The Most Apt Basement Waterproofing System. ( Part-1 )

The Most Apt Basement Waterproofing System. (Part-1)

In this article, we will delve into the complexities of Basement Waterproofing, exploring why it is considered one of the most intricate waterproofing applications. Additionally, we will provide a recommendation for the most suitable system for basement waterproofing.
As we are well aware, basements, being situated below ground level, are susceptible to structural damage due to their location.
The primary causes of sub-structure failure are as follows:
• Water levels
• Pressure from rising water
• Moisture ingress into the structure
• Chemicals present in the soil
• Tree roots and plant growth
• Soil heat
• Movements in the ground
Given these challenging conditions, it is essential to have a robust waterproofing system that can effectively counter and withstand these factors.
Conventional waterproofing systems often involve liquid or sheet membrane applications. However, in basements, applying liquid membrane waterproofing can be challenging if the substrate is already damp from water, as it hinders proper bonding. Similarly, self-adhesive or adhesive-installed sheet membranes face the same issue. Moreover, when the retaining wall lacks space between the soil and the structure, positive side waterproofing using these systems is not feasible.
The most suitable approach is to install the membrane on the Horizontal PCC (Plain Cement Concrete) and Vertical PCC before casting the RAFT or Retaining Wall.
Based on our decade-long experience, we have found that HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) membrane is the clear choice for Basement Waterproofing, considering the circumstances and site situations, particularly in Mumbai.
Now, let’s explore the major advantages of using a Fully Bonded Pre-Applied HDPE membrane for Basement Waterproofing:
1) Full Bonding: The HDPE membrane gets fully bonded to the poured concrete, eliminating the possibility of water migration. This is the most significant technical advantage.
2) Ease of Application: The membrane is loosely laid, making the application process easy and remarkably fast.
3) High Impact and Puncture Resistance: The HDPE membrane possesses self-protective qualities due to its high resistance to impact and punctures.
& many more… the list of advantages is long.
Of course, like any product or system, the HDPE membrane is not immune to damages. 
While it offers excellent protection, it is not invulnerable. 
Even a 300mm thick RCC wall can crack, and a 2m deep raft foundation can rift or topple. It would be unwise to assume that a 1.2mm or 1.5mm thick membrane will remain intact under all site conditions.
To increase the odds of a completely waterproof and leak-free basement, it is essential to have a backup system in place. When the HDPE membrane may fail at certain points due to various reasons, the backup system becomes the second line of defense. By adopting this approach, we significantly improve the chances of achieving the desired outcome – a leak-free structure. Moreover, even with the combined system, the HDPE membrane remains the most viable option, both technically and commercially.
In the next article, we will explore the two best methods for creating an effective backup system.
“Success is not about avoiding challenges, but in finding the right solutions to overcome them.”
Waterproofing & Restoration Contractor