Liquid-applied waterproofing membranes 101: What are they, and how do they work

After reading a LinkedIn discussion about the best waterproofing membrane system, I decided to write this article. It was to me that so many people don’t fully appreciate the advantages that liquid-applied waterproofing membranes offer over traditional membrane systems (bituminous EPDM, PVC sheets, etc.). Speak to a professional waterproofing contractors Gauteng before choosing to use liquid applied waterproofing membranes

Liquid applied systems refers to products that are liquid in form and can be applied cold without any preheating. These products can be acrylic, polyurethane, bituminous, or a combination of both.

These are the key advantages of liquid applied systems over traditional membrane systems (compare prices between waterproofing companies in Pretoria).

Flexibility – Liquid systems can be applied to any roof, even old rooftops with antennas, satellite dishes or solar panels. It is possible to seal and coat any cracks around an obstacle.

Simple repair/renewal – A quick patch job is possible if needed. It is easy to recoat existing coatings with minimal preparation. However, damaged membranes might require the complete removal of the substrate, cleaning and a new installation.

Simple to install – Acrylic base is a lower-end liquid coating that can be used for DIY projects. They are easy to install, even for non-professionals. This greatly reduces the cost for waterproofing and maintaining homes.

Monolithic– Liquid coatings are applied in one piece, unlike conventional membranes which are rolled out in sheets. This means that there is no risk of water getting between the seams

But liquid applied systems cannot be fully understood without considering potential disadvantages.

Chemical reactions – Coatings can react with various substrates (old coatings and pigments, for example) which may lead to failure of the materials or poor adhesion.

Humidity – Many liquid-applied systems are sensitive to humidity. Therefore, it is important that the surface be completely dry. This can cause problems in humid regions where there is a lot of rain and humidity.

Poor surface preparation: To ensure proper bonding between the substrate and the coating, the substrate must have a porous and clean surface. The coating could become detached otherwise.

The final decision on which product to use will depend on the needs of the project team. As a result of major advancements in polyurethane technology and ms-polymer technologies, I believe liquid-applied waterproofing will play a greater role in the future.

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