What is structural waterproofing?

Water is important for a lot of reasons. You need to drink it to stay alive; you need it to cook and clean. But the one place you don’t need it is inside a structure. Rot, corrosion, and disrepair are all directly correlated with water incursion, and if a leak is bad enough, it can actually cause structural damage.

You need structural waterproofing. “Structural waterproofing” doesn’t just mean waterproofing your structure—there’s more to it than that. Understand how it works so you can safeguard your buildings.

As above, so below

It’s easy to see the waterproofing systems above the ground—the roof, the exterior cladding, the guttering. But the systems below the ground are just as critical, if not more so. These below-ground waterproofing applications are collectively referred to as “structural waterproofing.” Generally, any waterproofing system that does not resist hydrostatic pressure (for example, groundwater pressure) is considered “damp proofing” instead.

Types of structural waterproofing

There are three structural waterproofing systems: Type A, Type B, and Type C.

  • Type A is barrier-based. This can be referred to as “tanking” because it’s like putting your building inside a bathtub or water-holding tank. The barrier is designed to be impervious below ground level.
  • Type B is built into the structure itself. This would include something like sealed concrete with specialized water-repelling joints. These systems must be built into the original design of the building to work properly.
  • Type C is a drainage system. It’s like guttering but below the ground.

Choosing which type of waterproofing isn’t an “either/or” decision. Each of these systems is strong on its own, but they become more robust when combined with another type. For example, you’ll commonly see something like a Type A and a Type C used together.

Structural waterproofing is critical for any building that has part of its structure below ground—that’s most commercial buildings and many homes. Without proper structural waterproofing, water will make its way into the building and wreak havoc. Make sure yours is as strong as it should be. Contact JK Industries today and let us help.