Sei sulla pagina 1di 6

3/7/2014

:: Hong Kong Concrete Repair Association ::

:: Home About Us Technical Events Media Membership Links Concrete Masonery l Waterproofing l Concrete

Waterproofing

Topic:

Waterproof Concrete - Is it really necessary?

Writer:

Christopher Stanley, Chairman of Hong Kong Concrete Repair Association

 

Introduction Most textbooks state that good dense well-compacted concrete is waterproof on its own & that there is no need to waterproof it. However NO plain concrete is completely waterproof, no matter how good the quality. This widely held misconception is the reason why less than 0.5% of all concrete produced is ever waterproofed. However the effects of not waterproofing concrete are very plain to observe in practice. Most of the failures that take place in concrete buildings & structures are totally or partly due to the ingress of water. It is therefore surprising that this very important part of the concrete production process is so often overlooked.

The cost of waterproofing concrete is often less than about HK$ 100/m2 whereas the cost of repairing concrete damaged as a result of water ingress can be in excess of HK$4000/m2. Even if it became necessary, that for some reason, the concrete had to be retreated every 15 years, in order to maintain its waterproof integrity, it would still take many years before the cost of re-treatment matched that of repairing unprotected concrete.

If future repairs can be delayed, or rendered unnecessary, by waterproofing the concrete, the cost savings are truly enormous & will lead to large-scale savings in life – cycle costs. Another benefit of waterproofing concrete, so often overlooked, is the minimising of staining & algae growth which so often disfigure concrete surfaces, especially in warm & humid environments.

Water ingress into concrete will cause damage to both the fabric of the concrete & also lead to the corrosion of any embedded steel reinforcement within the concrete. When the concrete is freshly cast it is a highly alkaline material with a pH of 12–13. This alkaline environment surrounding any embedded steel reinforcement protects it from the onset of corrosion. Water however, will combine with the carbon dioxide gas present in the atmosphere to form carbonic acid. When this becomes absorbed into the concrete it reduces the concrete’s alkalinity. When the pH is reduced to a value of about 10 or below, any embedded steel is no longer protected from corrosion by the alkaline environment of the surrounding concrete & the steel will start to corrode.

Corrosion is an expansive process, & the formation of corrosion products on the steel surface causes the concrete to crack & spall away from the steel. Once the steel surface is exposed, water & oxygen present in the atmosphere cause a rapid acceleration of the corrosion process. If left unattended this may result in structural failure, or in pieces of spalled concrete falling from the building or structure & possibly causing injury to passers-by.

Water ingress also encourages other types of concrete failure, including Alkali-aggregate reaction & Sulphate attack. These chemical processes are also expansive & result in expansion & cracking of the concrete.

The surface of the concrete may also be dissolved by acid rain in an urban environment, exposing the underlying aggregate. In addition, the action of acid lowers the surface pH of the concrete, especially in a humid environment, & this leads to the formation of mould & algae which turn the surface of the concrete a black colour & also disfigure the surface appearance.

Water penetrates concrete mainly by two mechanisms. Capillary sorption, similar to the way in which tea will rise up a sugar cube placed on its surface. The other way is by differential temperature, where water will move in & out of concrete if the temperature of the concrete is above or below that of the surrounding ambient air. Water can also be forced into some types of concrete under pressure.

There is therefore a clear need to waterproof the concrete in order to prevent its deterioration and reduce future maintenance costs. But what is the most cost-effective way of waterproofing concrete? There are many available options & these are reviewed below.

Waterproof Concrete The technology is available to totally waterproof concrete, but that may not be what is actually required, especially in a humid environment, such as normally exists in South East Asia.

When concrete is produced, in order to make it workable enough to be compacted & moulded into the shape that is required, water, often in excess of that needed to chemically react with & hydrate the cement, has to be added to the concrete mix. Some of this water bleeds upwards & comes out of the concrete during the compaction process, but most remains within the concrete, eventually drying out & leaving voids & capillary channels. The formation of the channels results in the concrete becoming permeable, which then permits the easy ingress of water & any dissolved chemicals. These may penetrate deeply into the concrete, & subsequently cause it to deteriorate.

