Once the plasterboard’s finished and the internal wall and ceiling linings are all sorted, it’s time for the bathroom, laundry, kitchen and powder room areas to be waterproofed.
Bathrooms are, by nature, wet spaces. But you want to be sure that water doesn’t leak through walls and cause mold or other damage. To avoid leaks and excess moisture build-up, take care to waterproof your bathroom wall, floor and ceiling.
Behind the shower is breeding ground for mold, mildew and rot. Be sure to apply a moisture barrier before installing your finished wall. This will keep water droplets from reaching the wall material. Wallboard should be rated for a moist environment. Finally, be sure to seal your walls. Beyond the shower, tile is easy to maintain and keeps water out of the walls.
Bathrooms are exposed to significant levels of moisture. Splash water in the vicinity of showers and bath tubs and all water sources create water vapor that condenses on the walls and floor. Even minor mishaps such as an overflowing tub can release major amounts of moisture. Frequently the bathroom also contains a washing machine that may leak.
The challenge is to prevent moisture damage in the substrate.
Need of Bathroom Waterproofing
Proper waterproofing in wet areas of bathroom is absolutely vital – water leaking into floor and wall spaces can very easily rot structural timbers and do some heartbreaking damage to the bathroom as well as the entire house.
The worst bit about this kind of damage is that you won’t normally realize it’s happening until the worst of the damage has already been done.
Terrible damage from badly installed waterproofing has been a big problem in Pakistan, and to deal with that there have been quite a few changes to the waterproofing requirements in recent years.
How we carry out the overall waterproofing process
Waterproofing of bathroom involves painting a liquid rubber membrane onto areas that are likely to see water, so as to create a kind of ‘sealed’ area. Obviously the purpose is to help contain any water that might leak out (perhaps through failed grouting or joins, or leaky plumbing fixtures), so that it doesn’t cause any damage.
Edges and corners need to first be sealed using a ‘neutral cure’ silicon which won’t damage the waterproofing membrane. Likewise, a ‘polyfab’ bandage (short for ‘polyester fabric’, if you’re wondering) is also used over these joins to create what’s called a ‘bond breaker’. The bond breaker is flexible, and helps to decouple the waterproofing membrane at joins so that small movements in the building over time don’t ruin the membrane. A bond breaker is also required around penetrations through the waterproofing membrane-like tap outlets and drains.
The waterproofing membrane is normally applied under the edges of the polyfab bandage to ensure that it’s fully soaked through and to make sure it properly adheres to the wall or floor. The membrane is then painted across walls and floors using a roller. Typically two coats will be used, the second one rolled at right angles to the first (if the first coat is rolled vertically, second coat rolled horizontally).
Waterproofing is generally needed anywhere where there’s a water outlet. This includes:
- shower stalls
- bath areas
- bathrooms in general (depending on other materials used)
- wet areas in kitchens
- around all penentrations in areas to be waterproofed (e.g. taps, drains)
How high and wide walls and floors will need to be waterproofed depends very much on what’s being waterproofed, and on the other materials that are being used in that area.
Shower recesses, for example, normally require waterproofing to a height of 1800mm. How far along the wall and floor the waterproofing membrane needs to extend will depend on things like:
- the size of the shower stall
- whether or not the shower stall is entirely enclosed
- whether it uses a pre-moulded base
The materials that are used in the floor of a bathroom will also play a role in what’s required for waterproofing – for instance, while compressed fiber cement floor and concrete floors might offer water resistance themselves, if the bathroom floor uses timber-based materials like plywood or particleboard instead it’ll need to be fully waterproofed.
Providing the best solution to bathroom waterproofing problems
Modern designs also favor floor-level showers, in which the shower water is not collected by a tray, but flows to a drainage point directly from the floor covering Moisture damage developing in the building structure, unless you have installed suitable waterproofing.
The solution to this is Waterproof bonded tile assemblies. Since bituminous waterproofing is difficult to install together with tiles, bonded waterproofing assemblies are now the preferred solution.
With our products, you can quickly and reliably install a waterproof bonded assembly with tile or natural stone coverings. If the substrate is not suitable for tiling, extensive additional work and waterproofing can be required. This makes it easy to create an instant waterproof underlayment for tile installation over substrates as diverse as masonry, stud frame constructions of wood or metal, and mixed/existing substrates in renovation projects.
One of our products is a polyethylene membrane with a grid structure of square cavities, each cut back in a dovetail configuration and an anchoring fleece laminated to its underside.
It serves as a waterproofing membrane, a vapor pressure equalization layer to accommodate moisture occurring at the underside of the substrate and an uncoupling layer for problematic substrates.
Another products is a polyethylene, waterproofing mat with an anchoring fleece on both sides. It is suitable for waterproofing in conjunction with tiled surfaces on walls and floors. The high water vapour diffusion resistance of makes it suitable as a vapour barrier in bonded floor assemblies with tile coverings. Moreover, we have a sealing band to seal mat connections and wall to floor connections. We also have a two component sealant adhesive based on a solvent free acrylate dispersion and a reactive cementitious powder. It is suitable for adhering and sealing overlaps of membranes. In addition, it can be used to tightly adhere the sealing band.