10 Best Building Waterproofing Methods? – [With Images]

During my carrier, I could find so many water leaking problems. I got used to treating them with so many methods. I realized the same method was not suitable for all water leaking problems. Finally, I could find the types of waterproofing methods for any water leaking problem. Here I can describe all in detail.

I can describe it all in detail below. So you can select the best type of waterproofing method as it is relevant to the water leaking that you have.

These are the best types of waterproofing methods.

1. Cementitious Application

Cementitious waterproofing
Cementitious waterproofing Image source: https://chemind.com.my/cementitious-waterproofing-membrane-coating/

This is a liquid-applied membrane waterproofing method. This is a cementitious coat that is mixed with water when it mixes, forming a chemical reaction that generates non-soluble crystalline formation. This blocks the pores and small cracks in the concrete and capillary tracks of the concrete. It acts as a permanent sealer of the concrete.

This chemical reaction will not only act on the surface but also acts deep in the concrete cracks. The crystal complex does not allow the water to pass, but it lets it pass through the vapor. So inner water can be passed with the layer as a vapor. And also, moisture surface is needed to form the crystal when it applies.

Due to the 17 reasons, the waterproofing membrane will fail. So it is important to protect the layer in numerous ways.


  • Non-toxic
  • It can be used for wet or dry surface
  • Do not need any sealing, lapping of seams at corners
  • Vapourble and breathable
  • Do not need leveled surface


  • Less flexibility
  • Can be used on both horizontal and vertical surfaces

2. Cementitious Rigid Application

Cementitious Rigid Waterproofing
Cementitious Rigid Waterproofing Image source: yunyanchina.com

For the non-changeable dimensions objects, we can use this cementitious rigid application. Before you apply this you should make sure that there will be no crack formation and it is stable and solid.

Polymer powder is used for the polymeric binder to improve the adhesion of the waterproofing membrane to a different substrate, cohesive strength, flexibility, and its abrasion resistance.

You can use standard waterproofing slurries polymer-modified, prepacked dry mix mortars. It can be used by mixing the water and applied by brush or roller or airbrush spraying. Due to the cohesion and adhesion of the polymer-modified cementitious compound, it can resist the negative and positive sides of the water pressures.

3. Cementitious Flexible Application

Flexible Cementitious Waterproofing
Flexible cementitious waterproofing Image source:https://wet2drysolution.com/blog/flexible-cementitious-waterproofing.html

The Cementitious Flexible application provides the best flexibility, high elongation at break, and low permeability. This is a mixture of additives, polymer dispersions, sand, cement, and water.

When it applies on the wetted surface, bulk water is evaporated, and the polymer forms a tough, rubbery film. This process stops the water from leaking side and outside. But vapor can be transferred.

After this process, carbonate and chloride penetration is considerably stopped. You can apply on the surface, which is subjected to shrinkage, vibration, movement, stress, and cracks formation.

The best places to apply cementitious flexible application

  • Swimming-pools,
  • Groundwater tanks
  • Concrete roofs
  • Balconies.
  • Podium decks
  • Earth retains a foundation on both positive and negative sides.

4. Bituminous Coating

Bituminous coating waterproofing
Bituminous coating waterproofing

Bitumen is widely used in waterproofing. It can be used as a membrane as well as a coating. As a membrane, we can use this on rooftops. As well as for the coatings we can use it for sealing the surface such as bathrooms, concrete floors, swim pools, and many more.

Bitumen is a wide range of used products in the construction field. This is a byproduct of the petroleum refining process where it can be used under 25C after it applies. That place should not exceed the temperature of 25C.

The reason is it can be melt and flow away. The surface of the bitumen can be crack due to solar radiation, heat, and atmospheric oxidation. Due to the thermal cracks, there can be blister formation. Because of this water can be leaked.

Still, people use hot bitumen, as well as emulsion-based bituminous, are used due to easiness of usage.

Where to apply bitumen coatings for waterproofing?

  • Below-grade floor slabs
  • Car decks, Podiums.
  • Roof terraces, Balconies, Patio
  • R.C. Roofs
  • Waterproofing of terraces,
  • balconies, kitchens, and toilet floors

5. Acrylic Coatings

Acrylic coating waterproofing
Acrylic coating waterproofing

This is a liquid-applied membrane. This can be easily applied to the surface with a spraying or rolling brush, or hand brush. These kinds of coatings reflect 90% of the sun’s radiation. Before applying this surface should be clear with small particles, and a dry surface is required.

It is difficult to maintain the thickness of the layer. If it is less thickness, it can be damaged, and also, if it is more thickness, it can crack. Both of these are heavily damaging the quality of the waterproofing. There fore controlling the thickness is essential when you use it.

These membranes are not able to resist abrasions. Hence it should be protected when it applies. It can be damaged by sunlight also; hence application of protection is essential as soon as the curing process is finished.

For the special scenarios, you can use a fiber net if you need it.