The rate at which concrete dries out, after the hardening process, is a function of the ambient relative humidity. If the humidity is high, the time for the concrete to completely dry out may be weeks, or even months, after it was cast. In some environments the concrete may never completely dry out. This means that any waterproofing system used on, or in, the concrete must normally be capable of breathing. That is to say, to permit the exudation of water vapor, whilst inhibiting the ingress of liquid water. Therefore what is required in most situations is a permeability reducer rather than a total waterproofer. However there are exceptions; for example in concrete basements, pools & tanks, & below slabs that are cast on grade, where total waterproofing may be essential.

Concrete can be waterproofed, either by using an integral waterproofer, added in the form of an admixture, to the fresh concrete mix, or a waterproofing material can subsequently be sprayed onto the surface of the concrete after it has hardened.

Where concrete is laid on the subgrade, sheet material designed to totally exclude the ingress of water is normally used.

3/7/2014

:: Hong Kong Concrete Repair Association ::

Integral Waterproofers These are chemicals that are batched into the concrete at the time of mixing. Their main advantage is that they can be distributed uniformly throughout the concrete & not just confined to the surface. Therefore if the concrete subsequently cracks (& ALL concrete cracks), the internal concrete will still be protected, because any moisture will be confined to the cracked area.

Typical chemicals used in integral waterproofers include:

Calcium Stearate Ammonium Stearate with bitumen emulsions Sodium carbonate with Tartaric acid

Such chemicals are added to the concrete mix in amounts of about 3-8kg/m3. Below this dosage rate it is doubtful if there is sufficient admixture present in the mix to effectively waterproof the concrete.

The admixtures mainly work as pore blockers by lining the capillaries & voids within the concrete, but some partly react with the calcium hydroxide in the concrete to have a secondary cementing process. Such materials also increase the potential strength of the hardened concrete by upto about 10%. Some of the admixtures also have a plasticising effect on the concrete mix. This enables a reduction in the amount of added water to the mix to be obtained, which also results in a strength increase in the hardened concrete. A reduction in the total water content of the concrete is also beneficial because it reduces the amount of long term drying shrinkage & the potential for cracking. Wetting expansion is also greatly reduced, leading to improved dimensional stability in practice.

The use of an integral waterproofing admixture in pre–cast concrete production, can also represent a cost saving. This is because it may eliminate the need for double handling, which is often necessary if surface applied waterproofing systems are used, where the units may need to be lifted or rotated in order to gain access for them to be treated.

Integral waterproofers are also useful in insitu concrete construction. This is because they can eliminate the need for some of the normal follow up trades, thereby offering the advantage of considerable cost savings both in materials & labour. They also have an advantage in underground or marine concrete work, where the constant presence of water could make the use of surface applied waterproofers either impossible or impractical.

When a waterproofing admixture is added to the concrete it is essential that it be uniformly distributed throughout the entire concrete mix. This may require a slight extension to the mixing time. Most integral waterproofers also contain plasticising water reducers. This means that the amount of added water that is required for the batch of concrete to reach the required workability can normally be reduced, whilst maintaining a constant workability. If the concrete also previously included the addition of any other types of admixtures, the compatibility of the waterproofer with such materials, should be checked. This can be accomplished by carrying out a small-scale trial, prior to full-scale on site production.

Surface applied waterproofers These comprise both sheet & liquid applied materials.

Sheet Waterproofing Sheet materials have long been used to waterproof concrete & they are still one of the simplest ways of waterproofing concrete slabs cast directly on the subgrade. In such circumstances, total waterproofing is normally required. With sheet materials, attention needs to be focussed on sealing the joints between sheets, & having a sufficient overlap of the sheets, in order to provide an effective seal.

Sheet materials normally comprise plastics or rubber. Heavy-duty rubber sheets are often nylon reinforced. Care has to be exercised in order to ensure the sheets do not become damaged during the handling & especially during subsequent construction processes.

