Types of Waterproofing in Construction

Buildings can withstand extreme weather conditions for 50 years or more. However, most building contractors and owners overlook the waterproofing methods that prevent water from penetrating the roofs and walls. These methods and their impenetrable barrier help promote the building’s longevity.


There are different types of waterproofing methods that give you several benefits. So, here is the list of the five types of waterproofing in construction that you may use to prevent water from getting into your building.

5 Different Types of Waterproofing a Building

You must waterproof your building and prevent it from any water-causing damage, affecting the entire structure, and weakening the materials, ultimately deteriorating the building’s physical quality. The building might also have mold formation due to the trapped moisture, a health hazard you must prevent. Otherwise, it may affect the people in the building.

Waterproofing your building is way less than the total cost of constructing it. However, if you can not prevent the leakage, all these results will cost you more money from repairing the building and paying for the medical bills of those whose health is affected by mold-causing diseases and allergies.

Thus, start considering waterproofing your building apart from airtight and watertight wall access doors. Choose the best types of waterproofing in construction for your next project.

Bituminous Coating Waterproofing

Bituminous coating is commonly known as asphalt coating due to its main component, bitumen. Bitumen’s properties can protect the concrete well from water, making them an excellent waterproof coating.

Although the bituminous coating is an excellent waterproofing technique, it is not advisable to apply it in areas that are frequently exposed to sunlight as it can disintegrate the binding particle of the asphalt. If this happens, the bituminous coating will crack, causing water to get into the building’s roof or walls.

PVC Waterproofing Membrane

Due to its water-resistant ability and vapor permeability, the PVC waterproofing membrane is a modern method you will usually see in residential and commercial buildings, tunnels, and swimming pools. It can withstand different weather conditions, heavy surfaces, and ultraviolet radiation.

Moreover, homeowners and building contractors prefer this waterproofing method as it is easy to install, durable, and can last longer than the bituminous coating. You will also have a choice of installing a reinforced membrane which usually has a glass fiber base. However, if you want a more flexible PVC waterproofing membrane, choose the unreinforced PVC membrane.

Cementitious Waterproofing

Cementitious waterproofing in construction is one of the most widely used waterproofing techniques. The contractors prefer this type of waterproofing as it is efficient in preventing water leakage, and the materials you need are readily available.

Cementitious waterproofing contains polymer liquid and silica-based substances that are responsible for preventing water from getting into the surfaces and, at the same time, help improve the structural integrity of the building.

Most contractors apply cementitious waterproofing in swimming pools, kitchen areas, and bathrooms.

Liquid Waterproofing Membrane Method

Using the liquid waterproofing membrane on your building’s surface is like painting it, as you only need a brush or a roller. However, you must apply the liquid evenly as thinner membranes are easy to break, and instead of preventing leakage, it might contribute to damaging the structure.

Thus, utilize the liquid waterproofing membrane’s durability, flexibility, and chemical-resistant features to ensure that your building will last for years.

Polyurethane Membrane Waterproofing

Polyurethane materials are usually associated with the coating to enhance the wood and wood-made furniture’s longevity. Polyurethane makes one of the best waterproofing materials in construction as it has excellent properties that make the coating abrasion, UV, and weather-resistant.

However, you must be cautious in applying the polyurethane membrane. Ensure that there is no moisture, water, or any liquid in the area you are trying to waterproof. The polyurethane membrane is moisture-sensitive. Failing to clean the surface from water or moisture may cause the polyurethane membrane to peel off.

3 Things to Consider Before Waterproofing the Building

Some waterproofing techniques might be simple and doable without hiring a roofer or a contractor. However, there are things that you should consider before you start applying the membranes to your roofs and walls.

Water table

This factor is mandatory for below-grade structures. The International Building Code requires all building owners and contractors to waterproof buildings in areas where the groundwater table is around 6 inches below the ground slab.


In some instances, you will be certain waterproofing areas of the building. You must determine if those areas are for control rooms, kitchens, or a library. If the place needs tight humidity control, you might need to apply positive-side waterproofing, which will usually cover the exterior side of the foundations.

Substrate stability

You must apply the waterproofing on durable substrates as weak substrates may crack and cause water and other chemicals to get into the rest of the surface, causing the structure to deteriorate. Thus, building contractors must ensure that the foundation of the waterproof membranes is stable and durable enough to hold heavy loads.

Waterproofing in construction is beneficial to you. It can help you save money from repairing your building due to water leakage damage. However, before you start waterproofing the place, you must consider specific things that will help you determine what and how you should do the waterproofing. 

Besides that, consider the risk, cost, roofer or contractor’s track record, and ease of application and installation. Once you have an overview of these things, you will understand how vital waterproofing a building is.

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