Waterproofing membranes

Why Does Waterproofing Fail?

Where the application of waterproofing on a concrete structure fails, it can usually be attributed to some or all of the following reasons:

Lack of effective planning.

Waterproofing services are commonly overlooked in the planning and construction phase of a site. A good start is to employ a Project Manager or Site Foreman with the knowledge and experience of how waterproofing can be efficiently integrated into the construction process. The involvement of Architects and Engineers who are similarly experienced with the integration of waterproofing into the construction process is also helpful.

Low quality Waterproofing Membrane.

Choosing an inappropriate waterproofing membrane will likely prevent a structure from being adequately waterproofed and it expose the structure to water damage. An experienced waterproofer will choose a membrane with the most appropriate design and ensure it is applied correctly.

The Waterproofing Membrane reaches the end of its effective service life.

A waterproofing membrane unfortunately does not offer a permanent solution against water damage. Over time, its effectiveness will decrease, leaving the concrete more susceptible to water seeping through and cracking the concrete surface. Knowing when to re-apply the waterproof membrane is crucial to prevent damage to the structure.

Building movement.

Building settlement, building movement or expansion joints can cause the waterproofing membrane to tear or loosen from structural edges or flooring, which allows water to affect the structure. This may be exacerbated by the selection of an inappropriate membrane, such as one that has inadequate elongation properties.

Lack of contractor expertise.

There is an acknowledged shortage of contractors who are sufficiently skilled in the industry. This results in a lack of understanding about how important waterproofing is in maintaining the structural integrity of a building.

Choosing a contractor who is sufficiently skilled in the industry is paramount. Inexperience may result in a lack of understanding about how important waterproofing is in maintaining the structural integrity of a building.

Incorrect diagnosis.

Where a previous attempt has been made to repair a failed waterproofing structure, often the root cause of the problem is incorrectly identified. This is often a result of an inexperienced contractor who didn’t understand the issue causing the problem.

Cost cutting.

Contractors may cut costs by omitting recommended primers, or by selecting inferior and inadequate waterproofing membrane products. There are many installation techniques that are important to the performance of the waterproofing system that may have been overlooked to reduce costs. These practices often lead to future damage and expensive repairs. This results in depreciation of the capital value of your asset out of all proportion to the repair cost.

Selecting Suitable High-Quality Waterproofing Membranes

Whether you’re building a new structure or making repairs on an existing one, selecting a suitable membrane for the structure is crucial. The durability and structural integrity of concrete will depend largely on the quality of membrane you use. The membrane of choice will also depend on the location and type of structure being built or repaired.

At Andersal, we work to ensure long-term solutions that we warrant. We work with polymeric membranes where appropriate. Monomeric membranes can be more brittle and more likely to fail. We also partner with suppliers who are committed to the continued development of high-quality, long-lasting products that meet the requirements of the Australian environment.

The process of applying the membrane needs to be exacting and thorough.

Save yourself the stress and the money by selecting a competent contractor.

Early signs of waterproofing failure are consistent with the early signs of concrete cancer and spalling.

Andersal adopt a holistic approach to ensure a project is 100% waterproof. We understand how each of the trades affects the waterproofing and will select the right membrane system for the right application.

Andersal is a leading concrete repair contractor, call us for a quote on 1800 066 327 or email enquiries@andersal.com.au.

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