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Misconceptions About Waterproofing

Ten Common Misconceptions about Waterproofing Bathrooms

Water is a constant source of concern for homeowners. The lack of it during the summers and bountiful during monsoon makes one loosen their purse strings.

If you have the wisdom to take precautionary steps to prevent damage, then it will take you a long way in securing your home and fortune on miscellaneous expenditure such as fixing seepage. Nothing can be truer than “a stitch in time saves nine” when it comes to waterproofing your home. But, we all have our misconceptions of what is right and otherwise, when it comes to waterproofing.

Here is a list of ten popular waterproofing myths for bathrooms, in particular:

Leaking taps and fittings do not contribute to seepage:

Leaking taps not only result in water wastage, they also lead to seepage issues over a period of time. If the slab is not waterproof, then dripping water from the sanitary fittings can cause the grout to wear out with time, and water to percolate through cracks in the grouting.

Tile adhesive and grouting are adequate to make the shower area waterproof:

It is a common misconception that grouting is akin to waterproofing. Adhesive and grout are water resistant and do not wear away immediately when the floors get wet, but they are not waterproof. And, that is an important distinction. Grout lines wear away with time and worn-out grouting accentuates water permeability in case the substrate is not waterproof.

Tile adhesive and grouting

Damp patches and peeling-off paint can be fixed by putty + oil based primer:

Repainting the exposed damp layer after treating the dampness with putty and an oil based primer will fix the issue only temporarily. There can be multiple sources of leakage on a bathroom wall or on a wall adjacent to the bathroom ranging from clogged drainage pipes, leaky fittings, cracks in the floor above you, or gaps in the window frames. Unless the source of leakage is not addressed, the problem will recur.

Damp patches

One need not worry about waterproofing during construction:

For waterproofing to be effective, it must be done during construction as different layers of the slab, fixtures, and walls call for the application of different products. This will prevent post-construction leakage issues. Any waterproofing methods undertaken later is only a Band-Aid solution.

basement waterproofing

Conventional Brick bat coba will take care of leaks:

The conventional liquid rubber membrane between the floor tiles and the slab is not enough to prevent water from seeping into the floor below. A combination of sealing products such as Dr. Fixit Bathseal Tape, Dr. Fixit Bathseal Grout, Dr. Fixit Bathseal 2K, and Dr. Fixit Pidicrete URP at different levels between the tiles and the dry concrete slab is recommended to ensure a 100% leak-proof bathroom.

Dr. Fixit Bathseal

The type of membrane used is not important in waterproofing:

The type of membrane is a crucial factor to ensure your bathroom is waterproof. For instance, a liquid membrane is ineffective on a wooden substrate. Concrete is a relatively robust, versatile material that withstands moisture better than wood with proper coating and sealing. It is recommended to use an elastomeric waterproof coating product for the sunken portion such as Dr. Fixit Bathseal 2K and a polymer modified mortar for chambers such as Dr. Fixit Pidicrete URP.


Tile sloping and drain placement are immaterial to waterproofing:

When we moved into our new home, we were facing a “standing water” nightmare in three bathrooms. Yes, in three of the four bathrooms. The tiles used were large, and the drain was improperly positioned. The large tiles were not cut for the water to flow into the drain instead they stagnated in various corners. The problem was with poor design in positioning the drain the shower area. This is a misconception that design has no effect on waterproofing. In reality, if one has to break the tiles in order to lay it, it must be done with due care so as to not affect the membrane beneath it.

The screed drying time is independent of the waterproofing process:
The screed layer comprising of cement and sand must dry completely before any waterproofing product is applied. Any residual moisture in the screed layer will prevent any sealing product from bonding well.

Priming is not necessary for waterproofing:

The waterproofing surface must be cleaned well and primed before applying any product for it to bond well with the layer beneath.

waterproofing surface

Waterproofing only the wet area/bath tub in the bathroom is sufficient:
It is best to waterproof the entire bathroom keeping the local habits of bathroom usage in mind. Though modern apartments have a clear demarcation between dry and wet areas, it is a common practice to clean the entire bathroom with flowing water instead of just mopping the dry area. Waterproofing the entire area will ensure that water from leaking taps or cracked grout lines does not permeate into the slab below.

About Lakshmi Nagarajan


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