Types Of Waterproofing Membrane – The waterproofing membrane is the protective sheet generally laid over a structure to protect it against water or other liquids. They are used in buildings, providing insulation and protection from damp penetration. They also allow heat into the building while keeping damage from weather out.
Waterproof membranes can be applied on walls, roofs, bathrooms, and foundations to prevent damage. Read on!
The rubber membrane is an elastic and flexible membrane that can protect against water penetration in almost any building type, such as basement walls, floors, and roofs. Rubber membranes are available in roll form for large projects or as prefabricated panels easily installed on-site.
Prefabricated rubber membranes consist of a weatherproof rubbered-fabric plastic laminated onto a woven polypropylene sheet and are very easy to install, which has made this type of membrane the most popular choice for waterproofing. This material is preferred because it generally provides excellent long-term performance against water and air penetration.
The PVC membrane is popular for waterproofing, especially for flat or slightly sloped roofs. It can be used as protective material on wooden decks and balconies that require protection from the elements. Also, it is commonly used in swimming pool construction. PVC is an extremely lightweight material that can be easily installed over complex roof forms and large areas, making it the go-to choice for waterproofing roofs with a low slope.
The PE membrane consists of a layer of polyethylene film laminated to a woven polyester fabric. It is made of high-density polyethylene. These materials are unsuitable for attaching to walls but provide a perfect solution for roofing systems with low slopes and flat roofs. This type of membrane is typically used in applications where the top has a pitch of less than 1/20.
This type of membrane consists of synthetic rubber material made from polychloroprene and is very similar to PVC in its application and durability. The only difference between the two is that neoprene can provide up to 33% better protection than the PVC membrane. Neoprene is the preferred choice over Hypalon for heavy-duty applications that require high tear strength, such as swimming pools or roofs with a steep slope.
This type of membrane is most often used on flat roofing projects where stress cracking may be an issue due to freeze-thaw cycles or thermal movement. However, it’s just as popular to use bituminous membranes for concrete waterproofing today. This type of membrane consists of a layer of asphalt material used where severe weather conditions.
The downside to this membrane is that it can be difficult to install. It can crack and peel easily in cold weather conditions and is only available in roll form. A professional contractor must install bituminous membranes.
As the name suggests, this type of membrane consists of coal tar pitch material that has been laminated to the strong woven fabric material. This membrane can be installed in almost any weather and is resistant to UV and ozone degradation.
Coal tar pitch membranes are not only fire-resistant, but they also provide superior adhesion when compared with other types of watertight material. Bituminous coal tar materials have been used since the 18th century for waterproofing structures.
This membrane type is commonly used as a waterproofing material for flat or slightly sloped roofs, particularly those over decks and carports. Tar paper is one of the strongest waterproofing materials available, with a tensile strength of around 4,000 pounds per inch. However, this performance comes at a cost. Tarpaper can be difficult to install, is not durable, and is extremely flammable.
Tar paper should never be installed on standing-seam metal roofs because the heat from the iron can easily ignite the tarpaper. Another downside to this material is that it will wear out after 1-2 years in an outdoor environment.
The plastic membrane is a lightweight polyethylene film used for roofing and waterproofing applications where a strong, flexible material is required.
This type of membrane comes in a roll form bonded to an adhesive that allows it to be hung from the roof deck until cured. It can also be used with various underlayment materials to provide additional protection against wind uplift and thermal movement. Professional roofing contractors typically install these types of membranes.
Modified bitumen comprises an adhesive coated onto a non-woven polyester or fiberglass scrim. The top surface of this material is typically covered with mineral granules designed to provide additional protection against UV and heat degradation.
This membrane type is a popular choice for roofing projects due to its flexibility, durability, and relatively low cost. It can be used on both steep-slope and flat roofs and in conjunction with various underlayment materials. Professional roofing contractors primarily install modified bitumen membranes.
The two most popular types of thermoplastic membrane include PVC and TPO, both made from a highly plasticized formulation designed to provide a high degree of resistance against damage caused by weather conditions such as sunlight and moisture.
Thermoplastic membranes are available in roll form and modified bitumen sheeting, but they require a heat welding process to properly bond the seams during installation. They also tend to be more expensive than other types of waterproofing materials.
This type of membrane is typically made from a modified asphalt material mixed with solvents designed to provide application flexibility. The membrane can be applied in multiple coats, allowing installers to build thicknesses anywhere between 40 and 100 mils or more, depending on the substrate.
Liquid applied membranes are ideal for use on concrete or wood substrates. This material can be installed on exterior decks, slabs, or walkways.
EPDM is a type of rubber membrane that is known for its high degree of chemical resistance and durability in harsh weather conditions, including sunshine, rain, and freeze-thaw cycles. It’s also self-adhering and requires no special tools or adhesive to properly install.
Another benefit of EPDM is its relatively long service life, typically lasting at least 25 years, which means there’s little maintenance required. This type of membrane can be used for both flat and moderately sloped roof applications and other waterproofing projects such as pond liners, below-grade waterproofing systems, and fountains.
There are many different waterproofing membranes on the market, and choosing the right one for your project can be difficult. However, it’s important to consider durability, lifespan, and material costs when making your decision to ensure that you make an informed choice.