Liquid applied surface waterproofers Liquid applied waterproofers are available in many types. Material used for external tanking of underground works & for roof construction also needs to provide a totally waterproof barrier. Such waterproofers used to be based on bitumen or tar formulations, but now tend to be polyurethanes, water based epoxy resins, or polymer cement coatings. In order to perform effectively, they need to be applied to a clean, properly prepared surface. It is also essential to ensure that the membrane is thick enough to resist mechanical damage, & elastic enough to accommodate any movement that takes place in the concrete, without the membrane tearing.

If a screed is laid over the membrane in order to protect it, for example on a floor or a roof, the screed needs to be thick

enough not to curl upwards at the edges as it dries out. A minimum thickness of at least 50mm is normally required.

The concrete may also be waterproofed by being overcoated with a cement slurry or mortar containing a waterproofing admixture. Such materials comprise Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR), Styrene Acrylics & also some types of Stearates. After application they should be covered & protected from drying out too rapidly.

When using liquid or sheet membranes designed to totally exclude water on horizontal surfaces & roof slabs, attention needs

to be given to the following locations where water leakage is often present.

(a) Right angled bends such as corners or at the junction between a roof slab & a parapet wall: In these locations it is

preferable to fix a triangular fillet prior to laying the membrane. This will form an obtuse angled junction, which is less lightly

to tear as a result of any subsequent movement that may take place, than a right angled one.

(b) For the prevention of rising damp: the membrane should be continued between 150mm & 300mm vertically up the side of

a parapet wall at the perimeter of a roof, above the roof level & dressed into a horizontal groove & sealed. It should not just be stuck onto the side of the wall. The same principle applies to plinths & machine bases on the roof.

(c) For pipe or service duct penetrations: Carry any liquid waterproofing material up the side 150-300mm above the roof level.

With sheet material, trim carefully around the base of the pipe & seal with a liquid applied sealant compatible with the membrane material.

(d) Where the parapet is made of block or brickwork, rather than concrete: The waterproofing should be taken up the inner

face of the parapet wall & beneath the coping on the top of the parapet. If this is not done, water will pass down through the brickwork & migrate behind the membrane at roof slab level.

(e) Prevention of degradation: The surface of the membrane may need to be covered with tiles, lightweight mortar screeds,

or reflecting paint in order to prevent UV degradation & radiant heat absorption into the roof slab.

Silicates Silicates are now being sold as concrete ‘waterproofers’ Originally Sodium, Potassium, & Magnesium silicates were used as floor hardeners. If they are applied to Grano or plain concrete floor surfaces, they significantly improve the abrasion resistance

3/7/2014

:: Hong Kong Concrete Repair Association ::

& anti-dusting properties of the floor.

In more recent years they have been marketed as waterproofers. Their ability to waterproof concrete however depends very much on the type of concrete.

They only partially waterproof the concrete surface. If water is poured on a surface that has been sprayed with a silicate solution the surface will appear damp. That is because the outer layer of the concrete is not waterproof. The inner mass of the concrete may be waterproof, to a certain extent, but this depends largely on the microstructure of the concrete being treated.

Silicates need to be flood-coated in order to perform satisfactorily & therefore it follows that they work better when they are sprayed on horizontal rather than vertical surfaces. Normally at least two coats are required in order to achieve the desired effect. The performance can sometimes be enhanced, by applying a siliconate solution as a third coat over a previously treated surface. However siliconates have limited durability on alkali-based materials & are more suitable for treating brick & natural stone surfaces.

Silicate solutions normally comprise a 20% solution of sodium silicate in water to which wetting agents to improve their penetrating ability, & sometimes ferric or potassium alum, to act as a catalytic initiator are added. More concentrated solutions tend to leave a white deposit on the concrete surface which will have to be removed before any subsequent coating, such as paint, is applied. Weaker solutions have very limited waterproofing ability.

