Concrete remains one of the most durable construction materials nowadays. However, several things might plague your concrete structures and ultimately damage the equipment. One of the most detrimental things is water. The joints in your concrete structure are prone to cracks and leaks, which are secondary to water penetration. This often causes mould growth and ultimately affects your structure’s integrity.
With a water stop from companies such as Form Direct, you have a way to avert water damage in your building. The water stop is embedded in your structure’s joints and forms a watertight diaphragm that efficiently prevents moisture passage. It is generally used in dams, retaining walls, storage tanks, foundations, tunnels, and wastewater treatment structures. The following are the primary water stops used for the protection of concrete:
PVC Water Stops
These are used to protect concrete joints. You can insert them on both sides to create a barrier. PVC water stops come in various sizes to fit virtually any structure. Their primary benefits are that you can install them in all weather conditions and they are incredibly durable. However, it takes time and skill to position and pour a PVC water stop correctly since it can be easily damaged.
Bentonite Water Stops
These are hydrophilic water stop systems. The bentonite swells up to 16 times its original size when it comes into contact with moisture. This way, it forms a compression seal in your structure’s joints and fills even the smallest voids and cracks. Because of their hydrophilic nature, bentonite water stops should be kept completely dry before application; they might weaken or damage your concrete joints if they are prematurely exposed to moisture. Hence, they are generally used in dry weather conditions.
Urethane Water Stops
These are also hydrophilic water stops that work in much the same way as bentonite water stops. Unlike the latter, they swell to about 350% their original volume and can be applied using a caulking gun or in strips. This makes them faster and easier to install compared to bentonite water stops. Urethane water stops take about a day to completely dry and should remain dry during their curing process. Like bentonite, they wear out faster if they are continually exposed to moisture.
Metallic Water Stops
These are made from bronze, steel, or copper. They are installed like PVC water stops. However, they are stronger compared to PVC water stops. Hence, they are generally used in specialised applications. These include massive construction projects and dams. Metallic water stops are also the ideal choice in projects where the concrete is exposed to chemicals and extreme temperatures.
Without protection, even the strongest and best-built concrete structure will not last as long as it should. The given water stop options will guarantee not only the durability of your structure but also its safety. The water stops come with different installation aids depending on their type. PVC water stops, for instance, can be installed using punched flanges or tie-rights. Getting expert installation for your water stop is the ideal option since it minimizes the risk of damaging your structure.