Understanding cement waterproofing

Concrete and masonry surfaces may receive positive- and negative-side waterproofing using certain types of porous coatings known as cementitious waterproofing coatings.


However, on the side of the surface in the issue where hydrostatic pressure has been applied, positive-side waterproofing forms a waterproof barrier.

Well, in this article I’ll be discussing about cement waterproofing as the following questions will be discussed:

  • What is cement waterproofing?
  • What are the types of cement waterproofing?
  • What are the uses of cement waterproofing?
  • What are the steps involved in cement waterproofing?
  • What are the steps in applying cement waterproofing?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of cement waterproofing?

Ok, let’s begin!


What is cement waterproofing?

Cement waterproofing is the process of applying an impervious material layer to concrete in order to make the structure waterproof and keep it largely unaffected by water. Concrete is a porous, permeable material that absorbs water as well as chemicals and impurities that can cause concrete to deteriorate.

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What are the types of cement waterproofing?

Below are the types of cement waterproofing:

  • Crystalline Admixtures
  • Admixtures
  • Bituminous Coating
  • Liquid Waterproofing Membrane
  • Bituminous Membrane
  • Cementitious Waterproofing

Crystalline Admixtures

Typical forms of crystalline-based systems are dry powders. Crystalline systems really utilise the water that is already present in the concrete to build crystals inside it, effectively blocking the paths for moisture that could otherwise harm the concrete’s water barrier.


Over the past few years, a brand-new kind of waterproofing has been popular everywhere. These additives are mixed into the concrete at the batching plant or on the job site, where they cause a chemical reaction that turns the concrete into a water barrier.

However, water repellents, or crystalline admixtures can all be used as integral concrete waterproofing systems.

Bituminous Coating

Asphalt coating, also known as bituminous coating, is flexible and protective. It is an excellent waterproofing and protective coating, especially for concrete foundation surfaces. Bituminous coating is not meant to be exposed to sunlight because it is made of bitumen-based substance. The prolonged exposure to sunlight causes it to become highly brittle and delicate.

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 Liquid Waterproofing Membrane

A liquid membrane is a thin coating that is typically applied by spraying or rolling on two layers of liquid waterproof after a primer coat. It provides more flexibility than cementitious waterproofing because it forms a rubbery layer on the area where it is applied.

However, the kind of polymer that is utilized to create liquid waterproofing affects how long it will last. Asphalt that has been polymer modified makes up liquid membrane. Membranes made of polyurethane liquid are also utilized for waterproofing.

Bituminous Membrane

Low-angled roof waterproofing can usually be done using bituminous membranes. Self-adhesive and a torch are features of the bituminous membrane. A self-adhesive compound is made up of filler, polymers, and asphalt. The self-adhesive variety has a short shelf life since the membrane’s bonding abilities weaken over time. A mixture of organic liquids that are extremely sticky, viscous, and waterproof make up this material.

However, the bituminous coating on the member is melted for bonding using a torch-on membrane.

Cementitious Waterproofing

The most common kind of waterproofing used in construction is cementitious. Concrete can be waterproofed using products that are readily accessible on the market. This technique is applied in moist places like bathrooms and restrooms.

However, because it is utilized in interior wet spaces like bathrooms and toilets, it is shielded from sunlight and deterioration. As a result, cementitious waterproofing will not experience expansion or contraction.

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What are the uses of cement waterproofing?

Below are the based uses of cement waterproofing:

  • Bridges.
    Railway & Subway Systems.
    Marine Cargo Ports & Docks.

What are the steps involved in cement waterproofing?

Below are the steps involved in cement waterproofing:

  • Application of Primary Coat
  • Heating the Membranes
  • Unrolling the Membrane Sheets
  • Surface Preparation
  • Pressing the Membrane

Application of Primary Coat

However, the structure’s surface, apply a primary coat. Bitumen membranes can be coated with water-based or solvent-based primers.

Heating the Membranes

The burnt-off film that is present on the membrane’s bottom face should be heated with a torch. The membrane is now prepared for adhering to the concrete surface beneath.

Unrolling the Membrane Sheets

The sheets are rolled out on the surface of the structure after being checked for proper alignment and adjusted as necessary.

Surface Preparation

Thoroughly remove all dust, grease, and loose items from the surface. In all membrane-based waterproofing coating systems, surface cleaning is crucial.