Silicones Silicones are sometimes applied to concrete surfaces but are of a large molecular structure & therefore have hardly any penetrating ability. They also have a limited life span when applied to concrete surfaces & normally require to be re-coated after a period of only 3 – 5 years. Silicones are generally more suitable for the application to wood, brick & natural stone.

Siloxanes Siloxanes are widely used on concrete surfaces, but although they provide a relatively inexpensive waterproofing material, some types lack long term durability because of their limited resistance to the alkalis present in the concrete. More recently siloxanes have been produced which incorporate some alkyl Silane. These materials have a slightly better performance when applied to concrete. However unmodified siloxane is much more suitable for application to natural stone. When used on concrete it performs better when used internally for floors & bathrooms. Externally it may degrade on exposure to strong UV exposure from sunlight. Some German Siloxane combinations however are unaffected by alkalis or UV exposure. Checking the manufacturer’s data sheet is recommended to ensure the most suitable type is specified.

Siloxanes are normally applied in two coats, wet on wet. That is the second coat must be applied before the first coat has dried.

Silanes Silanes are one of the most widely used waterproofing penetrants that are applied to the surface of hardened concrete. There are many chemicals in the Silane group. They are subdivided into what chemists refer to as ‘organofunctional & silicon functional’ groups. The ratio of these groups has important ramifications on the performance of the silane on concrete surfaces.

Methyl & Ethyl Silanes do not impart a high degree of water repellency when applied to concrete surfaces because they lack the alkyl group. Silanes achieve the water repellency by chemically bonding the water –repellent hydrocarbon molecule of the alkyl group to the concrete. This reduces the critical surface tension of the concrete. If the surface tension of the substrate is less than that of water, the concrete will be water – repellent.

The most effective silanes for use on concrete are known as Isobutyltriethoxy Silanes, (IBETO). The molecular structure is very small enabling them to penetrate more deeply into the concrete than many other materials.

Manufacturers often greatly exaggerate penetration depths of their materials into the concrete substrate. Most materials will normally only penetrate to a depth of 4-5mm. However the penetration depth is related to the permeability of the concrete & the moisture content of the concrete at the time of application. IBETO silane can easily penetrate in excess of 50mm into dry permeable concrete, but in dense high strength concrete containing silica fume, it may be difficult to achieve a penetration greater than about 4mm. However this is normally sufficient to protect the concrete, unless it is likely to be subjected to severe surface abrasion.

Because the silanes chemically react with the concrete to lock in their waterproofing qualities, treated surfaces are normally capable of lasting in excess of 15years, without the need for re-coating, even in fairly aggressive exposure conditions.

IBETO silanes are normally applied to the concrete undiluted as 99% pure silane. However in less aggressive exposure conditions, a 40% solution in water or a 60% silane cream emulsion may be more suitable for use. For the best long - term protection, the use of pure silane is generally recommended. It is normally applied in two coats using a spray, or by roller or brush where cream emulsions are used.

The performance of any surface applied waterproofer depends on its ability to effectively penetrate the concrete to which it has been applied. It should therefore be applied to a surface which is free of mould oil, dust, dirt, & curing agents. Equally important is that both the surface & the subsurface must be as dry as possible, in order to achieve the maximum penetrating effect. It is therefore advisable to allow the concrete to dry out for at least 28 days after casting before the waterproofing solution is applied. However, the need for a rapid construction programme may sometimes preclude any such a delay.

If there is a possibility of early contamination by chlorides, for example in a marine environment, an initial coat may be applied, followed by a second coat after 28 days.

Where there is a high ambient temperature & or low relative humidity, or the section thickness of the concrete is below 500mm it may be possible to treat the surface after a shorter period of time. A simple check is to tape a 300mm square piece of polythene sheet on the concrete surface & check to see if there is much condensation water collecting under it after a period of 18-24hrs. In rainy conditions, it is best to wait at least 3 days after rainfall before treating the surface.

