Waterproof My House

How can I waterproof my house?

Whether your home is brand new or has been around for generations, one of the most important things is that it is properly waterproofed.

Water damage not only causes untold problems to the structure of the house, greatly affecting its sell on value, but can also damage your personal property and valuable possessions. It can also damage the paintwork and finishings in your home.

Large waterproofing jobs, particularly on your roof, can be extremely expensive so it is advisable to perform regular checks on all areas of your home, where water may cause damage, and stop any potential problems before they escalate.

Spring brings with it many pleasures: flowers, sunshine, and the return of baseball season, to name just a few. It also brings with it rain – sometimes lots of rain. All that rain unleashes the eroding power of water upon your house and yard and can cause tremendous damage to your home and its value if left unchecked. Fortunately, a short amount of time spent in upkeep chores can help your home weather spring showers and summer storms. Here are ways to waterproof your home in one weekend.

At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer the best range waterproofing services to rectify your water issues. 

Simple Steps to Waterproofing Exterior Walls

Waterproof My House

Check walls for faults.

Waterproofing external walls are the best solution only if the walls become damp as a result of rainwater or moisture. Before shopping around for waterproofing products, it’s important to eliminate any other causes of structural dampness. It could be anything, from cracks in your bricks or condensation within the wall to a burst water pipe. Once you fix the issue, you can apply a waterproofer as a preventative measure. 

Clean your gutters 

The problem with clogged gutters isn’t only that they may flow over the edge, down your walls; they also retain rainwater, which is gradually absorbed by the roof’s wood or fascia boards, potentially leading to a series of problems, including rotten wood, leaks, and mould. You can avoid all these and keep your home healthy by simply cleaning your gutters twice a year.  

Select the right waterproofer 

A series of waterproofing products are available today to help homeowners protect their homes from external moisture. Here are a few products you should consider:

  • concrete waterproofing coating, which is a cement-like product that adheres to concrete and masonry permanently; it can be applied to any surface, including painted walls;
  • silicate-based concrete sealer, which reacts with the ingredients in masonry and concrete to form a waterproofing coating; this sealer can only be used on unsealed/unpainted walls;
  • Waterproofing paint, which is similar to acrylic wall paint, with the main difference that it delivers better waterproofing performance. It’s very important to choose a breathable formulation that is specially designed to allow walls to breathe and eliminate moisture. The product can be applied to surfaces previously painted.

Use plaster waterproofing additive.

Plastering can help improve aesthetics, make walls more solid, and protect them against moisture ingress. Though most exterior plasters have waterproofing characteristics, you can eliminate water infiltration problems and prevent reoccurrence by simply adding a waterproofing admixture to the plaster.

Prepare your walls for waterproofing.

Irrespective of the product chosen for waterproofing exterior walls, you have to bring your walls in good condition first. This means that you need to use a good-quality filler to repair cracks and patch holes. Allow the filler to dry optimally before grinding. Then sand away rough, uneven areas, remove dust by cleaning the surface with water and let the walls dry completely to ensure good adhesion between the waterproofer and the substrate.

Apply the waterproofer 

You can use a roller or a brush to apply the waterproofer. If a second coat is required, allow the first coat to dry and then apply the second coat fully. Use enough product to create an impenetrable barrier against infiltration.

Test 

Conducting a water-tightness test is very important to evaluate the effectiveness of the products used for waterproofing exterior walls. For this test, water should be sprayed on the wall surface for a couple of hours, keeping the nozzle at a 30-degree angle. Your home will pass the test only if a moisture meter shows there is no moisture. By waterproofing exterior walls, you’ll not only prevent serious damage but also boost the value of your home.  

How to waterproof your home

Make sure the building doesn’t hold water.

You don’t want any space in the house where water is collecting and leaking into the structure. The best way to avoid this is is to make sure the water runs off the building as quick as possible. To do that you need to increase slopes as much as possible because it will make water run off the surface of the building faster. 

Prevent water intrusion

Most of the time, water intrusion happens at critical junctions like the seam between two facade systems. It is of utmost importance for the architect and other professionals involved in the design of the building to understand these junctions properly in order to prevent problems in the future. 

Water intrusion tends to occur either due to a mistake in the design or the installation process. Some of the common mistakes include ineffective use of primers, insufficient preparation of the surface or neglecting the importance of thermal and wind movements of the structure. 

