Sheet vs Fluid Applied Waterproofing

In any residential or commercial building, there are usually only two main types of materials used for waterproofing – sheet or liquid membrane. Although neither option is inherently better than the other, it all boils down to the building development requirements, time allowance, budget, and environmental conditions.

Common uses of waterproofing membranes:

  • Roofs / Terraces
  • Decks
  • Pedestrian paths
  • Carparks
  • Landscape
  • Toilets
  • Basements
  • Swimming Pools

Below, we explore the pros and cons of each membrane to help you make an informed decision when it comes to waterproofing your building.

Sheet Membrane

What is it? A membrane that comes in the form of sheet rolls. There are several types of sheet-applied waterproofing products primarily differentiated by how they adhere to the concrete surface. These include torch-applied membranes, self-adhesive membranes, and membranes that are applied using a liquid adhesive. Torch applied membranes are the most commonly used type of membranes in waterproofing applications.

Liquid Membrane

What is it? The waterproofing membrane comes in liquid form, which is then either applied by spray, roller, or brush. The liquid cures to a solid membrane either through evaporation of solvent or water, reaction with moisture from the air, or in the case of a 2-component product the reaction between the Pt A and Pt B when mixed. The end result is a seamless, joint-free membrane. Some types of liquid waterproofing membranes include water-based, solvent-based, high solids urethane, or cementitious-based.

Whatever your choice of waterproofing membrane, the most important thing is that it completely seals off any wet areas and prevents leaks or water damage. This ultimately boils down to selecting the appropriate type of system for your building/wet area and the skills of the applicator. It is imperative that this part of the construction process is never compromised because a properly installed waterproofing system by a trained applicator will help to preserve the integrity of the concrete and save money on future maintenance costs.