Performance tests for silane impregnated concrete. Silanes waterproof the concrete by lining the capillaries. They only fill the finest capillaries because of their low molecular structure. This can sometimes lead to confusion in the interpretation of water uptake tests. This is because although the water may fill the capillaries, the concrete itself will remain dry. This will result in an actual water uptake reduction of upto 90% whereas the capillary porosity may only be reduced by about 25%. Therefore when the water fills the capillaries, the ‘high’ water uptake figures that are obtained, do not provide a true indication of what is really happening to the material properties inside the concrete.

Other tests to assess the waterproofing ability of silanes & other materials include cutting small diameter cores from the concrete; splitting them in half & lightly spraying them with water. The surface absorption readily provides an indication of the waterproofer’s performance. Where a permanent record is required, the surface can be sprayed with permanent red ink &

3/7/2014

:: Hong Kong Concrete Repair Association ::

then washed off under a tap. The untreated area will remain a red colour.

The capillary uptake of water can be measured by the Sorptivity test. A 50mm diameter core is placed face down in about 1mm of water & the absorption is measured over time as a weight gain of the sample. (British Standard 1881 pt 122).

Water absorption under a 200mm head of water can be measured insitu without damaging the concrete using the British Standard Initial Surface Absorption (ISAT) test where the absorption of water is measured 10min, 30min, & 60min after commencing the test. (British Standard 1881 pt 5. [old version].)

Quantitive analysis of the amount of waterproofer in the concrete at different depths can be assessed using the Pyrolosis Gas Chromatography Test (PYGC). This test, invented in Germany, is currently only undertaken by one laboratory in Hong Kong & is quite expensive to perform, because of the high cost of equipment used. The test results also need skillful interpretation.

Water uptake tests are sometimes specified but tend to lead to confusion due to the way in which the results are expressed & as discussed, earlier in this paper, are not recommended.

In Marine concretes, chloride screening tests, where concrete samples are immersed for a set period of time, usually in a 5 Molar solution of salt water are sometimes specified. On removal from the salt solution, a sample of concrete is obtained from the test specimen & ground into a powder. The chemical analysis on a sample of the powdered hardened concrete is carried out by adding the powder to distilled water & then carrying out a titration of the solution against a known concentration of silver nitrate. However this test measures both the bound & soluble chloride content of the concrete. Therefore the results need to be compared against untreated control samples. Here the cumulative effects of sampling & testing of a small number of test samples, can also lead to confusion in the interpretation of the data.

Corrosion Protection of Highway Structures. Because the silanes cut off water ingress into concrete, many research projects have found that following the application of silane the corrosion of embedded steel in concrete was either greatly reduced or eliminated. In 1990 the Department of Transport in the UK made it mandatory that all Highway Structures were to be coated with IBETO Silane. However the effectiveness of such treatment is very dependent on the satisfactory application of the silane on site.

Fluorosilane. Where there is a need to obtain long term protection of architectural concrete or stone or tile surfaces, the use of Fluorosilane is recommended. This only penetrates the surface to a depth of about 2-3mm but significantly improves the durability & appearance of building surfaces. It is also excellent for protecting existing mosaic clad surfaces. Water tends to migrate behind mosaic tiles & combine with the calcium oxide present in the cement. This reacts with the glass, which first cracks & then dissolves, causing the tiles to debond & fall off the surface. If the deterioration is noticed early enough, the mosaic surface can be protected & saved from further deterioration, by the application of a single coat of fluorosilane.

Fluorosilane is also good for the protection of reconstructed stone surfaces. These are surfaces where crushed rock is mixed with cement to create the appearance of natural stone. This type of concrete material is highly permeable & stains rapidly in an urban environment without the protection afforded by the fluorosilane application.

Which type of waterproofing system should be used? This depends on the situation in which the concrete is being used. Clearly all external & below ground structures should be waterproofed. Internally, floors that are likely to become wet; areas such as kitchens & bathrooms, where all surfaces will suffer from moisture ingress; car parks; lift pits etc. In addition, areas subject to condensation, such as internal fire escape stairs, & walls where there is a temperature differential through the wall generated by the presence of heating, air conditioning or refrigerated air acting on one face.