Waterproofing of flat terraces

Waterproofing flat terraces can be challenging because, with a flat surface, water cannot run off the building fast. This could eventually lead to water seepage and a lot of damage to the house. If it’s possible, try to make the terrace slope as much as possible. A slope of 1 in 100 or steeper is recommended for flat terraces, but most importantly it should flow towards drainage outlets. Use smooth surfaces rather than rough surfaces as it can help to increase the speed of the water flow of the building, preventing the pooling of water. 

It’s also best to use a waterproofing membrane, which is a thin layer of water-resistant material which prevents water from seeping into the building. The waterproofing membrane should be placed on top of the concrete. Next, a filler material should be laid. Finally, you need a layer of finish such as tiles, stones or any other durable materials which can endure exposure to the elements. 

Waterproofing of sloping roofs

Waterproofing the roof starts with the cleaning of the substrate surface because all waterproofing membrane requires good adhesion. A high water pressure hose may be the most efficient way of cleaning the substrate. Next, the surface needs to be primed in order to improve the adhesion of the membrane. Primers are necessary to stop the bituminous oils bleeding from the roof. Make sure the surface is dry before applying the primers. 

Then comes the treatment process. Typically, details such as wall to floor type corners, metal flashing terminations and penetrations such as pipes, vents and drains are pre-treated with reinforcing fabric embedded into the liquid membrane or with a flashing grade sealant. Finally, you can apply the liquid membrane to the roof. 

Looking for the best waterproofing company? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered. 

Waterproofing of basements

In order to prevent interior water damage, sealants and coatings can be used to waterproof the basement. As for the exterior, the goals is to prevent water from seeping into the interior by installing exterior drainage systems and coating the exterior walls with a waterproof barrier. 

Waterproofing of toilets

Water damage in the toilet often occurs when the toilet plumbing is not done right. However, if it is done properly by either using a drop slab or with undersung plumbing, it should save you a lot of trouble in the future. If you decide to use the drop slab design, the toilet should be built about a foot below the rest of the slab so as to form a tub where all the plumbing for the toilet can be laid. After that, the tub is filled up with concrete based filler material, and tiles are laid over the top. Here’s some inspiration for choosing tiles: 6 best tiles for an Indian bathroom.

Wherever pipes pass through, holes are punctured through the slab. Then usually it is hidden behind a false ceiling so that any leaks will drip into the false ceiling before it drips into the toilet. These type of leaks can be easily repaired without interfering with the plumbing and overall structure. 

Waterproofing of external walls

Firstly, it is important to understand the cause of the dampness on the external walls. It could simply be rainwater, or it could be cracks in the structure of the building or even a ruptured water pipe. Whatever it is, the problem needs to be fixed first before applying a waterproofer. 

One common problem is clogged gutters, so it’s always important to start with cleaning and maintaining your gutters so that there is no spillover of water. Next, you need to choose a suitable waterproofer. Make sure you select a breathable formulation that is specially designed to allow walls to breathe and eliminate moisture. However, before you apply any waterproofer, it is very important that the walls are first prepared. Use a filler to patch up any holes and cracks and allow it to dry first before sanding away the rough surfaces. The walls should be completely dry before applying the waterproofer. Depending on your needs, a second coat can be applied after the first coat is dry. 

Step Guide To Waterproofing Your House

Step 1 – Waterproofing at the Time of Construction

Waterproofing is best done at the time of the construction. At this step, using high-quality liquid waterproofing compound with cement and sand can be applied for all brickworks and cement works, pillars and foundations, roof slabs, rendering, basements and plastering. When mixed in the right proportion, it prevents segregation and makes a strong, cohesive bond.

For my house, we used Cement Mix Plus, a powerful additive for cement concrete, brick mortars and plasters.

This is the first and most important step of waterproofing your house inside out.

Step 2 – Waterproofing Your Terrace

Your roof or terrace is one area that needs attention because even a minor crack line can worsen over time and cause water seepage and dampness inside. Leakage from roof areas happens with many houses that aren’t waterproofed at the time of the construction stage. To waterproof your roof or terrace, you have first to prepare it, cleaning through the cracks and the entire area.

