Waterproofing is essential to prevent structural damage to buildings. The damage that can be caused by a roof in poor condition is enormous, even allowing water to leak into the building.
The importance of waterproofing in renovation and new construction
Applying a water-repellent material is key to preventing water from passing through roofs, rooftops, terraces, as well as exterior floors and pavements, foundations, walls and facades. In this way, a protective membrane is formed that protects the building from the effects of water and meteorological phenomena. However, it should be noted that humidity can also come from condensation or the malfunctioning of drains, downpipes and gutters.
Proper waterproofing prevents the appearance of fungus and mould, protects the interior and structure, and prevents future repairs. It also keeps the electrical installation protected, which is essential for the safety of the building.
In renovations, waterproofing is the solution to such common problems as water leaks, which need to be dealt with quickly so as not to damage either the roof or the interior. On the other hand, when repairing roofs, terraces and roofs that have been damaged by the effects of rain or irrigation water, it is necessary to waterproof them to prevent corrosion of the slab. The same applies to tunnels and car parks.
How to waterproof: main materials
Before applying a waterproofing, it is important to detect the problems of the existing waterproofing layer, in the case of rehabilitations, as well as to study walls, joints and filtration points. The meetings in walls and delicate points like drains, skylights or joints can be origin of filtrations, reason why a previous study is essential for a successful application. Furthermore, how to waterproof roofs will depend on whether they are ventilated or not, as this will influence the risk of condensation appearing.
One of the most commonly used systems for waterproofing is liquid polyurethane-based membranes, which dry out after application to produce a continuous, resistant and durable waterproofing layer. Bituminous sheets, such as common asphalt fabrics, are very effective, although they require a professional quality installation to guarantee waterproofing, as well as treatment against solar rays. On the other hand, the chlorine rubber has an application in situ, fast, simple and economic, although not very durable. EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is very resistant and flexible, and does not have any joints when applied correctly.
Polyurethane is very efficient for waterproofing. An elastomeric system based on pure polyurea is used for this task, which is formed through the reaction of polyol and isocyanate. It dries quickly, providing elasticity and hardness. In addition, application by spraying allows to seal gaps and adapt to any type of construction, offering water tightness and sealing effect. This results in a continuous, seamless layer that is completely waterproof and resists the action of the sun's rays, atmospheric phenomena and wear and tear, and therefore requires hardly any maintenance. For all these reasons, they are a very suitable solution for passable roofs, as they can withstand light pedestrian traffic. It is also suitable for swimming pools, fountains, wells and tanks, because stagnant water does not affect it.