- Steps to concrete foundation waterproofing
- Drainage: on Grade and Below Grade
- Installation of the waterproofing barrier
- Safety when waterproofing concrete foundation
- Why Scudo System could be the best solution
Among the worst things that can happen to a residential or commercial building, one is a foundation problem. Foundations are the most important parts of a building, literally what the house is built on and what keeps the building standing. Having to fix a foundation issue means going through a very expensive and overwhelming intervention.
In most cases, water is the most dangerous source of foundations problems. There are two main reasons behind that: wet foundation soil can lose strength and mould issues can arise, making underground interior spaces unpleasant for the residents.
Foundations are made of reinforced concrete, which is not waterproof and also it comes with cracks. Water is mostly kept out but vapour and moisture can still penetrate. That is enough to create potential huge issues. This is why, when dealing with concrete foundation waterproofing, the main goal is to keep the water away from concrete foundations.
The achievement of that goal can be feasible or less feasible depending on 4 factors:
- Geographic location;
- Soil/ Water table conditions;
- Depth of foundations.
Steps to concrete foundation waterproofing
No one will disagree if we say that it is absolutely worth investing time and money in doing a great concrete foundations waterproofing since the project design, instead of having to return to the site, excavate it and fix the problem. It is critical doing it right the first time. For that purpose, it is crucial to remember that the waterproofing barrier is part of a bigger and comprehensive system to prevent water penetration.
Some of the essential components, in addition to proper wall construction, of a waterproofing system are:
- Installation of a drainage system: grade level and underground;
- Installation/Application of the waterproofing barrier.
Let’ s see what it is important do before starting a concrete foundation waterproofing job.
Drainage: on Grade and Below Grade
This deals with the drainage pipes to move the water away from the bottom of the foundations and the ground surface treatment to direct surface water away.
It goes without saying that before implementing any concrete foundation waterproofing jobs, drainage must be implemented. In fact, there is no waterproofing system that will work without proper drainage, to the point that a manufacturer of waterproofing products will not guarantee his products if there is inadequate or no drainage at all. The drainage has to be done at 2 levels: on grade and below grade. In particular the ground at the top of the foundation walls is the first line of defense against a wet interior space underground.
Thanks to many years of experience working in contact with waterproofing contractors, we have some suggestions of actions to implement water drainage at the ground level:
- Use a gutter and downspout system to keep the water that comes off the roof from accumulating near the foundations;
- Use compact backfill next to the foundation walls;
- Sloping should be done so the water goes away from the house;
- Keep in mind that, even well graded surfaces can change with time so the ground around the house may need to be checked from time to time.
Installation of the waterproofing barrier
The next step consists in the application of the waterproofing barrier to the foundation walls. Before doing that, we have to inspect the surface of the walls and repair cracks bigger than ¼” or 6mm with an anti-shrinkage mortar. In addition to that, for the success of the waterproofing product, it is fundamental to have clean and dry walls. Eliminate dirt, loose or weak material and any kind of substances that could prevent the waterproof system to work. There are several systems that can be selected to waterproof foundations such as bitumen modified felts, cementitious coating systems, elastomeric systems and more.
Safety when waterproofing foundations
As in any kind of job, safety must always be at the center of our attention. Even more when the nature of the intervention includes the presence of some elements that may harm the people involved. When waterproofing foundations, there are different factors to consider:
- Flammable materials;
- Respiration hazard;
- Skin injuries;
- Injection hazard;
- Eye Injuries.
As a matter of fact, several waterproofing materials are solvent- based which means that they need to be far from any ignition source. Also, because of that it is extremely dangerous if those products enter in direct contact with the users’ skin or are breathed in by the water proofers.
Why Winkler Scudo System could be the best solution
Winkler Scudo System is a water-based trowel-grade waterproofing product made of special highly elastic resins and additives, resistant to piercing. Its main features are:
- Highly adhesive;
- Easy and fast to apply with a trowel;
- Ready to use;
- No primers needed;
- No backfill protection;
- Environmentally friendly;
- High recycled material content;
- Manufactured in Italy in a Zero Environmental Impact Production Plant (100% Renewable Energy);
- Water- based;
- No toxic fumes;
- Increased safety.