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Five ways to streamline waterproofing application

Waterproofing is a critical step in building construction, but what can you do to make the process go quickly and smoothly? Here are some quick tips for streamlining waterproofing application:

Consider liquid waterproofing

Depending on the project, you may be able to apply waterproofing much faster with a liquid-applied waterproofing product than with a sheet-applied waterproofing product. The difference is even more pronounced for projects where there are many penetrations or odd shapes, since cutting and placing sheet-applied waterproofing can take additional time. Most leakage of sheet-applied system comes from lapping/detailing. Before selecting a liquid waterproofing membrane, ask the waterproofing system manufacturer what is involved with the application process. For example, some liquid waterproofing can be applied in a single coat while others require multiple coats or added reinforcement.

Eliminate the use of hot melt

Hot melt (or hot rubberised asphalt systems) may require additional permits due to the safety concerns of having open flames at the job site. Using liquid waterproofing solutions that are primarily cold applied can help alleviate the headaches and time delays and can reduce the risk of fire or burns on the job site.

Check into the curing time of the products involved

Find out not just the curing time of the substrate but the curing time of the waterproofing that will be applied on top of it. For some products, the concrete needs several weeks of curing before the waterproofing membrane can be applied on top of it. Choosing a waterproofing system that can be applied to the substrate quickly – and that will cure quickly – can help shave extra time off project completion. Shortening the curing time also lowers the chance of damage to the waterproofing membrane, due to rain or other disruption.

Choose no VOC or low VOC waterproofing products

This way, you don’t have to worry about disturbing neighbours or building tenants complaining or face potential restrictions on the application hours. If, for example, you’re only allowed to apply waterproofing during off hours due to noxious odours, this could delay your project and increase your labour costs. This also minimises the health impact to workers, especially where the waterproofing liquid is being applied indoors.

Look into the product’s temperature tolerance

Most liquid waterproofing systems have some limitations on the conditions (such as the temperature of the substrate and the ambient temperature) they can be applied under. Help prevent application delays by choosing a solution that performs well under a wide range of temperature conditions. Also, keep an eye on the weather as well, since you can’t apply liquid waterproofing to a damp or wet substrate.