Without the right finishing work, water can seep into new concrete foundations and destroy their structural integrity. Properly waterproofing the concrete can protect it from the elements for years to come.
””From the blazing heat of summer to the freezing winter cold, weather can take a heavy toll on concrete. Between those two seasonal extremes are spring showers that can negatively affect your projects if you have not learned the best techniques for waterproofing concrete. Even after the completion of the curing process, concrete materials can allow water vapor to penetrate their surface, which can eventually weaken crucial structures such as concrete foundations. When water weakens concrete, cracks start to develop in the upper surface and let water flow deeper into the material. You can protect your investment by familiarizing yourself with the industry’s best tips for waterproofing concrete foundations.
Applying Waterproofing Products
The first line of defense against water is the application of waterproofing products. The location and specifications for your concrete foundation will help you determine which product will work best for the waterproofing process. If you are unsure about which product to choose for your foundation, talk with your local concrete professional to narrow down your options. These waterproofing products may include:
- Waterproofing Admixtures: These products can be added to the concrete mix by your ready-mix concrete supplier prior to delivery. This option requires no further actions when placing the fresh concrete, which makes it a popular choice.
- Rubber Spray: Rubber spray is a quick and easy way to cover your foundation with a thin sheet of waterproof material. This material works best on foundations that sit underground, since the seal breaks down from constant exposure to ultraviolet rays. You may need to have a professional install this coating unless you have the proper spray equipment on hand.
- Asphalt or Polyethylene Sheets: If you prefer to install the waterproof material yourself, you may want to use asphalt or polyethylene sheets. To install this product, you simply peel off the backing and stick the asphalt to the outer surface of your foundation. Like the rubber spray, these materials are sensitive to ultraviolet exposure, so you should cover the installed sheets if any portion sits above ground.
- Asphaltic Emulsion: You can spread an asphaltic emulsion, which is a mixture of asphalt and glass fibers, onto the outer surface of your foundation with a trowel to achieve a watertight finish. This mixture will permanently adhere to the surface without shrinking or cracking when properly installed. Unlike the other two options, additional coverage materials for protection against UV rays are not necessary.
Installing Drainage Solutions
Even after installation of waterproofing materials, you must also actively divert the water flow away from your concrete foundation to prevent the moisture from constantly coming into contact with the outer surface. Installing a downspout, channel guard, and weeping tile is essential for waterproofing concrete foundations for every season. You can optimize the drainage potential of these solutions by using a rough aggregate material, such as gravel, in the installation process.
If you are looking for an Arkansas concrete company with experience in waterproofing concrete foundations, contact Razorback Concrete at 870-455-0700 to speak with an experienced project manager and receive a free estimate.