Waterproofing Guide – What Is The Best Way To Waterproof A Concrete Roof?

As civilization modernizes, architecture has shown significant enhancement as well. One of the biggest changes throughout history is the architecture of both industrial and residential construction. That being said, the modern material of choice for roofing is Concrete. A concrete roof is sure to withstand different seasons and harsh weathers as well. It is a strong material, but it doesn’t mean that it cannot be damaged.

Concrete is a resin-based material; it is metallic grey or can be changed with colors. It is made of a thick cement fluid mixture which is allowed to cure and become hard over 4-6 days. The main component of concrete is the use of both fine and coarse particles in the mix.

Structure of a concrete roof

Though the concrete material is known to be the superior one, it is still prone to cracks and voids as it is known to have a low and weak tension structure. In addition, the roof structure is directly in contact with all seasons and weathers, which means the particle structure keeps on contracting and expanding due to temperature change and sunlight contact.

The significant structural change causes excessive damping and creates tracks that eventually lead to leakage. That is why a degree of drainage should be given to roofs.

Flat roofs

The issue with flat roofs is that they are more prone to water ponding, stagnation, and accumulation of rainwater. Due to its architecture, a fall is created, creating bubbles of water and damp areas where water is continuously puddled. If you have a fall of 1 in 80, it can prevent this issue, but it still causes a level of leakage and stagnation, which eventually destroys the structure of the roof.

Basics of Waterproofing

The basic of waterproofing is that there are plenty of types of materials used for waterproofing. It is highly suggested for concrete roofs and especially for old concrete roofs so it can cover the voids and cracks to prevent the destruction of the roof. The material is layered on top of the cement, which refracts the sunlight, absorbs the heat, and even helps decrease the level of degradation of the cement on the roof. It helps to remove the acid of the rain accumulation in the concrete because of the layering of the waterproofing layer.

The waterproofing mechanics

The most effective and common waterproofing technique is the waterproofing membrane. It is a thin layer of silicone-based material that is painted on top of the concrete slabs or any reinforced concrete that layers your roof.

a. Quality of roof

The issue with waterproofing may arise if your concrete has not been laid out according to the proper instructions. Another issue is the quality of the concrete. Normally it should be a mix of fine and coarse particles, but if there is an imbalance among the mix, there might be air pockets in the concrete that can expand and accumulate dampness and steam. If there are any voids or air pockets in the concrete that would hinder the layering of the membrane and may distort the waterproofing. You might see tiny bubbles under the surface, and peeling of the layer may occur as well.

b. Technique of waterproofing

The technique of waterproofing is crucial; it is not just layering but identifying the best match for the layered out the concrete roof. It is a mix of polymers and elastomers. It has to be mixed sufficiently, and all air bubbles should be removed by tapping it, so there are no air pockets in the mix.

The painting of membrane is one stroke, a direction type of movement which ensures that the concrete is layered in a manner that all water pores, voids, cracks, stagnation points, etc., are covered sufficiently. When it comes to waterproofing your roof, you should research and invest in find a waterproofing solution.

c. Waterproofing materials

There are many waterproofing materials that you can use on your roofs. It depends on the type and excess of damage you have. It is better to use waterproofing as a prophylactic measure rather than a treatment because it is easier to prevent the damage rather than the damage itself. Keeping all the things in mind, the materials for waterproofing are;

1. Polyurethane

It might look like a spray can with a nozzle. You can focus on chipped-off areas or nooks and corners that are prone to leakage. It is used for specific damages only, and it saves time and money.

2. Cementitious coating

The most inexpensive waterproofing technique is that you line your roof with a combination of sand, silica, and some organic-inorganic chemicals. It helps in waterproofing and also lowers the temperature on the inside. But you will have to reline after every once in a while.

3. EPDM Rubber

It is a highly suggested waterproofing material and has been used as a window sealer. It is very effective on the roof as well. But due to its rubber base, it might tear soon due to harsh sunlight and other weather.

4. Rubberized Aphite

It is a very strong and flexible material that can be used as a waterproofing material. It has a little more thickness, but it can withstand every change in temperature and season. It is a little more expensive, but it sure is worth it.

5. Thermoplastic

Though it is not cheap but has been used to layer and cover fabrics and clothes in many industries, it is a highly in-demand product and is easily poured for waterproofing purposes. It is highly inflatable and retains its integrity.

6. Bituminous membrane

It is basically Asphalt or coal tar. It is very sticky in crude form, and the membrane made from it for waterproofing is highly in demand. It sticks to the ground and holds the concrete water pores shut, and decreases the level of disintegration of the roof. You can find this material in different forms;

  1. A liquid applied membrane being the most popular one is easily applied by using a liquid-based material on the floor, creating an impermeable barrier.
  2. A pre-formed sheet membrane is a little more convenient to use with the easy layering of sheets in position.

7. PVC material

These polyvinyl chloride panels are the most inexpensive and highly in-demand material for waterproofing.

Conclusion

Waterproofing your roof is a smart choice that should be made as soon as possible. Do not wait around for water damage; check your budget and the market for the best material for waterproofing and get it done as soon as possible.