Concrete tanks are not naturally waterproof. Weather it be a crystalline product or an exterior sealing, if the surface is not prepared properly then failure is inevitable.
Concrete is the world’s most commonly utilized building material. It’s used in residential and commercial construction, bridges and roadways, water containment, sidewalks, driveways and a myriad of other applications.
The reason for concrete’s popularity? It’s versatile and flexible enough for use in many forms, including precast and cast-in-place. Concrete is economical and structures can be built quickly, reducing construction timelines and labor costs. Concrete is durable and highly resistant to fire, explosion and impact. It’s also energy-efficient, sustainable and recyclable.
While concrete provides numerous benefits, it also presents challenges that must be managed to ensure quality results. One of the greatest challenges of working with concrete is cracking. Concrete cracks generally occur for one of three reasons: changes in volume due to drying shrinkage, direct stress due to applied loads or flexural stress due to bending. Whenever the stress within concrete to pull apart exceeds the strength of the concrete to hold itself together, the concrete will crack.
Choosing the Right System
With so many different types of systems available, it’s important to choose the one that’s right for each concrete construction project. Since costs and installation times vary widely between systems, budget and construction timeline should be key considerations.
Consider also what’s at stake if the waterproofing system fails – if a leak jeopardizes zero-tolerance areas such as electronics or computer rooms, you may want to choose a system that’s less likely to become damaged during concrete pours. Ask about the life expectancy of the system you’re considering – some have finite lifecycles while others last the lifetime of the structure.
The best way to protect a concrete structure and achieve an effective, watertight seal is to combine a quality concrete mix with an effective concrete waterproofing system.
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