Tag Archives: dampproofing

What’s in a Name? How ACI is changing the discussion on waterproofing

For as long as anyone can remember, the construction industry has used the word ‘waterproof’ to describe construction materials. People commonly refer to something as being waterproof if it holds water in or out and does not leak. However, the word waterproof is technically not defined this way. Most dictionaries define it as being impervious to water, that water cannot penetrate it at all. This raises a serious question: Can anything really be completely impervious to water?

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Understanding waterproofing

Moisture infiltration can cause serious damage within a structure. When water in liquid form is present, the impact can be catastrophic—the structure can become uninhabitable. There are various methods used to address water penetration within a structure, and two of the most common techniques are waterproofing and dampproofing. Both these options can prevent moisture, but waterproofing will resist the passage of water under hydrostatic head pressure. In other words, it stops liquid water penetration when the water is in contact with the waterproofing material. In comparison, dampproofing only resists water in the absence of this hydrostatic pressure.

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