Water-proof or water-resistant describes objects relatively unaffected by water or resisting the ingress of water under specified conditions. Such items may be used in wet environments or under water to specified depths. Waterproofing describes making an object waterproof or water-resistant (such as a camera, watch or mobile phone).
"Water resistant" and "waterproof" often refer to penetration of water in its liquid state and possibly under pressure, whereas damp proof refers to resistance to humidity or dampness. Permeation of water vapor through a material or structure is reported as a water vapor transmission rate.
Waterproofing in construction
In construction, a building or structure is waterproofed with the use of membranes and coatings to protect contents as well as protecting structural integrity. The waterproofing of the building envelope in construction specifications is listed under "07 - Thermal and Moisture Protection" within MasterFormat 2004, by the Construction Specifications Institute, and includes roofing material as well as waterproofing materials.
In building construction, waterproofing is a fundamental aspect of creating a building envelope, which is a controlled environment. The roof covering materials, siding, foundations, and all of the various penetrations through these surfaces need to be water-resistant and sometimes waterproof. Roofing materials are generally designed to be water-resistant and shed water from a sloping roof, but in some conditions, such as ice damming and on flat roofs, the roofing must be waterproof. Many types of waterproof membrane systems are available, including felt paper or tar paper with asphalt or tar to make a built-up roof, other bituminous waterproofing, EPDM rubber, hypalon, polyvinyl chloride, liquid roofing, and more.
Walls are not subjected to standing water, and the water-resistant membranes used as housewraps are designed to be breathable to let moisture escape. Walls also have vapor barriers or air barriers. Damp proofing is another aspect of waterproofing. Masonry walls are built with a damp-proof course to prevent rising damp, and the concrete in foundations needs to be damp-proofed or waterproofed with a liquid coating, basement waterproofing membrane (even under the concrete slab floor where polyethylene sheeting is commonly used), or an additive to the concrete. A potential problem in earth sheltered houses is too much humidity, so waterproofing is critical in these houses.
The penetrations through a building envelope need to be built in a way such that water does not enter the building, such as using flashing and special fittings for pipes, vents, wires, etc. Some caulkings are durable, but many are not a reliable method of waterproofing.
Also, many types of geomembranes are available to control water, gases, or pollution.
Over the past two decades, the construction industry has had technological advances in waterproofing materials, including integral waterproofing systems as well as more advanced membrane materials. Integral systems such as hycrete work within the matrix of a concrete structure, giving the concrete itself a waterproof quality. There are two main types of integral waterproofing systems: the hydrophilic and the hydrophobic systems. A hydrophilic system typically uses a crystallization technology that replaces the water in the concrete with insoluble crystals. Various brands available in the market claim similar properties, but not all can react with a wide range of cement hydration by-products and thus require caution. Hydrophobic systems use fatty acids to block pores within the concrete, preventing water passage.
Sometimes the same materials to keep water out of buildings are used to keep water in, such as pond or pool liners.
New membrane materials seek to overcome shortcomings in older methods like PVC and HDPE. Generally, new technology in waterproof membranes relies on polymer-based materials that are extremely adhesive to create a seamless barrier around the outside of a structure.
The standards for waterproofing bathrooms in domestic construction have improved over the years, due in large part to the general tightening of building codes.
Waterproofing other objects
Waterproofing techniques have been implemented in several types of objects, going from different clothing products to paper packaging, cosmetics, and more recently, consumer electronics. Even though it is possible to find waterproof wrapping or other types of protective cases for electronic devices, a new technology enabled the release of diverse water-resistant smartphones and tablets in 2013. This method is based on a special nanotechnology coded to be a thousand times thinner than a human hair that prevents water damage in electronics. Several manufacturers are now using the nano coating technique on their smartphones, tablets, and digital cameras.
A research paper published online on October 21, 2013, in Advanced Materials, of a group of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, proposed that nanotexturing surfaces in the form of cones produces extremely water-repellent surfaces. These nanocone textures are "superhydrophobic" (or extremely water-hating).
- ASTM C1127-Standard Guide for Use of High Solids Content, Cold Liquid-Applied Elastomeric Waterproofing Membrane with an Integral Wearing Surface
- ASTM D3393-Standard Specification for Coated Fabrics Waterproofness
- D6135-Standard Practice for Application of Self-Adhering Modified Bituminous Waterproofing
- IEC 60529-Degrees of protection provided by enclosures (IP Code)
- [British Standards Institution (BSI)] BS.8102:2009 - "Protection of Below Ground Structures against Water from the Ground".
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- Bituminous waterproofing
- Durable water repellent (DWR) coatings
- IP Code
- Turbo seal rubber sealant
- Sika AG
- Truscon Laboratories
- Water Resistant mark
- Water vapor transmission rate
- Waterproof digital camera
- Waterproof fabric
- Waterproof paper
- DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory (October 21, 2013). /releases/2013/10/131021131108.htm "Nano-cone textures generate extremely 'robust' water-repellent surfaces". ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
- Checco, Antonio; Atikur Rahman; Charles T. Black (October 21, 2013). "Robust Superhydrophobicity in Large-Area Nanostructured Surfaces Defined by Block-Copolymer Self Assembly". Advanced Materials. doi:10.1002/adma.201304006.
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