Common Causes of Waterproofing Failure

Common causes of waterproof failure

According to the insurance company, waterproofing failure is one of the most common claims for construction-related issues. Membranes are put to external or internal concrete surfaces to create a barrier that keeps water from entering. Waterproofing membrane application is a labor-intensive process that necessitates the use of expert applicators. On the other hand, shoddy workmanship is to blame for 90% of failed waterproofing membrane installations.

Using Wolfin or Cosmofin from Projex, a waterproofing membrane that can be applied over damp substrates, this moisture problem common to liquid waterproofing can avoid.

Waterproofing professionals should select a waterproofing membrane that is appropriate for the surface they are working on.

Choosing an entire waterproofing system that Comprises a sheet membrane and all of the ancillaries that will enable the membrane to withstand environmental variables or building movement is essential.

It is excellent to try your hand at odd projects around the house, but waterproofing is not one of them! This is a highly specialized field! It’s critical to entrust the project to a trustworthy firm that specializes in “waterproofing services.” They will choose the most effective way to solving the problem using tried-and-true methods.

Keep in mind the following things

  1. Is the surface damage by garbage and residues from past trades?
  2. Is the surface vacuumed and scraped?
  3. Is there any drainage built into the surface?
  4. Is the surface smooth and free of blemishes?
  5. Are there any formwork deformities, voids, or protrusions on the surface?

Each manufacturer specifies the surface conditions and preparation needed to apply their waterproofing membranes; however, builders regularly fail to offer the best conditions for the waterproofing material’s effectiveness.

In most waterproofing jobs, there isn’t enough time set aside for proper preparation before applying the waterproofing membrane. Waterproofing contractors and builders are both to blame. It is essential for the installation of ancillary and critical parts of waterproofing.

The things include in the correct installation are

  • Vertical flashing angles.
  • Water stop angles
  • Perimeter flashing
  • Fillets and bond breaker at covers.
  • Chased drop flashings
  • Pressure strip flashings
  • Drainage flanges
  • Control joints
  • Cavity flashing downturns
  • Reinforcing at junctions
  • Topping screeds for falls for drainage
  • Gutters
  • Overflow devices
  • strip drains and slips joints over suspended sheet flooring systems.
  • Poor detailing and inadequate curing of the bond breaker before membrane application severely affects membrane performance at the critical junction of the vertical and horizontal surfaces, where differential movement is most prone to occur.
  • Contractors and waterproofing contractors appear to consistently fail to allow enough time to prepare and install essential ancillary elements of the waterproofing.
  • The breakdown of a waterproofing membrane system in a bathroom, terrace, basement, or large commercial site can have severe effects and be very expensive to replace.
  • Waterproofing is an essential aspect of any building project in a damp area, and its installation should be as environmentally friendly as possible. Sadly, failures do happen, even with the greatest of intentions.

Let’s look at some of the most prevalent reasons why waterproof membranes fail.

  1. Membrane’s Efficacy Decreases
  2. Poor Water Management
  3. Inappropriate Waterproofing
  4. Cost Cutting Measures
  5. Poor preparation
  6. Waterproofing Membrane rips
  7. Adhesive failure
  8. Incorrect selection of material

Membrane’s efficacy decreases

Although a good water barrier, The waterproofing membrane’s effectiveness deteriorates over time, allowing water to penetrate the concrete. It is possible to avoid harm by knowing when to reapply the water barrier.

Poor water management

The chance of the waterproofing system failing increases significantly if there is an unsuitable slope or obstructed outlet to discharge the water. If water is allowed to percolate, it can cause severe structural damage. It is critical to focus on appropriate water drainage rather than only seepage problems.

Inappropriate Waterproofing

Gone are the days when penetration of water was prevented by excavating the surface and heavily applying tar. Proper installation techniques and product selection are essential for long-term benefits. The waterproofing substance used in basements will not work on your terrace.

Cost Cutting membrane

Contractors may neglect primer recommendations or even use inferior and inadequate supplies to save money. In addition, a lack of knowledge might lead to substandard work. All of these can lead to your waterproofing system failing.

