Waterproofing Engineering – From Design to Implementation of Products
The larger the construction project, the more complex the types of waterproofing techniques need to be. This is where waterproofing engineering plays a very important role in construction of buildings. This element of engineering relates to everything to do with waterproofing, from the design and manufacture of waterproofing products to the actual implementation of techniques to fulfil this task.
The first place that any engineer begins with waterproofing techniques is to minimise the amount of water that already exists or could become problematic at an existing building site. This means the diverting of streams and the draining of ponds and dams in the immediate area that could pose a risk to a structure. Waterproofing engineering also needs to deal with underground water such as aquifers and the water table.
Rain water also needs to be taken into consideration. Without proper drainage, rain water could result in floods that are hazardous in a number of ways. Channels and canals are used to divert rain water away from structures and while these are only dug or laid at the end of a construction project they need to be well planned before the foundation of a structure can be laid.
Once these procedures have been dealt with the actual waterproofing of a structure can be dealt with. A number of different products are used to seal and prevent water from damaging or corroding a structure in any way. Below are some of the more commonly used waterproofing products that are available on the market and widely used in waterproofing engineering.
Some Types of Waterproofing Materials
Let’s begin at the bottom of a structure when discussing the products that are used in waterproofing. For the foundation concrete is laid to give a solid base to the building. However, this solid base fulfils a second role in that it is impervious to water. The addition of plastic sheeting to the foundation layer of a building gives added waterproofing qualities to the foundation.
The plastic sheeting used in waterproofing engineering is commonly made from PVC and is referred to as geomembrane. These geomembranes are also used in waterproofing man made dams, ponds and lakes. There are two types if PVC sheeting used as waterproofing materials in building construction: HDPE and LDPE. HDPE is high density Polyethylene is much more durable and is thicker than LDPE. LDPE or low density Polyethylene is not as durable but much more flexible than the high density plastic sheeting waterproofing materials.
Plastic sheeting can also be used in both the ceilings and walls of structures to improve the water defying properties. Insulation such as sealants and adhesives are used as waterproofing materials in any places where leaks could occur within a structure. These sealants are designed to be flexible though waterproofing engineering to prevent them from breaking or corroding easily causing leaks in the structure. Sealants and adhesives are normally used around any openings such as doors, windows, vents as well as electrical and plumbing inlets and outlets.