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How to apply waterproof membranes? | The top 3 factors to consider

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What is waterproofing, and how to apply waterproof membranes?

Waterproofing is essentially needed for buildings. Water causes aesthetics and structural damage to your building. If precautions are not taken, the buildings will be affected dramatically and decay.

A waterproof membrane is a layer of water-tight material applied onto a surface to control water leaks or damage. Waterproofing membranes usually consist of liquid applied or pre-formed sheets. They can be installed around the foundations (like a structural slab) to stop water penetration. Whether it’s to guard your building’s basement or roof, waterproofing will aid in stopping water from infiltrating your foundation and protect your property from water damage.

The waterproofing membrane is added to the concrete, which will help make water ingress impenetrable and easy to maintain. Let us explore and learn how to apply waterproof membranes. 

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How to apply waterproof membranes, and where to apply it?

Regardless of the scale, size, location or type of building, waterproofing membranes are essential to protect the building’s structural integrity and its inhabitants. How to apply waterproof membranes and let-s see the application areas to include;

  • Tanking/ basements
  • Flat Roofs (including Green Roofs)
  • Plant rooms
  • Podiums and balconies
  • Retaining walls
  • Garden beds and planter boxes
  • Concrete water tanks
  • Containment and bunded areas



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How to apply waterproof membranes | Factors to consider for the application

Factors to consider for the waterproofing membrane application

A small technical miss-out might cause undesired results. Below listed are a few details that need to be addressed before answering the question of how to apply waterproof membranes.



  • Building movement must be accommodated by coating materials, which must be abrasion resistant. This is frequently misunderstood, and unbonded screeds are applied on top of thinly applied membranes, which causes mechanical abrasion. This mechanical abrasion is similar to trying to wear through the coating with a brick. Any weak, high, or thin areas might wear through and cause ruptures and blisters.


  • When waterproofing is used beneath a screed, movement accommodation at bond breaker intersections is significantly hampered. As there is no active release zone, the compacted screed limits the coating’s movement when it is released from the bond breaker. We can address this by installing a compressible foam rod to the perimeters before placing the screed. This is further compromised when the mandated DFT is not achieved, drastically lessening the membrane elongation tolerance.


  • Even more prone to elongation failure is uneven film thickness. While thinner applied coatings will rip with even slight movement, thicker coatings can impede mobility. This is the reason why bond breaker technologies are more effective than filleting. Due to the uneven fillet section of the joint sealant, which permits free movement at the thin places and prevents movement at larger fillet zones, an even DFT of coating that is bonded to a compatible joint sealant cannot stretch.


  • Most coating producers need a variety of minimum DFT values depending on the situation. A minimum DFT of 0.6 to 1mm for wall applications and 1 to 1.5mm for floors and horizontal surfaces may be needed in moist interior regions. Depending on the coating material, balconies and podiums may need a minimum DFT of 1.5 to 2 mm, whereas lift pits, pools, and planter boxes may need a minimum DFT of 2 to 3 mm.


  • Low viscosity coatings must have at least three coats, where one cannot achieve anything more significant than 0.5mm WFT due to slump and coating slump. Even at 66% solids, we need to apply three coats to achieve the 0.99mm (1mm) DFT required for floor and horizontal surfaces.


  • Coating DFT is paramount to achieving the optimum performance required by the manufacturer. Reduced coating thickness can result in abrasive damage and reduces elongation properties. Excessive thickness may result in re-emulsification and splitting during curing. Detailed substrate preparation will ensure even film thickness and performance.


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The Best Waterproofing Services in Malta

KIBITEC is Malta’s most trusted and top waterproofing and construction/building contractor.

How to apply waterproof membranes? contact us. KIBITEC will help you identify, analyze and resolve your waterproofing issues. We use high-quality waterproofing systems and recommend the best long-lasting waterproof membranes for your building.

Contact KIBITEC and get a free quote.

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