How to Choose the Right Waterproofing System

Waterproofing has a reputation for leaking and causing damage to buildings.

There are many different types of waterproofing membranes and combinations of systems that waterproofers use and it can be quite confusing when you are choosing a waterproofer for your job.

Waterproofing often fails and we do work for many clients who have water flow and water seepage issues due to a failed membrane which was installed 5-7+ years prior to us receiving the call to fix their problem.

Questions to consider:

How long is the guarantee on the waterproofing done?

What kind of headaches will I have if the membrane fails?

How long past the end of the guarantee time can I expect the membrane last?

 If the waterproofing fails what will be the decoration and structural damage costs?

 Should I get a basic waterproofing system or invest in a more comprehensive system?

Should you get a more comprehensive system or go for a cheaper price?

This is a very good question to ask as the difference in price can be thousands of dollars extra in upfront costs for a more comprehensive waterproofing system compared to a basic system.

There are a wide range of different system types and brands that are available with a waterproofing membranes that can influence the costs and installation duration, such as;

  • What brand are the products being used?
    • Higher-end brands are usually more expensive but have a longer guarantee
  • Liquid applied membranes
    • How many coats of membrane is applied?
      • 2 or 3 coats?
      • Is a reinforcing fleece used?
        • Is the fleece used only on the corners and joins or over the whole area to be waterproofed?
      • In a bathroom (or other internal wet area) will you choose to waterproof below and above the screed or only below the screed?
  • Torch-on membranes
    • Will the membrane need to be UV stable or is it being covered?
  • PVC sheet membranes
    • Do you prefer a product that uses adhesive or a heat welded overlap?
  • Combination systems
    • i.e. Commercial applications for shopping centres may desire a liquid membrane with a PVC sheet membrane over the top.
    • While this would be a very expensive system for an internal wet area the chances of membrane failure are considerably minimised. Commercial situations often opt for this system as a leak can cost thousands more in lost trade.
  • Cementitious membranes
    • Will the membrane be applied below Render?
  • Root resistant membranes
    • Planter boxes and ponds have a bad reputation of causing issues and proper care should be used when choosing the system to be applied to your particular situation.
  • Chemical resistant membranes

We have listed these options not to confuse you but to show you that there are many types of systems that are available and depending on your budget and needs of longevity you may choose one or the other.

Above: Being informed about the wide range of variables will give you the insight to know if your waterproofer has carefully chosen a system that you can really trust will not leak.