An Overview of Waterproofing

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  • Topic: Water, Water vapor, Drainage
  • Pages : 8 (2410 words )
  • Download(s) : 86
  • Published : March 2, 2013
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Rainwater, in most cases, is the most pure available source of water, something which gives rainwater preference over other available sources of water but more importantly, roof drainage pollution is also caused by rainwater. In United States the average amount of rainfall across the country is 35″ and the amount of land that is affected by excess water capable of damaging homes and properties is around 20%. Some of the most common environmental and moisture problems that are faced by a modern day house constructors, by the weather and or climate and their suggested solutions shall be addressed by this report. Following important problem areas will be briefed, with main focus on waterproofing systems. i. Lot drainage

ii. Management of gutter water
iii. Waterproofing of foundation
iv. Base waterproofing
v. Sump pumps
According to membership’s poll on Building Pathology of CIB Commission W86, among the problems of building pathology, water related problems are the most predominant. A leaky foundation present in a residential building can ruin the furniture, appliances and pose threat to the structure as well. In a commercial organization it can disrupt work processes and cause damage to expensive machinery or equipments. Moisture and water if present in and around residential dwellings pose continuous threat to the foundations of the house and upon neglecting, supports the growth of mildew within the house and wood eating fungus attacks in the foundation or the structural members. The need of proper residential drainage systems and application of waterproofing techniques is inevitable in such circumstances.

Historical background:
Paradoxically, the Hanging gardens of Babylon was first known waterproofing project designed almost 26 centuries ago, that anticipated the problems caused by excess waters (Henshell, 2000). The demand for a higher quality of waterproofing rose after Second World War as the rapid growth of air-conditioning industry made underground and windowless basements feasible as human residential places. Also the pre-World War construction involved traditional masonry walls capable of absorbing substantial amounts of rainwater and in a cyclical process of wetting and drying; they used to shed water by evaporation process. The masonry walls were however, replaced by the metal and glass panels with water shedding method via vertical flow, that is directly releasing to the foundation soil, leading to waterproofing problems at basement of the structures. The rapidly rising costs of the waterproofing failures accompanied a change in modern building trends. Extensive use of electronic equipments in underground basements, audiovisual equipment contained in public assembly spaces

Lot Drainage system:
To control the surface waters, every residential infrastructure must have a landscaping or grading system to direct the water drains to a collection point or a sewer to avoid flooding of the lot. The graded lot drains away the surface drainage from the melting of snow, groundwater and rainstorms from the foundation or the building in order to minimize the impact of these excess waters on adjacent properties. All owners of property are responsible for the proper grading of their lots to direct surface drainage towards the public right-of-way. In common practice the required grading is achieved by providing minimum 5% slope to the lot, as expressed in the Figure 1, which in turn would require the height if the foundation to be increased accordingly. Among the disadvantages of this system, the biggest is the requirement of complete reconstruction of the grading system of the lot.

Figure 1

Gutter Water Management:
For the prevention of excessive moisture, the roof and gutter water management is necessary. Usually, in a house, most gutters require inspection and accumulations removed on regular basis. For few types of clogging the gutter guard usage is partially...
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