How do I make concrete waterproof?

Concrete is naturally porous. Even if it is mixed to reduce pores, there are plenty of areas for water to get in. This is where concrete waterproofing comes in. It seals off the pores to protect against water infiltration. Let’s explore how to make concrete waterproof so you can better protect your surfaces.

Why concrete waterproofing matters

In many ways, water is concrete’s worst enemy. It’s a silent killer that gradually damages from within. Water is notorious for eroding concrete, which leads to cracks or weak spots. Groundwater below the concrete can also cause the structure to shift and settle, weakening the structure. Furthermore, water can rust the rebar that fortifies the interior of the concrete. All of this has the potential to put your property at risk. 

Concrete waterproofing shields the concrete from water infiltration. This will extend the life of the concrete and minimize the risk of damage. 

How to make concrete waterproof 

Waterproofing concrete usually involves either a painted sealant or a special membrane on top of the concrete. There are different application techniques based on the concrete’s functional purpose and location. Below-grade concrete needs to be protected from hydrostatic pressure in the ground, while above-grade concrete needs shielding from precipitation. 

The way the concrete is installed can also reduce water infiltration. For instance, the concrete may be surrounded by a drainage system that directs water away from the structure. The topcoat of the concrete may be poured in a way to reduce pores and create a smooth surface. Concrete waterproofing is a comprehensive process customized for every building and every project. 

Does concrete waterproofing require multiple applications? 

Most concrete waterproofing needs to be maintained or redone over time. The timeframe between applications will vary greatly by surface. A parking garage with persistent traffic will face more wear and tear than the backside of a building. If a building is older, it may need extra protection. 

JK Industries can personalize a concrete waterproofing plan specific to your needs. Reach out to arrange an in-person consultation, and we’ll explain the different ways to make concrete waterproof on your property.