Water from torrential rains and floods is the biggest threat to homeowners not only along the coastal regions but across the country. Variations in weather patterns are becoming the norm with each passing year. Homeowners often spend 10% of a home’s value on doing up the interiors but neglect the threat posed by water.
In the wake of flooding in Chennai back in 2015 and unprecedented flooding in the Northeast this year – waterproofing your home is more important than ever.
The waterproofing process is two-fold: exterior and interior. Exterior waterproofing is treating the exterior walls and installing mechanisms such as drains around the walls to prevent water from entering and damaging the concrete layer.
How to waterproof the exterior walls of your home:
If the exterior walls of your home are accessible, then you could select one of the following options:
Install waterproofing layer around the foundation:
If the exterior walls around your foundation are accessible, then the soil around the foundation can be excavated and the walls cleaned of moisture. The walls should be installed with a high-quality urethane layer followed by drain tiles and a filter cloth with proper drainage to lead the water away from walls. Stopping water access to the basement is half the battle won. A dry foundation increases its longevity and decreases the probability of cracks developing from constant interaction with water.
Instead of painting the exterior walls with acrylic paint that has a thickness of just 5060 microns, opt for Dr.Fixit Raincoat, which comes in over 700 shades. Dr. Fixit Raincoat is resistant to algae and fungus and twice as thick as normal paints. This coating acts as a barrier to keep rainwater at bay. It is recommended to use a waterproof membrane around the foundation of your home that will act as a layer between the concrete and the moisture, and not allow the concrete to develop cracks and water to seep through.
Seal the cracks:
Water often seeps in through cracks in the basement. Cracks develop over time in the masonry that fills the spaces in the RCC frame structure. Water finds its way to the interior walls through these cracks in the plaster. Cracks in the plaster should be filled with Dr. Fixit CrackX Shrinkfree.
Advantages of exterior waterproofing over interior waterproofing:
An exterior waterproofing system is effective, cost intensive initially, requires comprehensive planning, and good execution. When done right, it saves money and effort in the long run.
If you believe in the old adage “prevention is better than cure”, then you will appreciate the merits of waterproofing over damage control. Exterior waterproofing is prevention, while interior waterproofing is a curing mechanism as water has been allowed to flow in through the walls. With interior waterproofing, you are merely not letting it do further damage to the interior walls by applying a layer.
There are cases where exterior waterproofing of an existing building is not possible because the foundation is not accessible to install drain tiles and gutters or treat it with the waterproofing membrane. Also, one may not have the budget to take on the project.
How is interior waterproofing done?
Interior waterproofing comprises of a network of pipes and drains to rout the water accumulated in the basement into a sump. The concrete floor is broken to install weeping tiles followed by gravel and a waterproof membrane. This is then sealed with a concrete slab. In addition, a number of band-aid solutions are available to treat internal dampness such as:
- A heavy duty epoxy waterproofing coating such as Fixit Dampguard is applied to the interior walls to treat it for dampness.
- Gaps between the window frames and masonry through which water may seep in are sealed with a sealant such as Fixit Silicone Sealantin.
- To treat severe dampness, a customized solution such as Fixit Wonderproof system may be used following which the treated wall may be plastered.Waterproofing the exterior walls of your home before monsoon sets in will save you money and effort in the long run. Spread the word to your friends and neighbours about the importance of waterproofing as in this case – ignorance is not bliss.