In any residential or commercial property, two main types of materials are usually used for waterproofing. They are sheet or liquid membranes. Although neither one option is fundamentally better than the other, it all relies on what the property is in need of as well as the owner’s budget, time constraints, and external elements. To help you decide, here are the differences between sheet vs. fluid waterproofing.
Waterproof Membrane Common Applications
- Roofs / Terraces
- Pedestrian Paths
- Swimming Pools
Sheet waterproofing is a membrane that comes in rolls of sheets. There is a variety of sheet waterproofing products that are mainly differentiated by how they stick onto concrete surfaces. The products range from self-adhesive membranes to torch applied membranes to membranes that require a liquid adhesive. The most common sheet waterproofing membrane is torch applied.
- Uniform Thickness
The sheet membranes come in rolls so the thickness of each sheet is uniform throughout the roll.
- Precise Coverage
The volume of coverage for each sheet membrane has already been determined for each roll. It is not subject to over or underuse due to its consistent size and thickness.
- Not Fitted to Size
You need to cut each sheet membrane to fill out the desired waterproofing area.
- Sealing Details
Requires special attention to penetrations, seams, and changes in plane. Treating changes in plane and sealing seams require very intricate attention to detail and may cause a visible appearance of joints depending on the workmanship.
- Labor Intensive
Installation requires a lot of labor and can incur higher costs.
The waterproof membrane comes in the form of a liquid which can either be sprayed or rolled onto the desired area. The liquid is then left to cure to solid form through reaction with moisture from the air, evaporation, or the reaction between two components. This results in a seamless membrane that is free of any joints.
- Easy Installation
As it is in liquid form, it can be spread out easily without the need for tedious smoothing out.
- Full Coverage
The waterproofing liquid can be applied to every nook and cranny of a surface. This lets you enjoy a full coverage that is even and has a uniform finish for much easier maintenance.
- Versatile Application
It is easy to apply through the use of a roller, brush, or spray.
- Possibility of Air Bubbles
Due to incorrect or poor substrate preparation, air bubbles can form in the liquid membrane during application. They may also be a result of a damp substrate.
- Consistency of Coverage
Since it is in liquid form, there may be uneven surface finishes. It is also more challenging to control the thickness of each application.
- Drying Time
Liquid membranes require some time to dry fully. This may cause delays to the remodelling project since other subsequent processes like installation of flooring tiles cannot be completed right away unlike sheet membranes.
The most important thing to take note of when choosing the more suitable waterproofing membrane is to ensure it can cover any wet area in full to prevent leaks or water damage.