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Waterproofing is vital for protecting the structural integrity of a building. Water can cause expensive damage as well as threaten the integrity and safety of a building’s structure. The potential ramifications — whether legal, financial or personal — of a residential or commercial building collapse are serious.

Certain types of buildings have a higher risk of water intrusion than others. Underground structures such as subway stations can be surrounded by moisture from all sides, and tall multi-story buildings are often made vulnerable by their foundations. Buildings that include both below-grade and above-grade levels, such as some parking garages, are especially at risk.

Structures need to be protected from water to be safe. In this guide, we will look at how structural waterproofing and restoration can be carried out effectively with the right materials.

Why is Waterproofing an Essential Part of Restoration?

While waterproofing is essential for new construction, restoration waterproofing is equally important but often overlooked. Over time, waterproofing systems can degrade and fail. What’s more, older buildings may have been constructed at a time when waterproofing technology was less effective and building regulations were much less stringent.

Insufficiently designed or implemented waterproofing systems or those that have degraded over time can result in damage to structural integrity and, in extreme cases, even the collapse of entire buildings. To avoid water intrusion and its hazardous effects, buildings must be repaired to restore the integrity of their waterproofing systems.

Many common types of waterproofing systems have notable weaknesses for use as a restoration waterproofing material. For example, asphalt-based membranes are prone to incompatibility with rubber-based membranes and coal tar pitch. Many systems require the complete removal of existing waterproofing to bare concrete, a process that is costly and time consuming.

Polymer Rubber Gel for Waterproofing Solutions

One of the most effective components of a modern waterproofing system is a material called polymer rubber gel. Polymer rubber gel is a self-sealing, self-healing adhesive and fluid applied material that is typically applied to a substrate via spray application. Many solutions also make use of an additional layer of sheeting that protects the gel.

Uses of Polymer Rubber Gel Systems

Polymer rubber gel is extremely versatile, and its use for a range of applications has made it very popular in the construction industry. The ease and convenience of the spray-based application make it useful for both new construction projects and for quick, effective restoration of older buildings, oftentimes not requiring the entire tear off of an existing waterproofing membrane.

Polymer rubber gel is also useful for both vertical and horizontal deck waterproofing. This makes polymer rubber gel systems more cost-effective and efficient in their use of materials, as fewer products are required per project.

Polymer rubber gel is particularly ideal for restoration waterproofing where existing substrate conditions are often challenging. For example, existing foundation walls or podium deck substrates are often irregular, cracked or the original membrane is not fully adhered. Due to polymer rubber gel’s highly adhesive characteristics it will bond to these challenging substrates and restore the integrity of failed waterproofing systems.

Features of Polymer Rubber Gel Systems

Polymer rubber gel bonds particularly well with various substrates — even ones with challenging or otherwise irregular textures. It is highly adhesive and has unique physical characteristics which make it adhere to a wide variety of surfaces. It can also be applied directly over coal tar pitch, which typically requires complete removal.

What’s more, the required surface preparation is minimal compared to that of other materials. The single liquid applied-layer application technique is more than sufficient, making its application particularly time-efficient and cost-effective.

Benefits of Polymer Rubber Gel Systems

Not only is the application of polymer rubber gel systems easy, but it is also safe. Application — whether via spray, squeegee or trowel — does not require high temperatures or dangerous equipment.

Polymer rubber gel’s flexibility and gel-like consistency make the material both self-healing and self-sealing, creating a secure “monolithic membrane.” Its chemical composition and gel-like consistency make it automatically fill cracks and gaps, whether in a substrate or in itself. This can prevent water intrusion, even in the case of unexpected punctures or other types of damage.

EPRO Polymer Rubber Gel Products

At EPRO, we offer two permanent waterproofing systems that utilize polymer rubber gel: HydroGel and Turbo-Seal.

HydroGel is a highly adhesive, highly flexible and self-healing polymer rubber gel solution. HydroGel can be applied via a hot spray, squeegee or pour. It is used in post-applied waterproofing applications, above-grade and below-grade construction.

The combination of gel and sheet offers a durable waterproofing system responsive to each substrate. No primer is needed before applying to the substrate, even with green concrete! HydroGel is resistant to adverse soil conditions and any contaminants.

Turbo-Seal is a cold-applied (via trowel or squeegee) polymer rubber gel product made of at least 20% recycled material. Like HydroGel, Turbo-Seal is also highly adhesive, flexible and self-healing. It is resistant to soil contaminants and adverse conditions. The gel can be applied to all substrates (even green concrete) without primer, and the composite system responds to each substrate.

Both systems include a polymer rubber gel membrane and an HDPE protection sheet that shields the gel and acts as a working surface for any follow-on trades. The composite system is comprised of non-fleece-backed and fleece-backed HDPE sheets, drainage composites and protection boards.

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How Can EPRO Help You Protect a Structure With Restoration Waterproofing?

Planning and carrying out an effective restoration project is no easy task. With the huge variety of waterproofing systems available, it can often be challenging to know which one is the most appropriate for the job.

Thankfully, our team of experts can help you plan a robust, long-lasting and cost-effective waterproofing solution for your restoration project, whatever its unique challenges. Over the last three decades, we have helped countless clients choose and implement effective waterproofing systems, and we offer extensive warranties to give our clients peace of mind.

In addition, we’ve perfected our process to ensure that your project gets the solution it needs quickly, efficiently and within your budget. After filling out our online form, our team will evaluate the site and goals of your project and present options to suit your specific needs.

After your chosen EPRO system is applied and your project is complete, we’re still here to help and advise should issues arise — but we’re confident that won’t be the case.

Ready to get started or have any questions? Contact us — we are happy to help!