Water and Damp Proofing

Both water proofing and damp proofing in construction aim to use membranes and coatings to ensure the structural integrity of the building as well as prevent the growth of mould which leads to poor air quality. Although often mistakenly taken as synonyms, water proofing is a treatment to prevent water absorption whilst damp proofing slows the rate of water absorption from the soil. Water proofing can be initially more expensive in outlay but will prevent more expensive structural damage arising in the future. In general, water proofing tends to use rubber-based products while damp proofing uses asphalt- or tar-based coatings. Other treatments are available such as crystallisation products, bentonite and urethane coatings.The choice of treatment would depend on a number of factors such as soil conditions, the water table level, local drainage, the rate of rainfall and the sub-grade level. Both water and damp proofing are carried out on all new buildings whether they are for domestic, commercial or industrial use. Although building regulations ensure the waterproofing of new constructions, new buildings can show stress in only two years after their completion.

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