with debris, then water will not be able to exit from the area. During ponding, your home’s exterior surface is placed under stress as water slowly penetrates through the materials’ pores.
If water successfully penetrates a surface, it can further travel along the interior either in liquid of gas form depending on the temperature. Eventually, water or water vapor will start to accumulate in spots around your home. When this happens, the environment in these areas become ripe for mold growth. Mold eats into your home’s foundation, thus compromising its structural integrity over time.
Introducing the Waterproofing Membrane
A waterproofing membrane is a layer of material that when applied correctly prevents easy penetration of water beyond your home’s exterior. It is applied by professional waterproofing contractor in generally 2 different ways.
Firstly, waterproofing sheets can be used. This involves the laying of premanufactured rolls of waterproofing sheets on the surface and connecting them through heat. Once connected, the gaps are sealed, thus forming a continuous waterproofed surface.
The advantage of this approach is that it can be performed relatively fast and covers a wide area with ease. Meanwhile, the disadvantage lies in that the sealed areas between sheets are often most vulnerable to leakages if not maintained from time to time. Furthermore, since sheets are premanufactured, they may not fit into all surface areas.
An alternative to sheet membranes is that of waterproofing liquid membranes. In sharp contrast to the former, this type of waterproofing system comes in liquid form. Through the use of brushes and rollers, waterproofing professionals lay multiple coats of the membrane to a surface. By ensuring uniformity, a continuous waterproofing layer can be formed.
While this approach is not particularly fast, it does offer the upside of being flexible in its application methods. As such, it is often used when trying to protect small gaps, awkwardly shaped areas of protrusions from the surface.