Structural Waterproofing

Yassar AltafWhat is Structural waterproofing and how important is it that you get it right?

Structural waterproofing techniques can be used to resolve a range of problems from waterproofing damp basements, underground vaults, cellars and tunnels to protecting car park decks, water treatment plants and swimming pools.

You can break down the main areas of use into three main categories, this includes:

  1. Waterproofing to create a dry environment. This covers areas such as
    – Domestic basements
    – Underground transport systems
    – Tunnels
    – Lift pits
  2. Waterproofing for protection against deterioration. For example
    – Multi-storey car park decks
    – External balconies
    – Highway structures
  3. Waterproofing for functionality, such as
    – Swimming pools
    – Water and sewage treatment works
    – Wet rooms

It can be seen from the above applications that structural waterproofing is vitally important as significant parts of the UK’s infrastructure are reliant on it. It is therefore even more important that the correct system is chosen for each application. Structural waterproofing below ground is a highly specialised operation and must be undertaken by contractors and designers who have the requisite levels of skill, understanding and experience. Failures resulting from inadequate specifications or poor workmanship can be very costly.

Choosing the right system
To help choose the right system, BS 8102:2009 gives recommendations and guidance on how to deal with and prevent the entry of water from surrounding ground into a structure below ground level. It covers three main types of waterproofing: Type A – barrier applied to the structure, Type B – integral waterproofing, and Type C – cavity drainage/water management system.

(Click here to find out more about the basement waterproofing concept)

To ensure buildings remain impenetrable to water, whilst meeting the building standards of today and the future, a measured and evaluative approach to the selection of a product needs to be taken. Careful consideration must be given to the selection of the product, or products, as a single solution may not be right for the project.
All round solutions for waterproofing
With more than 100 years of experience in structural waterproofing, Sika is able to provide a full range of waterproofing solutions for different requirements for both new build and refurbishment projects. To find out more visit

3 thoughts on “Structural Waterproofing

  1. Rightly said . To add ,the designers need to be aware of the need of the waterproofing system . Most of the structural designer don’t do risk assessment at design stage resulting in a huge risk to the structure once dewatering is switched off.
    This is really a sad state in middle east where most of the deep basement structures leak.

  2. Luke, this has been a really helpful read. My husband is building a house for us out in the country and we’ve been debating about whether to have a basement build or not. I’m assuming that I’ll have more answers to my questions in the link you’ve provided to find out more about the basement waterproofing concept.

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