RAIN-PROOFING YOUR HOME
Come monsoon and the never
ending saga of leaking ceiling, damp walls and damper floorings and
basements sets in. This is one phenomenon, which is extra ordinarily
common to houses in India, whether they are situated at Peddar Road in
Mumbai or Ambarnath in Thane, or Cherrapunji, the place with the highest
rainfall though at the last location the problem may be really worse.
This is one ordeal, which is enough to totally replace the verdant
beauty of the season with untoward smells, and damp interiors, which
will do everything to dampen a troubled soul.
doomsday is far, rest assured. Modern day developments in science and
technology have the answer, in fact a range of answers ready. Let’s
probe into the commonly available waterproofing options. Architect
Rajendra Godbole prefers, “The first step in waterproofing existing
constructions is to undertake a detailed inspection of the premises and
note down the exact causes of leakage. They may be varied and often, a
combination of all the causes. Whether the leakage is more from the
terrace or sidewalls, or there is a reverse osmosis from the flooring,
all of these causes will determine the future course of action. “For
side walls, traditionally the cracks were filled with an epoxy-based
material and then finished with a coating of silicon. Most contractors
used to break open the cracks and re plaster the building as well.
the cause so the treatment, whereas Sachin Joshi founder SK Formulation,
a leading name in the field of providing waterproofing solutions
opines, “inspection will locate all the problems that need to be
solved, but in case of the polymer-based waterproofing that we have
ingeniously developed and tested to over 500 buildings over past five
years, I feel that the course of action will remain uniform – viz
application of the solution to all external surfaces.” He asserts that
the traditional way of undertaking a total re-plastering is totally
outdated, tedious and not a full-proof solution for leakages. On the
contrary, modern applications, which may be chemical-based or
polymer-based, are ideal. Both these systems have to be applied on dry
walls and after the first rains, nothing can be done till the season is
Godbole reminds us that “Pidilite, Ross, Apoorva Chemicals, Sunanda
Chemicals, and other chemical companies have innovated different
formulae for this purpose. In all cases however the application
standards will determine their efficacy.” Therefore, SK Formulations,
an ISO 9001-2000 certified company has a set of specialized applicators
on the job, who know exactly how and where and in what number of layers
the application has to be done. A polymer coating, especially the one
devised by SK provides UV resistance to the construction. It is
available in different colors and offers good resistance against wear
and tear by way of pollution and other environmental factors. Incase of
external applications, especially for non-cracked surfaces, the binding
of the material with the surface needs to be really sound in order to
give the user value for money
Since the aspect of money has cropped up – traditionally , waterproofing
costs something between Rs.60 to Rs.75/= per square foot. Chemical
based applications cost anything from Rs.30 to Rs.150 per square-foot.
The cost depends on the system and mode of application they have
chosen. Some chemical based waterproofing systems include a spreading
of layers of different materials like aluminum (AL), glass fiber, etc.
for terraces or a thick coating of silicon for the exterior walls.
There are some cheaper cementious polymer coatings available in the
market mostly for exterior walls. In addition, some small time
contractors also used tar-based waterproofing systems. But these are
not at all advisable. Firstly, the jet-black color absorbs tremendous
heat during the summer season. This heat percolates in the house below
and therefore this system is not feasible. In all cases, the initial
inspection must be conducted either by an experienced civil engineer or
preferably by a construction engineer who will also be able to estimate
the life of the building and provide ingenious solution to the problem.
of the aforementioned measures can only be taken when the rains go
away. They cannot be implemented when the construction is wet. What
can we do when the rains have already set in ? Well, in this case, the
most feasible thing to do would be to get hold of some good quality
plastic sheets and/or waterproof canvas. For terraces one could raise
bamboo supports and tie huge thick plastic sheets preferably in a slant)
which will not wet the terrace much and the slant will help drain
off the excess water and thereby leakage could be reduced. For sidewalls
too, one could drop plastic sheets from the terrace. Ensure that you
fasten the plastic with nails or some such method and this too can give
you temporary relief from leakages.
case the leakage has already seeped on to inner walls of your house, you
could try any of the concealing measures listed below. These are not
solutions but they do restore the aesthetic appeal of your home
Draw attention to another spot in the room by reducing the light in that
particular section and highlighting the adjacent corner with a
decorative price. Re-arrange your furniture to focus away from the
Wallpaper the most affected section of the wall if you are in a hurry to
conceal the unsightly patch.
Putting up a collage of family photographs on the wall can draw
attention away from the messy area.
avoid rainwater splashing inside your home, fix a curtain rod in the
outer grills of your balcony or large windows, and hang a heavy plastic
curtain, it will act as a good rain shade. These were some updates on
waterproofing. For a thorough treatment, seek the help of a qualified
and trusted engineer.