Installing a concrete slab is one of the most popular methods of commercial roofing followed at present. Concrete slabs are strong, durable, and easy to build. However, when it comes to water leaks, they are no exceptions. Therefore, if you own a building that has a concrete slab, you need to keep in touch with a reliable waterproofing contractor in Singapore.
Concrete is a mixture prepared with cement, sand, water, and gravel. It can withstand heavyweights and is not 100% waterproof unless it consists of waterproofing admixtures. However, this can take a different turn depending on the age of the slab and the quality of the mixture. Concrete has minute pores on the surface, and at times they retain moisture, which leads to interior leaks.
What Causes Concrete Slab Leakage?
Most leaks on concrete slabs happen through cracks, pores, and joints that are typically found in the structure. As water finds its easiest way down, it seeps through these cracks and holes, causing leakage on the other side. Here are some common causes of concrete slab leakage:
- Faulty structural design, poor designing, and overloading may cause cracks in slabs.
- Poor quality mixtures can create pores on concrete slabs that result in capillary action.
- Extreme weather conditions such as continuous heavy showers and scorching solar heat can create cracks by expansion and contraction of the material.
- Poor proportioning and improper mixing can result in the honeycombing of concrete with larger holes.
- Structural defects like effectively filled expansion joints and cold joints can cause water seepage.
- Low-grade raw materials also create pores that retain water.
- The growth of vegetation on the surface of the slab often causes seepage, as the roots of plants create cracks and abrasion.
- Improper grading of the slab causes the pooling of water on the surface, which often results in seepage.
Signs of Water Leakage in Concrete Slabs
You can often detect leaks on concrete slabs just by a look. If you notice damp spots, visible cracks, growing plants on the surface, or find any difference in water pressure in taps, most likely your concrete slab is having a leak that needs to be repaired.
How to Stop Concrete Slab Leakage?
Concrete slab leakage can only be prevented by waterproofing. Waterproofing a concrete slab can be done exteriorly, interiorly, or within the concrete itself. Below are some waterproofing tips for concrete slabs.
- Seal the cracks well with binging materials like cement, lime, and waterproof membrane.
- Apply concrete patching compounds like Epoxy resins, Acrylic resin on cracks using a trowel or a putty knife.
- Seal the surface of the slab by applying silicate-based sealant with brushes or a paint roller. It reacts with the lime in the concrete and expands, filling up the minute pores.
- Seal the expansion joints and other construction joints in the concrete structure using sag polyurethane sealant.
- Add waterproofing admixtures when preparing the concrete mixture to cast the slab. As they consist of water repellent substances like oil, petroleum, powdered inert filler materials, and hydrophilic crystalline materials, covering pores and preventing seepage will be effective.
- Apply layers of waterproofing membranes on the slab.
- Apply screed of C:S ratio 1:1 to 1:4, along with waterproofing admixtures directly on the surface of the slab.
- If you run out of options, apply bituminous or a layer of coal tar on the surface as a waterproofing substance.
- Add water seal joints when laying marble or waterproofing tiles on the slab.
When to Call a Waterproofing Company?
Waterproofing a concrete slab is crucial as negligence can cause serious consequences like structural damage to your building. However, it is easier said than done when it comes to tasks like waterproofing. Unless you do it professionally, there are chances that you might leave pores and cracks behind. Call a reliable waterproofing company in Singapore and put an end to all your concrete slab leaks immediately without risking further damage.