Say NO to Water: Waterproofing Your Home from Foundation to Kitchen


If there is no “waterproofing” clause in your construction estimate, multiply the entire sum by two – it will come in handy to make repairs again. Better yet, protect the important systems of your house or apartment right away. Let’s see what ways to block the path of water exist today.

Why waterproofing is necessary

The most visible consequences of leaks are damp finishings or furniture, but the most dangerous are those that are hard to see at once: internal damage to the main structures of the house. Wood suffers most of all from dampness, but water does not add longevity to bricks and even reinforced concrete, especially if the damp material freezes hard in winter. Wet insulation loses its thermal insulating properties just like clothes in the rain. Steel fasteners and pipes in damp walls quickly rust and fall into disrepair. Waterproofing is necessary wherever there is direct contact with water and humidity is known to be higher than normal: in the underground part of the building (foundation and basement), under the roof, in the bathroom and kitchen.

House foundation

The foundation of a house is exposed to water attacks from all sides: groundwater, waterlogging. The concrete itself, from which foundations are made, actively absorbs moisture if it is not protected. Therefore, we will neutralize the harmful effects of water both from the outside and from the inside. Leaks in the basement of a private house – usually a consequence of damage or aging waterproofing. Small violations, for example, in the entry points of pipes and cables, are eliminated with the help of repair mixtures based on water-stopping cement – such seals harden in just a minute and stop even a strong leak.

Basements need internal waterproofing, because groundwater gradually fills the porous structure of concrete, and in winter crystallize and rupture it from the inside. Deep penetration waterproofing (impregnation) will help here: these are special solutions that “glue” all microcracks and cavities of brick or concrete. Such waterproofing, if the instructions are followed precisely, can be done by yourself.

Permanent or seasonal waterlogging – due to snow melt or after heavy rains – will require major repairs to the foundation and the device of anti-pressure waterproofing. It is necessary to cover the foundation with roll materials that work “on the pressure” – water only increases the tightness of their adherence to the underground part of the house. Previously for this purpose used roofing felt, now – plastic films.

On top of the impregnation it is desirable to apply paint waterproofing – cover the wall with polymer paints or varnishes in several layers. This is both decoration and reliable protection, and it is quite budget-friendly. Paint insulation of concrete is even used on underwater structures and bridge piles.

Insulate the bathroom and bathtub

If you live in a high-rise building on the upper floors, the most “wet” part of your apartment – the bathroom or toilet – requires special attention. In an hour or two it is easy to flood all the neighbors below. Protect both the floor and the walls. Most often used sheathing waterproofing: walls and screed are covered with polymer resins or bitumen-polymer (bitumen-kauchukovyh) mastics.

“Pay special attention to the corners and joints of walls and floors – in such places mastic can lie unevenly and over time crack. “

Before applying the mastic, the concrete should be treated with a primer that improves the adhesion of the coating with the base. Pay special attention to the corners and joints of walls and floors – in such places mastic can lie unevenly and over time crack, so for reliability glue polymer tapes. A variation of sheathing waterproofing – treatment of walls and floors with cement or polymer-cement mixtures. Work with them is not more difficult than with ordinary plaster and putty.

Before applying cement waterproofing, the joints of walls and floors should be rounded with putty to reduce the consumption of the mixture and the risk of cracks. Cement waterproofing requires additional protection from mechanical and chemical damage, so it should be painted, plastered or covered with tiles. To protect the joints on the floor and walls from leaks and mold development, carefully caulk them. For tiles, use grout, for plastic panels – sealant.

Prepare the kitchen floor

On the walls of the kitchen moisture gets mainly in the working area, so it is enough “apron” of tiles or panels. But the waterproofing of the floor should be given attention. The techniques and materials are the same as for the bathroom. But be sure to clarify whether the manufacturer recommends using specific building materials for the kitchen. This room has special requirements for environmental friendliness and compliance with sanitary and hygienic norms.