Pressing the Membrane

Carefully pressing the membrane will ensure appropriate adhesion to the concrete’s surface. To ensure effective bonding, extra attention must be used around overlaps, edges, and angles.

What are the steps in applying cement?

Furthermore, cement can be used “neat,” or as a grouting material, its typical application is as mortar and concrete, where it is combined with aggregate, an inert substance. Mortar is made by combining cement with sand or crushed stone that must be smaller than 5 mm (0.2 inch). Cement, sand, or another fine aggregate are mixed with a coarse aggregate that is typically up to 19 to 25 mm (0.75 to 1 inch) in size.

However, when concrete is deposited in massive masses, like dams, the coarse aggregate can be as large as 150 mm (6 inches). Mortars are used as surface treatments or to bind bricks, blocks, and stone together in constructions. Concrete is employed in a wide range of construction projects. Road bases are made of dirt and portland cement mixtures. Bricks, tiles, shingles, pipes, beams, railroad ties, and other extruded goods are all made with Portland cement. The goods are supplied ready for installation after being factory-prefabricated. Concrete is the most commonly used construction material in the world today, hence cement production is very common.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of cement waterproofing?


  • Prevents the formation of cracks on the surface of the concrete.
  • Easy application.
  • Increases the lifespan of the concrete structure.
  • Prevents the rusting of reinforcement.
  • Prevents dampness inside the building.
  • Prevents seepages from the ceiling and walls.
  • It reduces the maintenance coast of the building.


  • Bitumen based products have a limited life due to solvent evaporation.
  • Polyurethane protective coating is not very flexible.
  • Polyurethane protective coating hampers the natural breathing capacity of concrete.
  • Polyurethane protective coating has limited pot life the impermeable surface coating allows water to build up below the surface coating.
  • Cementitious waterproofing is the inability to hold up cracks, which further cause leakage.

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What is the best waterproofing for concrete?

One of the best waterproofing materials is polyurethane. It can be applied smoothly and equally penetrates the surface.

However, the polyurethane membrane will seal even the smallest cracks in concrete, lowering the material’s potential to absorb water.

What can I mix with cement to make it waterproof?

Concrete can also be waterproofed in places that are exposed to direct water and sunlight, such as roofs and terraces, using acrylic, polyurethane, or polyurea-based compounds. These methods are all directly used on concrete surfaces.

Does cement need to be waterproofed?

Because concrete is porous, it can absorb chemicals that can deteriorate it as well as water and other waterborne contaminants. Waterproofing is crucial if you want to keep your concrete safe and make sure it has a long, useful life.

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What is cement based waterproofing used for?

Below are the lists of cement waterproofing based on how they are used:

  • Bridges.
    Railway & Subway Systems.
    Marine Cargo Ports & Docks.

How do you permanently waterproof concrete?

The most typical method of waterproofing concrete is to apply a liquid waterproofing solution made especially for that purpose. When applied to the exterior of a concrete wall, liquid waterproofing gel transforms from a thick substance into a rubber-like layer.

What is the difference between normal cement and waterproofing cement?

The typical concrete is not completely waterproof.

However, the terminology can be misleading, waterproof concrete is both damp-proof and watertight, which means that neither liquid water nor soil moisture can pass through the concrete.

Can water seep through cement?

Concrete already has pores in it. This implies that water could be able to penetrate your concrete on its own. Water will nonetheless use such spaces to enter your foundation if you have cracks or poorly sealed cove joints.

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Can water penetrate cement?

Hydrostatic pressure, capillary action, and vapor pressure all contribute to the ability of water to pass through basement walls and concrete slabs on grade.

How long does cement take to become waterproof?

The impacts of rain should be negligible once the concrete is done (between 4 and 8 hours after pouring) and has hardened sufficiently to walk on. The chemical reaction that cures ready-mix concrete might take up to 28 days to complete.

How long does water proof cement last?

If homeowners maintain it as instructed in terms of cleaning and maintenance, their waterproofed concrete should last between 25 and 50 years. (Using a power washer a few times a year should suffice).

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That is all for this article, where we’ve discussed the answers to the following questions:

  • What is cement waterproofing?
  • What are the types of cement waterproofing?
  • What are the uses of cement waterproofing?
  • What are the steps involved in cement waterproofing?
  • What are the steps in applying cement waterproofing?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of cement waterproofing?

I hope you learn a lot from the reading. If you do, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!

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