Poor preparation

  • Surprisingly, 90 percent of All waterproofing failures are due to poor planning and workmanship. Preparing the surface is crucial for achieving a flawless finish, as it is with all sorts of handicrafts. Lack of time is one of the most common reasons for poor preparation. Before applying waterproofing membranes, there is frequently inadequate time available for proper preparation. The installation of numerous auxiliary and essential waterproofing components can fail or significantly impact membrane performance if left to the last minute.
  • Poor construction, especially improper installation, can result in leakage and the use of an unsuitable product or procedure. Poor preparation and installation of essential junction points in vertical and horizontal surfaces is another major cause of failures since poor detailing, and insufficient curing of the bonding solution can reduce the efficiency of a membrane.
  • It’s critical to check that the surfaces are level, neat, and clear of deformities or contaminants. Waterproofing membranes will work at their best-provided production specifications are followed precisely.

Waterproofing Membrane rips

Climate change, movement, and joint expansion, particularly in exposed places such as a patio or balcony, can cause the membrane waterproofing to peel away from the edges. A hasty treatment, poor application, or the use of low-quality materials might exacerbate the condition.

Adhesive failure

Residual moisture causes adhesive failure or de-bonding of the waterproofing material, which is the commonest cause of waterproofing failure. For the installation of all floor covering materials over concrete and mortar screeds, Australian building standards demand that the substrate be dry.

Incorrect selection of material

  • Any structure’s waterproofing can quickly fail if the wrong material is used. When a material is utilized for a purpose other than what it was designed for, the treatment becomes less effective or fails completely.
  • Improper selection of waterproofing materials, liquid or sheet membranes, can be linked to inadequate preparation, with the person in charge of sourcing the supplies forgetting to look through the specifics, similar to the last key factor. There are a number of waterproofing options available on the market.
  • However, these are frequently employed in specific situations, settings, and environments. As a result, when used wrongly, waterproofing difficulties develop.
  • Furthermore, failure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations can lead the material to malfunction, necessitating corrective work to resolve the issue.
  • For example, When waterproofing a business building, the waterproofing material must be suitable with all Other materials utilized, from green rooftops to the roof and terrace. However, if you don’t read the directions and use the product on an incompatible surface, you’re bound to have issues.

Work with professionals

  • When it comes to your estate’s waterproofing, hiring a skilled, experienced waterproofing expert who is qualified and licensed in waterproofing will help you avoid any problems or failures. Rather than attempting to resolve the problem yourself, get a professional to check your site, and guarantee that the proper materials and methods will use.
  • Waterproofing failure can have a significant effect on a property’s safety and value. A qualified contractor will ensure that the site is adequately prepared and that waterproofing materials are applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • You can be sure that your building’s waterproofing solution will survive the longest if you use proper workmanship and apply waterproofing membranes properly.

Poor Waterproofing can lead to:

  1. Molds growths
  2. Algae growth
  3. Cracks
  4. Concrete spalling
  5. Safety issue
  6. Structural defects
  7. Concrete cancer
  8. Health disorders
  9. Inhabited

Advantage of Waterproofing:-

  1. Waterproofing has the benefit of minimizing water absorption.
  2. It Prevents cracks from forming in the Concrete floor.
  3. The appliance is simple to use.
  4. It will lengthen the life of a sturdy structure.
  5. It protects the reinforcement against corrosion.
  6. Additionally, it keeps the interior of the building dry.

When it comes to waterproofing, how long does it last?

During the construction of a building, waterproofing is a crucial component. A well-installed waterproofing system should last anywhere from 10 to 15

Can we screed or waterproof to the pre-waterproof surface?

Yes, it is possible, do screed firstly then waterproof it.

Is it possible for plumbers to waterproof a house?

To waterproof your toilet, you’ll need the services of d licensed waterproofers. While you can hire a tradesperson specializing solely in waterproofing, other tradespeople may also be licensed or qualified waterproofers. Plumbers, for example, are frequently certified waterproofers.


Waterproofing is a necessary part of the construction process. To safeguard the structural integrity, membranes and coatings are used to waterproof it. Despite this, each year, many homes and businesses report damages and concerns traced back to poor waterproofing and application. Therefore you must hire qualified people.

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