6. Polyurethane Coatings

Polyurethane coating waterproofing
Polyurethane coating waterproofing Image source: https://www.epodex.com/en/resin/polyurethane-coating/

Polyurethane coatings are wide use for the outdoor waterproofing process like water tanks, water treatment plants, and many more. This withstands expansion and contraction due to its flexibility. And also, this is a highly UV-resistant compound. The coat is well adhesive to the surface, and it produces the best waterproofing ability.

When this is applied, you have to use some other coatings to keep the protection of the layer. As well as applying perpendicular layers to increase the laying ability and maintain the layer thickness of the coatings. The polyurethane coatings are well resistant to the acids and alkalis effects.

Polyurethane coatings can be used for,

7. Torch Membrane System

Torch membrane waterproofing
Torch membrane waterproofing

Bitumen is coated on both sides of polyester or glass fiber fabric. These prefabricated polymers are modified for economic ease of application. The underside should be melted as it needs to bond to the surface. This can be done with a gas torch, and it needs to keep enough distance from the joint.

It is 100mm and depends on the product that you use. Sometimes you have to use primers if the product needs to use that. For maximum efficiency, you must follow the guideline of the product methodology. Each step is well connected with the others.

When you use this, you can have the proper bondability, good flexibility, totally impermeable, and resistance to high temperature. When you use this for walls, you should prime the walls by using bitumen recommended by the manufacturer.

The extra portion of 300mm should be kept for the ends, and also the continuity of the membrane lap is 150mm the applied area shall not damaged for any purpose due to any reason. If that happens, water will be leaking to out.

Torch membrane systems are mainly used in,

  • Decks
  • Underground concrete works
  • Footing
  • Tie beams
  • Raft foundations
  • Stop Any chemical reaction with water

8. Loose Laid System

Loose laid waterproofing
Loose laid waterproofing

A Loose laid system is easier to use than torch membrane systems. Main use the PVC sheets with high heating. The heating temperature is 500-600 Celsius degrees, and it will vary with the outer temperature. Here only needed to weld only joints, not lie the torch systems. 

Before laying the membrane surface should be clear and not with harder parts. If there is mechanical parts inside the laying, it should increasing the joint’s length.

The high bond strength at the membrane substrate interface of an adhered system requires not only a smoother surface.  When you use this, leaking detection is not easy. This is a layer any when water is leaking it can go anywhere from the downside of the layer.

Sheet PVC membranes are easily used for the bathrooms and tanks etc. 

9. Self-Adhesive Systems

Self-adhesive waterproofing
Self-adhesive waterproofing Image source:http://www.understandconstruction.com/waterproofing-membranes.html

For the fast, simple, and safe installs of waterproofing, you should use this kind of method. There will be a prime coat before using the membranes, and it should be applied on the surface, and then adhesive tapes should be used on the surface.

Due to the primer, the surface is more adhesive and according to the surface, shape sheets should be sized. It is easy, but there is a backing layer that should remove, and this will complicate the work more than we expect. You no need to use any gas torch or air heater to lay the membranes.

When the surface is damaged, water can be leaked into the structure. Due to the sheet, it is difficult to find the water leaking place. Therefore do not damage the layer

10. Admixtures Application

Admixture as waterproofing
Admixture as waterproofing Image source:https://www.waterproofmag.com/2019/09/admixtures-as-waterproofing/

Water affected the concrete badly after the curing is done. There are so many ways to protect the structure from the water. Whatever method we use structure must be protected from the permeability of the concrete to protect the reinforcement of the structure.

There are so many ways to waterproof the external, considering the structural surface. But there are ways to stop the permeability of the concrete inside. Using the admixtures is one thing. There are many admixtures in the market. So you must select the best one for your purpose. There are 3 main categories.

01. Hydrophobic, or Water-Repellent

These materials form a water-repellent layer along with pores in the concrete, but the pores themselves remain open

02. Finely Divided Solids

Material such as talc, clay, siliceous powders, hydrocarbon resins, and coal-tar pitches densify the concrete and physically limit the passage of water through the pores.

03. Crystalline Products

These are hydrophilic materials that increase the density of calcium silicate hydrate or generate crystalline deposits that block concrete pores to resist water penetration.


After referring all in detail, we can mainly categorize waterproofing into two. Those are

  • Internal waterproofing
  • External waterproofing

Waterproofing types and methods depend on the nature of the waterproofing system. According to the place that you are going to waterproof, there are specified sealants, fabrics, and coatings. And also, for a specified waterproofing system, both coatings and also membranes are not compatible. Waterproofing can be failed for many reasons. So protection is essential after you do it.

So it is a great approach to understanding waterproofing methods and systems according to the place that you are going to use.

Related Topics

Torch membrane system for waterproofing

Owner Randy Organ

Randy Organ

I am Randy Organ, a researcher as well as 10 years experienced technician for home construction. My hobby is studying new problems and seek well technical and modern solutions. Water is an invaluable resource. But it hurt much more to many more industries. Structures and electrical are a few of them. Here I try to find ways and solutions for the water leaking