Damproofing vs. Waterproofing: What’s The Difference?

On May 21, 2015 by Edwin Smith

When it comes to protecting your basement from water, there are two terms that are often used interchangeably: damproofing and waterproofing. The truth is, however, they are not the same process and it’s important to understand the difference so you can make an educated decision about the option that is best for your home before you hire a company such as AffordableWaterProofingLlc.Com. Let’s look at each of these processes in turn, shall we?

Damproofing

Damproofing

As the name suggests, damproofing is a process that is designed to slow down the flow of water into a space, such as a basement. Generally, this effect is achieved through a process of applying a special asphalt coating to a concrete surface, such as the foundation of a home. The important thing to understand that these “dams” that are created do not stop the transmission of water. They are designed to simply slow down the flow of water. Damproofing is an effective way of dealing with moisture, but is less effective at dealing with the flow of actual water into the home. One of the issues that can arise is that the coating can over time become brittle. When that happens, the coating can begin to flake off and become ineffective at blocking moisture from entering the basement.

Waterproofing

Waterproofing

Waterproofing, on the other hand, is designed to actually block the flow and seepage of water into the home. Instead of a paint or a spray being used to form a barrier, waterproofing methods utilize a heavy sheet of vinyl. When installed properly, the result is a complete barrier against the transmission of both water and vapour.

There are two types of waterproofing: interior and exterior. With interior waterproofing, the vinyl sheet is applied between the drywall and the exterior foundation walls. To do this, it is necessary to remove the existing drywall (which, if there is existing leaks or water damage, will likely be damaged and moldy anyway) so that the vinyl can be easily inserted. In addition, it is necessary to dig down into the concrete of the foundation so that the vinyl can be run under the foundation boards, near the studs. This may seem like an extensive procedure (and it is) but these steps are necessary if a waterproof seal is too achieved. Skipping any of these steps will result in a compromised effect.

Exterior waterproofing is another, less invasive, procedure. In this method, a sheet of vinyl is also applied to the walls of the house, only in this case the vinyl is applied to the exterior of the house. With exterior waterproofing, it is necessary to dig a trench around the exterior of the house so that a plastic sheet can be placed between the outer foundation wall and the surrounding soil. This can be very disruptive and cause quite a lot of mess, because it may be necessary to break up existing hard structures such as driveways, patios and driveways.

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