Use a high-quality crack-fill paste or powder such as Berger Homeshield Crackfill and apply two coats (as required) inside the cracks. For bigger cracks use polymer-modified mortar with HomeShield Advanced Latex Plus. Let it dry completely.

Next, apply a good-quality exterior roof coating such as Berger Homeshield Kool and Seal or Roof Guard to finish off the waterproofing process effectively.

Step 3 – Waterproofing Old and Damaged Plastering

Have extreme weather conditions and rain left your walls in poor condition? Is water seeping in through cracks between the bricks or damaged walls?

Often, old and damaged plastering causes water to seep in, leading to dampness and moisture build-up. This needs immediate attention because it can be fatal to your property.

Ways To Waterproof Your Home In One Weekend

Rain gutter repairs

Nobody likes to clean or repair gutters. However, there are a few ways to make the job easier. First, for clogged downspouts, try using barbecue tongs to reach in and pull the leaves out. This doesn’t always work, but considering the alternative — using a hose to flush the clog out, getting wet and covered with gutter goop — it’s worth a try.

Second, to repair loose gutter nails try replacing them with extra-long lag screws. The lag screws tend to be stronger, hold better and can easily be installed with a cordless drill equipped with a nut driver bit.

Repairing cracks in concrete

Concrete always cracks, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with it that way. For most cracks, less than 1/4″, applying concrete caulk is a good way to make repairs. Just clean the crack out with a high-pressure hose nozzle, let it dry and then apply the caulk into the crack.

For larger cracks, substitute concrete patch for caulk. Large cracks or small, repair is necessary because water that finds its way into cracks will soften the ground underneath and cause more cracking. The situation worsens if the water freezes.

Sticky windows and doors

With all the wet weather that spring brings, wooden windows and doors can’t help but swell and stick. To repair a sticky door or window, first mark where it is sticking. Next, remove the door or window by taking out its hinge pins, prop it up securely and with a hand plane, carefully remove any excess material. Power planes will work, too, but there is a tendency to remove too much. When the wood shrinks back during the drier, warmer days of summer, the gap will be too wide.

For sliding windows, often the trim around them is the culprit and must be removed and reinstalled to allow for more movement. To do this, carefully remove the trim with a flat bar and pull the nails out backwards that is, grasp the nail point with pliers and pull. If the trim was installed properly with finishing nails, you should be able to do this without damaging the wood. When reinstalling, keep the fit snug but not as tight as it was. If you reinstall the trim too loosely, the windows will rattle when the wood shrinks again.

To keep windows and doors from sticking in the first place, make sure that they are sealed with a good coat of paint, including the tops and bottoms. But don’t paint the channels where windows need to slide. Instead, use a light coat of linseed oil as a sealer.

Painting over water damage

The problem with water stains is that painting over them will not make them go away unless you use a primer-sealer first. When looking for a sealer, follow these basic guidelines: First, oil-based sealers usually work better than water-based. Second, choose a sealer that has a high amount of solids. Solids consist of pigments and other elements that do the actual covering of the stain. Paint, hardware and home centres carry primer-sealers (sometimes called sealer-primers) such as Kilz and Zinsser.

One other tip, when using an oil-based sealer, consider using disposable brushes and rollers. Cleaning up after using oil-based products can be messy and often requires that you spend more on paint thinner than your brushes and rollers are worth.

We have a huge range of waterproofing services Melbourne at Hitch Property Constructions that offers stress-free services for any water problem you got! 

Painting and repairing rusty fixtures

It used to be that the only way to do a good paint job over rust was to get out the naval jelly or wire brush and remove the rust first. Thankfully, paint additives are now available to help paint stick to rust while also neutralizing the rust and stopping corrosion from continuing under the paint.

If left untreated, rust will eventually cause your fixtures to lock up. Prevent this by keeping fixtures well lubricated. One of the most common mistakes people make is trying to lubricate outdoor fixtures with light oil or silicon from spray cans. Because these oils are so light, they often evaporate or dilute existing lubrication, thereby making the problem worse. For fixtures like gate hinges and latches, use heavy grease. It will not evaporate, and its heavy viscosity is the best thing for heavy-duty parts. Most auto parts stores have heavy grease.

Depending on what kind of waterproofing you are doing to your home, you should consider contacting your broker. You may qualify for a discount on your home insurance. Your broker is there to help; contact them today to find out more.

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