In many situations it will be more cost effective to include an integral waterproofer in the concrete, unless the concrete is a very thick section, in which case waterproofing the outer section may be all that is necessary. Spray applied waterproofers are also useful on cladding panels, especially those made from composite materials such as GRC, or stone or tile cladding. In addition waterproofing the surface of any exposed concrete will minimise staining & make subsequent cleaning, or even the removal of unwanted graffiti easier.

Waterproofing under painted, epoxy or PU coated surfaces will help to minimise cracking or blistering of the coating. Such deterioration results from moisture migration beneath the coating. If the water becomes trapped underneath an impermeable coating, it builds up osmotic pressure beneath the coating, causing it to blister or crack. However, this can easily be prevented by first priming the surface with a silane or siloxane material. Breathable paints, although the seemingly the obvious solution, seldom work in the hot humid environments that exist in Asia, because many types tend to attract mould or algae growths & turn black in colour. Therefore priming a surface that has to be painted, with a waterproofing material, is often the preferred option.

Integral waterproofing is the best approach to enhancing the durability of concrete especially if the section thickness is not too great. Stearate based chemicals are considered to be the best option. They have a long track record of successful use & one particular brand can claim the distinction of being the first type of admixture ever to be added to concrete, more than 100 years ago! Many structures still exist in which this material has been used & they are still in a good condition after many years of service.

Where thinner sections are cast & for most engineering structures the use of spray applied pure IBETO silane or modified siloxane is recommended. Architectural pre-cast concrete & insitu concrete where emphasis is on the decorative finishes, should preferably be coated with Fluorosilane, if integral waterproofing has not been possible.

Some cheap so-called silanes are coming on the market, originating from Mainland China. These materials should be used with extreme caution. Generally they lack stringent quality control during their production, & also have within-batch variations. As yet they have no track record for their successful use on concrete, & lack externally verified performance data from accredited testing laboratories.

Precautions to be taken when producing waterproof concrete Just by adding a waterproofer to the concrete mix, or the finished concrete surface does not necessarily mean that the concrete will be waterproof, unless the following precautions are taken:

(a)

Has the correct type of waterproofer been specified, given the nature & exposure class of the project?

(b)

For surface applied waterproofers will the concrete surface be dry enough at the time of application to ensure sufficient

adhesion/penetration depth?

(c)

Has the waterproofer exceeded its shelf life?

(d)

If the waterproofer is solvent based, it should NOT be used in a confined space application.

(e)

If the waterproofer is liquid based, has it been thoroughly mixed before use?

3/7/2014

:: Hong Kong Concrete Repair Association ::

(f)

If a sheet membrane is being used, has the concrete surface been cleaned of all loose & sharp debris & laitence prior to

application?

(g)

If a spray applied material is being used, is the concrete surface free of mould oil, dirt & grease & is it dry enough?

(h)

Where an integral waterproofer is being used, it is essential that it is uniformly distributed throughout the mix. This may

therefore require a slight extension of the mixing time.

(i)

For spray applied waterproofers, flood coat, (but do not swamp) horizontal surfaces. On vertical surfaces, commence

spraying at the base & work upwards in horizontal lines, ensuring whole surface is treated.

(j)

After spraying vertical surfaces, check that they have an overall wet look. Any areas that appear dry, due to increased

absorbency of the concrete should be immediately re-sprayed before the surface has dried/cured.

(k)

Some surface applied waterproofers require the second coat to be applied before the first coat has dried. (wet on wet).

This is the case with siloxane materials for example, & some types of polyurathane membranes.

(l)

Silicate & silane based materials normally require at least 24hrs between the application of coats.

(m)Where silicates are used, any excess silicate, (forming as a white surface deposit) should be washed or brushed off the surface before the application of any subsequent finishes.

(n)

Check surfaces after application, & repair & re-coat any

damaged areas.

(o)

Siliconates & Fluorosilanes can only be applied in a single

application. Ensure coat is complete before it dries.

