The Basics of Concrete Waterproofing

The Basics of Concrete Waterproofing

Concrete is becoming a popular home renovation material because its durable, strong and great for both decorative and functional needs around the home. It does need to be sealed, however, as it is a porous substance. Heres all the information youll need on concrete waterproofing.

Why Concrete Needs Waterproofing

Because concrete is a porous material, liquids like water, oil and paint can sink into it and cause damage or permanent staining. In the case of water, cracking, weakening and flaking are potential issues over time. Once inside the concrete, water can penetrate other structures, causing damage to them as well. Fortunately, there are waterproofing agents that will protect the concrete for years to come.

Options for Concrete Waterproofing

There are many options for waterproofing your concrete, but here are a few you can try:

  • Crystalline Concrete Waterproofing The crystalline compound mixes with water to create crystals that grow and build into the holes, air pockets and cracks in the concrete. It becomes a permanent part of the concrete when this happens. Plus, it can fill in new gaps and holes as they are created over time.
  • Waterproofing Membranes There are two types of membranes available. They can be applied as a liquid, either sprayed or rolled on, or they can be stuck on in sheet form. The sheets are attached to the surface of the concrete to create an effective barrier.
  • Cementitious Waterproofing As a cement-based substance, this type of waterproofing has additives that, when mixed with water and bonding agents, create a paste that goes on top of the concrete surface to create a waterproof sealant.
  • Concrete Sealers There are two kinds of concrete sealers too. The first type protects the concrete while the second merely adds a protective topcoat. The penetrating sealers go into the concrete to fill all the cracks and gaps without changing the look of the concrete. Coating, or film-forming, sealers, however, just cover the surface, so no water or other liquids can sneak in. These are especially popular for use with decorative concrete that is stamped or stencilled. Film-forming concrete sealers are made from epoxy, acrylic or polyurethane. They also come in many colours, including clear. Easy to use, they do require occasional reapplication.