Real Estate

Waterproofing Base: What Are Your Options?

If you are going to build a new house, you need to waterproof the foundation so you don’t have a wet basement in just a few years.

There are different waterproofing products and systems on the market, so it can really get confusing. So what are your options?

Here is a brief overview of the most common foundation waterproofing systems to help you decide:

1. Liquid rubber based waterproofing membranes

Are they polymerized elastomeric liners made from liquid rubber, the same quality material your car tires are made from?

Advantage: They are easy to apply, quick drying and cold applied. You can do it yourself, using a sprayer, roller or trowel. The liquid cures into a layer of elastic rubber, capable of filling the current small holes and bridging possible future cracks in the foundation wall as the building settles down. Rubber is flexible. They usually come with an extended warranty as well, and many are environmentally friendly with a low solvent content or no solvents. Very economical.

Disadvantages: Possibility of inconsistency in coverage, but newer products will help you determine the “correct” thickness by the intensity of the color, that is, if you apply the product and see some lighter stains, you simply add more liquid. Additional surface preparation and curing may be required. If there are larger cracks or holes in the structure, they must be filled with cement or other trowel-able material before applying the general coating. Additionally, some of the liquid membranes require longer cure times for concrete before they can be applied to ensure a proper bond.

2. Hot applied Liquid Rubber Foundation waterproofing product:

It is a rubberized asphalt compound that forms a strong and flexible monolithic waterproofing membrane. It can also be applied on roofs.

Advantage: Adheres to virtually any structural surface. Ideal for rough and uneven surfaces. Monolithic, seamless, airtight, eliminates water migration and moisture build-up. It offers strong protection due to the way it must be applied.

Disadvantages: The surface must be primed with primer first. The cost is higher because the product must be applied in layers; basically, apply the first layer of hot liquid rubber, then you need to quickly press the fabric reinforced sheet into that hot layer firmly, then apply a second layer of waterproofing hot liquid rubber. Also, depending on your local building code, you may need to apply 2 or 3 of these layers of sheeting. Due to this, the elasticity is low. And since it is hot you have to be very careful, it is best to have it applied by a certified specialist.

3. Sheet membranes

The most common are self-adhesive gummed asphalt membranes composed of gummed asphalt laminated to an impermeable polyethylene film.

Advantage: The largest is the constant thickness because they are “pre-fabricated” to a required standard. Mechanically strong, resistant to hydrostatic pressure. Cover even the largest holes or damaged areas.

They can be applied on concrete, metal, wood or masonry surfaces.

Disadvantages: More difficult to apply due to its very high “tack”, in addition, the cost of application in place is higher. The app requires at least 2 people to get on properly.

Requires a lot of extra work = extra cost. If there are irregularities in the surface on which you want to lay a sheet, they must first be smoothed out with a coat to make the surface even. You would also need to learn about joint treatment, lap joints, corners, penetration, priming, patching, etc. And once the part is down, you won’t put it back in reusable condition.

4. Cement waterproofing

It is a flexible cement-based waterproofing membrane. It may consist of Portland cement, acrylic sand mix, plasticizer, and other active waterproofing chemicals to increase its durability and effectiveness.

Advantage: Very easy to use, just mix the powder with water according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and apply with a brush or trowel. Highly Affordable – Available through specialist masonry suppliers or distributors. It can be painted. It also comes in a variety of colors. In most cases, one coat is sufficient, although some areas may require the use of reinforcing mesh. Low cost. Corrosion and weather resistant. It can be applied as a positive or negative side waterproofing.

Disadvantages: No Flex – Cement doesn’t stretch, so as the structure settles, there are potential for future cracks. Before application, the surface must be free of bumps, cracks, oils, paints, water repellants and any other foreign material that can act as a breaker. Holes must be filled with approved block filler.

5. Bentonite waterproofing

is a bentonite clay based waterproofing product consisting of sodium bentonite clay sandwiched between 2 layers of woven and non-woven puncture resistant polypropylene fabric. It comes as panels and sheets of clay.

Advantage: It can absorb a large amount of water. And as it takes in the water, the clay swells and gets into cracks and voids where it permanently remains as a barrier against water. It is flexible and resistant to most chemicals. Non-toxic, non-polluting. He does not smoke. It can be applied in cold climates.

Disadvantages: Due to the way the clay works, the seal does not form until the base is filled and the water reaches the bentonite material, which means that the integrity of the seal cannot be confirmed.


You see, a lot depends on your own situation, needs, requirements, and what you are comfortable with. The best way is to speak to the experts, check the manufacturers’ requirements, especially concrete cure time, temperature limitations, and additional labor requirements. Yes, waterproofing the foundation may seem expensive at first glance, but remember that it is a long-term solution that, when applied correctly, will save you a lot of time, headaches and money in the future, so please do do not do it. skimp on him.

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