10 Aug Waterproofing vs Damp Proofing
Waterproofing and damp proofing sound similar and tend to be used synonymously when in reality they are two different processes and it is important to distinguish the difference.
Waterproofing is the treatment of a structure that protects it against hydrostatic pressures (the rising and falling of water in the ground that pushes against the bottom of the structure. Waterproofing is an absolute barrier against water seepage. Waterproofing applies a direct coat to the foundation, usually made up of tar, Elastomeric rubber coating, and/or Blue-skin®. Although tar is not as effective in applications as the other two materials it is the primarily used method in most construction projects.
Damp proofing is a treatment of a technology surface which helps prevent the passage of soil moisture, vapour and temperature across the base of the structure to prevent the accumulation of water against outer surfaces. Foundation damp proofing is an installation of plastic wrap or air-gap membrane installed onto a foundation wall. The membrane facilitates the flow of water away from the foundation wall. Drawbacks to damp proofing includes an inability to seal larger cracks and holes and careless installation may cause backfilling.
The distinction is important as they each provide a barrier to water in two entirely different ways. Concrete is extremely porous and will absorb water like a sponge which will weaken its integrity. It is important to ensure that as little water as possible is soaked up. Waterproofing will cost more than damp proofing up front but if your basement floods or your foundation cracks due to water, you will more than make up your money.
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