water proofing

The Importance of Waterproofing

It can be tempting to cut corners when it comes to waterproofing, however it’s a job that will haunt your handiwork in years to come if not done well in the very beginning. Bathrooms are inherently built to withstand moisture, but minor issues can lead to major structural complications if leaks, dampness and condensation are left untreated.

Not only will the structural integrity of your bathroom be compromised as a result of poor quality waterproofing products, but leaking floors and pipes can lead to the damage in other rooms of the house, and with the increasing cost of renovations, it pays to waterproof bathrooms correctly with professional, quality products from the Maxxi Building Products waterproofing range.

Waterproofing Against Mold
One of the most common problems with bathroom waterproofing is the floor drain. The floor should be angled downwards to the drain in order for water on the ground to be immediately delivered to the drain. It is important to check that you have a floor drain appropriate for waterproofing purposes.
Maxxi floor drains can be used with Maxxi Clamp rings and sealed with a membrane to prevent leaking around the drain, as this is a critical leaking point. If installed incorrectly, water can be drained into surrounding cement; water that does not drain properly and is left to sit stagnant can cause mold to grow or leak through to dwellings below. If water is not draining at the speed it is released from the tap, a drain blockage may have occurred. Blocked drains can lead water to leak into splices, and these leaks can affect wall and floor structures. Leaking sewers can also have disastrous consequences, with small leaks often going unnoticed and encouraging unsightly and unhealthy mold growth.  

Waterproofing for Health
It is not just the home that suffers the consequences of poor waterproofing; people with asthma, breathing difficulties or allergies are be sensitive to mold. Mold can provoke asthma attacks and cause irritation to the eyes, skin, nose, throat and lungs. Those without medical conditions may also experience difficulty breathing, and people with a vulnerable immune system or chronic lung disorders like obstructive lung disease can potentially develop mold infections inside their lungs, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

How to Waterproof Your Bathroom
The area to be waterproofed needs to be thoroughly cleaned. All surfaces should be completely dry before commencing waterproofing work, especially joins between walls and floors, between walls themselves and around floor drains. Surfaces should be smooth and free from loose particles, which could affect the integrity of the waterproofing membrane (vacuuming is recommended). A polyester reinforcement mat should be fitted into all the internal corners of the shower recess, such as the junctions between wall and floor, the hob and the floor, and the corner formed by two walls meeting. The waterproofing membrane can then be applied to all surfaces using a paintbrush, and a paint roller for the walls. Once the walls are finished, start the floor and work your way out of the bathroom.

After the first coat has been applied, wait 2-4 hours (depending on temperature, humidity and substrate) before applying the second.  Allow the second coat to dry for 12h (the application may require a minimum of 2 coats or 3rd coats to ensure that the hole surface is uniformly applied and no pinholes are left on the surface.) Do not use the bathroom until the waterproofing has fully cured, which can be as long as five days depending on climate.  Take care when moving ladders and other equipment around the room, as any holes or scratches in the surface will compromise the integrity of the waterproofing.

Bathroom Ventilation
In conjunction with waterproofing procedures to avoid mold, bathroom moisture should be directed externally through a ventilation system. The best way to test ventilation efficiency is to check the moisture that forms on bathroom windows and mirrors. If after 10 minutes of showering there is still fog on the mirror, it might be time to 
upgrade your ventilation system. If you live in a house with natural ventilation, installing a bathroom fan is recommended.

For all your quality waterproofing product needs, visit the Maxxi Building Products waterproofing range and refer to manufacturer instructions for individual product specifications.