(p)

Check waterproofing solution is suitable for use on concrete.

(q)

Ensure the concrete surface colour & texture are not altered by waterproofer.

Waterproofing concrete repairs Waterproofing concrete patch repairs is essential in order to prevent the deterioration of concrete adjacent to the repair. When a patch repair is carried out it is generally as remedial work to concrete, which has cracked or spalled as a result of corrosion & subsequent expansion of the underlying steel reinforcement.

The normal procedure is to cut back the concrete to behind the steel, clean it, prime it with an anti-corrosion material & then re-instate the concrete with either a 10mm aggregate concrete, in thick sections, or a repair mortar for thinner sections. Normally the badly deteriorated steel is treated but it is seldom economic to cut back the concrete to expose areas of steel where the corrosion is only slight. The result of this is that there is a negative potential electric current flow between the newly treated steel and the corroding steel in the adjacent concrete. This little-known process is known as incipient anode corrosion. It causes an accelerated rate of corrosion in the adjacent un-repaired areas which soon results in the concrete spalling.

Often repair contractors are blamed for an unsatisfactory repair, but normally it is not their fault. Some material suppliers market zinc anode blocks, which are attached to the adjacent steel & act as a sacrificial anode in order to contain the steel corrosion. This is a similar process to that used to protect the hulls of ships. The zinc anode corrodes & can be replaced, but the steel is protected.

However it is not always convenient to install such a system in a concrete repair. Steel corrodes in the presence of both moisture & oxygen. If the moisture supply can be greatly reduced or even eliminated, the steel corrosion can be prevented.

Patch repairs should therefore contain an integral waterproofer in the mix. This will greatly reduce the occurrence of incipient anode corrosion taking place. As an additional precaution, it is advisable to spray a surface applied waterproofer for a distance of about one metre from the repair, to the concrete adjacent to the repaired area, in order to give it additional protection.

Waterproofers can also be incorporated into materials used for cementitious crack repairs. This will tend to reduce, or eliminate the passage, via capillary sorption of water to the embedded steel, through cracks, or within crack repair mixes. This is particularly important when sealing plastic shrinkage or plastic settlement cracks. These types of cracks tend to originate at the concrete surface, & travel down through the concrete to the top of the steel reinforcement.

Conclusions That the durability of concrete can be greatly enhanced by the addition of a waterproofing admixture during manufacture, or subsequently, by spraying the hardened concrete with a waterproofing solution, is now a well-proven fact. Yet still very little concrete ends up being waterproofed. This is usually claimed to be on economic grounds, but the additional cost is so minute, that this can easily be demonstrated to be a false economy.

In the future waterproofing concrete will become just second nature, but in the meantime, maybe only sufficiently enlightened engineers & architects who can appreciate & understand the obvious advantages, will specify that concrete on their projects is properly protected.

Not many years ago it was considered totally unnecessary to paint concrete. However in recent years attitudes have changed & the benefits are now readily appreciated. Waterproof concrete is currently facing the same uphill struggle, but ultimately common sense will prevail.

Where waterproof concrete has been used in Hong Kong the benefits can readily be appreciated. No properly waterproofed concrete that has been used in Hong Kong has ever failed in terms of its durability.

Plain concrete will never be waterproof, no matter how good the quality. Conversely the use of a waterproofer is not a substitute for good quality concrete. In order for a waterproofer to be effective the concrete mix & the workmanship must all be of the highest standard.

If you are considering waterproofing concretes, screeds, or rendered surfaces the HKCRA will be pleased to assist you with all the necessary information to enable you to make an informed decision as to the best method or type of material to specify or use for your particular situation.

3/7/2014

:: Hong Kong Concrete Repair Association ::

3/7/2014 :: Hong Kong Concrete Repair Association :: Copyright © Hong Kong Concrete Repair Association. All

Copyright © Hong Kong Concrete Repair Association. All Rights Reserved

© Hong Kong Concrete Repair Association. All Rights Reserved http://www.hkcra.com.hk/waterproofingtopic1.html 6/6