Methods of Waterproofing

There are vast numbers of waterproofing methods: Each tends to be well-suited to some applications, and has drawbacks that make it a poor choice for others. The application or the purpose of your waterproofing; including the materials you’re attempting to waterproof, generally dictate the best methods. Each method creates a water barrier, only in different ways.

Spray Chemical

For some applications such as metal; spray paint can be an ideal waterproofing agent. It can evenly coat odd-shaped surfaces, getting into nooks and crannies. Many paints and spray sealers or lacquers, , but not all, form a waterproof barrier when dry. The chemical formula must be one that doesn’t dry porous, so water can pass through. Some paints also have chemical additives, to help them adhere to surfaces and keep them from cracking, improving their waterproof characteristic. They may also have rust-proof additives.


Waterproof membranes are commonly used; From shower stall linings to home exteriors, waterproof membranes or vapour barriers can be very effective at coating large surfaces. As with other waterproofing methods, the installation technique is critical to an effective water barrier. For example, if multiple sheets of membrane are applied to a house or building’s exterior, they must be tiled so that water will run down them, lapping one over the next like shingles. They must not be perforated in a manner that will allow moisture through, sometimes they must also be sealed with an adhesive.

Oil and Wax

A variety of oils can be used for waterproofing: Oils are particularly useful as they are absorbed into a material. The oil, in effect, makes the material waterproof, rather than creating a distinct waterproof coating. An example of where  oil waterproofing benefits, is for leather boots. Liquid wax can be used in a similar fashion, to penetrate porous materials, but unlike oil, it can also be used on painted surfaces, then buffed, to create a waterproof surface that helps protect metal and paint from water absorption.

Coating Sealers

There are a number of sealers that combine the characteristics of other waterproofing materials, to create an exterior membrane; similar to a waterproof crust. For example, sodium bentonite is a common sealer for residential basements. It is injected into the ground in the seam between the soil and the foundation exterior. It expands, then hardens into an impenetrable coating on the exterior of the foundation.

In heavy rainfall areas, waterproofing is a must, but any home would benefit from this treatment, and value will be added to the property.

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