How waterproofing additives have failed concrete

There remains a belief in the industry today that when waterproofing concrete structures, attention to detail is not as crucial as when waterproofing timber frame or other light weight structures. However a high percentage of water seepage and dampness damage continues to occur over concrete in the built environment.

In recent times the building industry has seen the trend grow where water resistant and water repellent additives are used in wet concrete, forming the notion that the concrete will cure in a waterproof state avoiding the need of membrane application over the concrete substrate. However the number of water seepage problems in concrete structures has not diminished since the use of additives in lieu of membranes, and in some circumstances the frequency of this type of costly problem has increased where it has been found that membranes have had to be used in remedial works for proper rectification.

The Gripset membrane range is suitable for waterproofing concrete substrates and structures for all types of applications in new and existing construction including

  • Underground and subterranean areas such as retaining walls, basements, earth shelters, roof gardens and planters
  • Immersed areas, including ponds, water features, potable water tanks and water storage structures
  • External areas including parapet walls, facades, exposed roofs and decks, plant floors and water catchment structures
  • Internal and tiled areas, such as wet areas and bathrooms, balconies and terrace floors

Many of the features Gripset membranes offer over concrete surfaces overcome the problems sometimes seen with additives used in concrete. For example many concrete structures are susceptible to cracking, ranging from widths of hairline up to 3mm. Concrete additives will not prevent the ingress of moisture seeping through cracks > 0.4mm. Gripset topical liquid and sheet membranes provide a flexible and durable covering over the concrete substrate, accommodating normal movement cracks while maintaining the integrity of the waterproofing system. Over time the Gripset membrane will provide longer lasting protection as the concrete structure will not be exposed to moisture. Furthermore, when applied, Gripset membranes are visible and able to be inspected with greater detail to ensure the application over concrete is correctly waterproofed compared to a reliance of what is not visible to the eye. In addition to this, many applications using Gripset membranes provide other features such as sound deadening and insulation properties.

At times there may be a need to incorporate the use of concrete additives in conjunction with Gripset membranes, particularly if concrete is to be exposed to moisture or weather for long periods before coverings are applied. In this instance it is good building practice to have the additive used as a second line of defence until the Gripset membrane system is applied.