Roof Waterproofing | Importance Of Waterproofing For Strong Roof

Roof Waterproofing 1

A home is not just an address for any individual but an embodiment of the members staying in it. What makes a house a home are the emotions and memories that a family shares in that space. It is not just about building walls, ceiling, flooring but where one feels safe, relaxed, and joyous in every possible way. When it comes to construction and designing of any structure, while impeccable aesthetics is always the highest priority, the resilience of these aesthetics is always at risk if proper roof waterproofing isn't taken into consideration. Water can penetrate the structure and can deteriorate its strength by causing corrosion of re-bars. Excessive water seepage may lead to fungus growth, short circuits, flaking of paints, and thereby, degrading the intrinsic value of the residential property.

A lot of these issues can be addressed easily if a proper roof waterproofing system is selected at the stage of framing. In such a case waterproofing treatment can be done on the mother slab, and this waterproofing can be covered with a 15-20 mm thick cement concrete layer. If the roof is already cast and facing water seepage issues, customers are always wary of cumbersome civil works. This need has led to modern-day exposed waterproofing membranes. These membranes are extremely flexible, UV resistant, and can sustain human traffic to provide an aesthetic and robust water-resistant rooftop.


To understand the process better, let us look at the points to keep in mind while selecting a proper roof waterproofing system.

• Condition of the base surface

• Treatment of existing cracks

• Whether it is under-tile waterproofing or exposed waterproofing

• Elastomeric property (elasticity) of roof waterproofing membrane

• Expected traffic on the roof

• Type of waterproofing membrane



Let us understand these points in detail:


1. Condition of the base substrate

Waterproofing membrane may have to be applied on various substrates like tiled surface, china chips surface, concrete surface, moist surface, surface with moss/fungus, etc.

Adhesion of roof waterproofing varies from surface to surface which can turn into varied performance for the end-user. To have a guaranteed uniform functioning, a suitable surface preparation recommended by the manufacturer and proper primer is crucial to achieving appropriate adhesion to the base substrate.


2. Treatment of existing cracks

Existing cracks act as flood gates for easy seepage of water from the roofs onto the internal walls of ceilings and walls which can ultimately lead to fungus growth and peeling of paint films.

Cracks must be opened up with a mechanical grinder or chisel & hammer and filled with polymer-modified cement putty using a squeeze. Allow the filled cracks to dry for 24 hours.


3. Whether it is under-tile waterproofing or exposed waterproofing

The present time waterproofing membranes come in a variety. Each waterproofing membrane being suitable for a particular environmental condition.

An under-tile waterproofing membrane is applied on base concrete/mother slab and is covered with concrete/tiles/china chips. Under-tile waterproofing membranes can be cheaper, less susceptible to puncture. But in case of any leakage, detecting the source of damage can be a difficult task and one may have to redo the whole process.

Contemporary roof waterproofing membranes are extremely flexible, UV resistant, and resistant to regular human traffic. The advantage of these membranes is that they eliminate cumbersome civil works and are relatively simpler to install. In case of any damage, rectification can be done easily.


4. Elastomeric property (elasticity) of the waterproofing membrane

Flexible waterproofing membranes have a better capacity to adapt to temperature variations. While cementitious waterproofing membranes are rigid and appropriate for under-tile waterproofing or in areas where rainfall is scarce, acrylic waterproofing and polyurethane-based waterproofing grants better elastomeric and UV stability as well as can be utilized for exposed conditions.
An elastomeric property of any waterproofing system is valid for a particular thickness. Dilution of a membrane or applying at a lower film thickness or lesser number of coats may affect properties adversely. Such practices must be avoided under any circumstances.

Before applying a roof waterproofing membrane, the proper slope must be maintained towards the drain pipes to ensure zero accumulation or puddling of water.


5. Expected traffic on the roof

While the recommended thickness or the number of coats to be applied as per the manufacturer's instructions, it is also vital to consider the expected surface roughness and the traffic or movement on the floor. The membrane must be traffic resistant and should not puncture due to traffic movement.
Polyurethane membranes have the best abrasion resistance than cementitious. Acrylic counterparts are ideal for regular traffic areas like podiums, jogging tracks, etc. Acrylic waterproofing membranes can be a cost-effective and durable solution for non-traffic areas like the exterior walls of a building.


6. Type of roof waterproofing membrane

Waterproofing membranes must be cautiously selected based on environmental conditions such as rain, temperature variations, usage conditions, durability, and desired aesthetics. It is imperative to go through product literature to understand the benefits and limitations of a waterproofing system.


To conclude, liquid waterproofing systems are generally applied in multiple layers. It is the application in multiple layers which ensures uniform thickness and performance over the complete applied area. If the basics of product selection and product application are well adhered to, the roof waterproofing system can preserve the aesthetics of the home for years to come.

We all have heard the phrase, "Home is where the heart is". So, what does your heart say about the home you are trying to create for the beautiful families?