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Thursday 24 August 2017
News updated at 12:53 AM IST

Raindrops on the roof...

Bindu Gopal Rao, June 26, 2015, DHNS 21:34 IST

Even in areas like internal partition walls, open car parking and lawns, it is imperative to drain the rainwater to lower surfaces...

KEEP IT DRY A thick coating of silicon for the terrace and exterior walls is an effective waterproofing method.
The skies are opening up in namma Bengaluru and this means that wet days are certainly ahead. While you may have a monsoon-proof wardrobe, your home may not be ready to tackle the troubles that come with the rains. If you haven’t done anything to
combat the woes of rain yet, then here are some helpful guidelines.

Get to the root

Exposure to heavy rainfall often causes seepage, damp walls, dripping ceilings and leakages. Hence, it is important to have all the basics in place. For instance, the drain system must be cleaned by unclogging the debris. It is highly recommended to consult a qualified engineer or architect, with relevant experience in this domain, for an appropriate waterproofing method to be followed in order to avoid any sort of hassles and damage. There is a need to understand the cause of the water leakage and then, treat the same with a suitable method. Generally, the strength of the concrete determines its permeability. Very little water and moisture can seep through high-strength, dense concrete.

“One corrective measure is to use liquid waterproofing (LW+) material for concrete and plaster. These new-age waterproofing solutions act as an ultimate tonic for cement, which can be used from the foundation up to the roof of the building. It is a specially formulated cement additive that increases the life of the building as a result of which there are no cracks, no rusting and no leakages. Moreover, it makes concrete cohesive and prevents segregation,” says Prashant Mirkar, general manager, marketing, House of
Hiranandani.

Depending on the cause of the problem, you can choose from among the five types of waterproofing methods in vogue - conventional rigid systems, chemical coating, crystalline system, flexible membranes and water-repellent impregnates. “Conventional systems would include box-type waterproofing with impervious stone slabs. Crystalline waterproofing systems and flexible membrane waterproofing systems consist of applying chemicals on the surface of concrete.

These chemicals react with the soft by-products of the cement hydration process and form hard crystals. These crystals lodge themselves in the pores of the concrete, thereby making it impervious. Water-repellant impregnates are low viscosity silicones, which are applied on the surface to impart water repellence to the surface,” explains Prashant.

Vikram Murthy, member of the Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air Conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE) adds, “For sloping or tiled roofs, which are usually atop single or smaller dwellings, tar felt applied with hot bitumen is an excellent low-cost solution. But it wouldn’t last over a year and will have to be redone each year.”

Water, which penetrates through concrete, can have immediate and long-term effects in the form of damage to building contents and even structural failure, if the problem is not dealt with quickly and successfully.

Repelling moisture

The primary aspect to be kept in mind while designing a house, especially in moist weather conditions, is to ensure the use of waterproof cement as base of the structure,” says Shreesh Anant Khadilkar, director, product and quality development, ACC Limited. “This avoids water to seep in through the walls and damage them in the long run,” he adds.

Even in areas like internal partition walls of domestic buildings, open car parking and lawns, it is imperative that water is drained to these lower surfaces.

Ashish Prasad, president, Construction Chemicals (Dr Fixit), Pidilite Industries Ltd, says, “The waterproof coating is not just elastomeric, but also UV-resistant. The scope of waterproofing is not limited to remedial measures; the products are developed keeping in mind a preventive approach. Earlier, a single solution like brickbat coba or China mosaic was used on the terrace and that was the end of building a waterproofed house. However, now the intent is to develop solutions for each surface area as the demands of each are different.” Waterproofing is also not just limited to saving water ingress; it has gone beyond to building healthy constructions, emulsions, protective coatings saving a consumer from the vagaries of the climate.
According to Arun Kumar, managing director and founder, Casa Grande Pvt Ltd, a thick coating of silicon for the terrace and the exterior walls is one of the methods for waterproofing. “Usage of elastomeric paint, polyurethanes, polysulfide and polymers of quality brands for external walls are an effective solution for waterproofing. In addition, one can opt for bitumen waterproofing systems.”

Prevention better than cureFollowing basic principles of waterproofing during the construction stage of your home or any concrete structure with 100 per cent commitment can make it waterproof for its entire life span, or until there is some structural failure.

“Make the concrete dense and sound by water reduction with the help of admixtures or plasticisers, or using integral water-proofing compounds. Provide a water barrier like waterproofing coatings or membranes at the positive surface of structures like foundation and retaining walls in basement, wet areas (toilet, balcony, kitchen), terrace, overhead and underground tanks, swimming pools, podium slab, etc. Take special care of construction joints by using epoxy bonding agent and other joints or gaps between the pipes and concrete with suitable construction chemicals as these are the most vulnerable sources, which aid the seepage of water into the concrete. Fill up the voids and cracks present inside of underground concrete structures by injection grouting process,” advices NandaKumar, assistant general manager, south, CICO Technologies Ltd.

Leakages spoil the look of the house and its expensive interiors , including the furnishing. “Make sure that all broken plasters and cracks are repaired and modified, bathroom floor tile gaps are fixed and grouted with quality roff tile mate (RTM) epoxy. Window gaps should be properly sealed using sealants; the water coming from the terrace garden should be channelised properly from seeping inside the slab. AC ducts are major areas of concerns and leakage should be fixed on priority basis,” suggests Ashish.

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and waterproof your home, and enjoy the magical monsoons, sans the stress.

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