Care for home during monsoons

Last Updated: Tue, Jun 21, 2011 18:10 hrs
Care for home during monsoons

We all have fond memories of the rains since our childhood - impromptu holidays from school, splashing about in muddy puddles, or maybe simply getting wet in the pouring rain.

However along with the joyous moments and relief from the scorching summers, the monsoon also brings with it a series of problems, some examples are, leakages in your house, damp walls, allergies and other health issues.

Damp walls in any building are of great concern, as they often lead to the growth of mold, mites and bacteria which create an unhealthy environment and might lead to multiple health problems.

Dampness also leads to formation of fungus. The formation of fungicide poses health hazards such as asthma and other breathing related ailments.

Water may be an essential element for any structure during the initial setting and curing period. However, prolonged exposure to water is harmful for the structure.

Therefore it is important to have adequate waterproofing under the direction of a waterproofing consultant.

The durability of any building depends on two factors - structure and waterproofing. The adequacy of these factors determines the strength, durability and life span of a building.

Any building which does not have structural strength is bound to get affected over a period of time.

Similarly, if any construction is not well protected through adequate waterproofing treatment, it will get affected through gradual degradation in the quality of RCC columns, beams and mother slabs. Poor structure or waterproofing can eventually lead to the collapse of the structure.

Consequences of inadequate waterproofing:

Leakage can cause damage to the structure.

Furthermore, it can also cause dampness in the walls and might lead to formation of fungus. Often leakage from the window panes cause damage to the internal walls.

Inadequate waterproofing can lead to leakages from water tanks or underground reservoir. In addition leakages cause corrosion to the structure and can damage electrical panel and electric and switch box.

Effects of inadequate waterproofing treatment:

Improper use of chemical/s and execution of 'over specified' technical requirements often lead to an increase in cost
Residents of the top-most floor of a building often face acute leakage problems
Leakage from the toilets / bathroom / kitchens often cause discord amongst the co-residents

Furthermore, leakages can lead to formation of fungicide and the dampness can cause chronic diseases

Leakages could also cause electrical short circuit that could lead to fire
Dampness may cause instability and lead to structural collapse

Disputes arising out of in-adequate waterproofing treatment:-

Apart from cost factor it also leads to loss of goodwill and of business for the builder, promoter and the developer.

Litigation issues may arise because of the leakage , the dampness , the structural degradation, the damage of re-enforcement, the damage of interior items and the damage to paint and plaster damage

Failure in rendering proper waterproofing treatment may lead to negative media publicity against the concerned builder, promoter and the developer

Steps For Successful Waterproofing Treatment:

. Site inspection by a qualified Waterproofing Consultant (Waterproofologist) known as the 'Building Doctor'

. Proper diagnosis of the source of problem and analysis of the nature of the problem

. Appropriate selection and preparation of 'customized technical specifications' by Waterproofing Consultant, helps in resolving chemical issues pertaining to a specific problem

Ingress of water can cause dampness and leakage problems at home and it occurs primarily due to:

. Seepage of rain water during monsoons

. Pipeline leakage

. Leakage from trapped water

. Damage caused due to pipeline cut outs

There are several forms of waterproofing which can be used to tackle the issue of wet walls, water seepage, etc.

a) Latex based waterproofing treatment is the most cost effective method of treatment of particular type of problem. In this mode a liquid waterproofing chemical is mixed with cement and water and applied on the affected portions using a brush. Two coats of the mixture is required to be used for effective solution.

b) Acrylic Polymer based waterproofing treatment- This is a liquid based water proofing chemical which is mixed and applied using a brush. Two coats of the mixture need to be applied on the affected areas. Ready mix components are also available where cement addition is not required

c) Epoxy based waterproofing treatments- This product is applied using a brush or by spray-painting method. These are generally single or double component products. The chemical is available in water base and oil base.

d) Crystalline coatings using crystallization method- this method includes chemicals in the form of a dust. This is diluted with water and applied on the affected areas using a brush.

e) Pressure Grouting and Atmospheric Grouting- In the pressure grouting method chemicals are injected into the RCC to fill the void and render waterproofing using pressure grouting machine. In atmospheric grouting method no grouting machine is used. The waterproofing chemical is placed near the affected areas and is allowed to flow into the void under the influence of the atmospheric pressure.

f) Injection grouting method- This method is used for areas, which have a small diameter and small depth. An injection grouting machine is used for this application.

g) Guiniting and Shotcreting- Here mortar mixed with waterproofing chemical is thrown upon the effected surface at high speed and pressure using Guiniting or shotcreting machine. The mixture clings onto the surface and the chemical shields against any sort of water seepage.

h) APP modified Membrane based waterproofing treatment- For this treatment membrane rolls are available in the market. The membranes are placed onto the surface using gas torches. The membrane acts as a layer preventing water seepage.

i) Poly-urethane Sealants, Silicon Sealants, Poly-sulphide Sealants- Sealants are available in gel form sometimes in single or double component and applied with sealant guns. It also works as a protection for flexible gaps.

Just as there is no single medicine to cure all type of ailments similarly there is no single chemical, which is suitable for all cases of water leakage problem. The best possible solution for a problem can only be advised after proper inspection and diagnosis by a qualified expert followed by the execution of the job through an experienced and competent team as per the recommendations of the Waterproofing Consultant (Waterproofologist).

Once waterproofing treatment has been done there is no particular precaution needed other than keeping the treated portion clean and protected from hammering, scrapping, chiseling or such similar form of rough use.

A close watch on the appropriate waterproofing treatment alongwith the right approach can help address and tackle water leakage issues, dampness problems and prevent multiple health hazards.

(Home Building Center of Lafarge India regularly conducts sessions on Monsoon Care for the benefit of home owners and new home builders.)

More from Sify: