Waterproofing for the Cape Town Winter

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Waterproofing for the Cape Town Winter

Category : Uncategorized

Waterproofing of building to prevent the ingress of water is an activity, which, perhaps is practiced in one form or the other, ever since the first building was built on earth. The methodology has been changing with the changes in the architectural designs and with the availability different building materials in construction.

In the initial stages when stone was the main building construction material placed in position with mud or lime mortar the emphasis used to be to make the construction in such a way that the rainwater does not collect on the roofs. Hence old architecture relied mainly on dome structures or slanting roofs. The slow speed of such construction and unaffordability of common man to build such structures for their own dwelling, made constant evolution and development in the construction material technology.

With these developments the concepts of waterproofing also changed. Now in present day construction wherein the ordinary Portland cement and its blends with puzzolonic and slag materials has come to stay a lot of compatible alternatives are available for a builder to choose from various waterproofing systems. Some systems are old and conventional but still practiced successfully and some are modern systems designed taking the material and structural behaviour into consideration.

There are some compounds, which are used in plastic concrete to make it less permeable to water. These compounds are known as integral waterproofing compounds. They are based on plasticising and air-entrainment or water repellence principles. These are used as a good waterproofing precautions when other factors such as good mix-design, proper mixing/placing, compacting/curing etc are taken care of. This subject of integral waterproofing compounds requires in depth discussion hence will not be taken up here. Similarly there are some water proofing techniques for vertical surfaces. These techniques are also used for preserving heritage buildings by stopping/minimising the aging process of these buildings.

For solving water seepage problems, customers use both conventional as well as modern waterproofing techniques.