What Are Concrete Waterproofing Methods You Didn’t Know About In El Cajon?

5 Concrete Waterproofing Methods You Didn't Know About In El Cajon

Concrete, despite being one of the most widely used construction materials, can be vulnerable to water ingress, potentially leading to structural damage and reduced lifespan. Waterproofing is essential to ensure the longevity and durability of concrete structures. While many might be aware of standard waterproofing techniques like sealants or membranes, there are several lesser-known methods that can be equally effective. Here are five of them:

  1. Crystalline waterproofing involves the use of a specific chemical treatment that reacts with the components of concrete to form insoluble crystals. These crystals fill the pores, capillaries, and hairline cracks in the concrete, making it impermeable to water. One of the key advantages of this method is that it can self-seal any new micro-cracks that might appear over time.
  2. Elastomeric coatings are liquid-applied coatings that can stretch and return to their original state without damage. This flexibility allows them to bridge over cracks that might appear in the concrete surface. These coatings form a rubber-like protective layer on the concrete, preventing water penetration. Their UV resistance also protects structures from sun damage.
  3. This method involves applying a liquid polyurethane layer onto the concrete surface, which solidifies to create a seamless, waterproof membrane. These membranes can be highly elastic, allowing them to adapt to concrete movement or settling. They are also resistant to UV rays and chemicals, making them suitable for different environmental conditions.
  4. Bentonite, a type of expansive clay, swells when it comes in contact with water. This property is harnessed in bentonite clay waterproofing, where sheets of this clay are applied between layers of geotextiles and then installed onto the concrete surface. When exposed to water, the bentonite expands and forms a tight, waterproof seal. It’s particularly effective for below-grade structures like basements.
  5. Instead of treating the concrete surface after it’s been poured, integral waterproofing introduces waterproofing agents directly into the concrete mix. This method ensures that the entire depth of the concrete structure is waterproofed from the outset. The resultant concrete not only has enhanced impermeability but also tends to have increased strength.


Can I Apply These Waterproofing Methods To Old Concrete Structures?

Yes, many of these methods, such as crystalline waterproofing and elastomeric coatings, can be applied to existing concrete structures. However, it’s crucial to assess the condition of the structure and ensure that the surface is clean and free of any contaminants before application.

Are There Any Environmental Concerns Associated With These Methods?

Most modern waterproofing materials are designed to be environmentally friendly. For instance, bentonite clay is a natural material, and many polyurethane liquid membranes are solvent-free. Nonetheless, it’s essential to check with the product manufacturer and opt for solutions with low environmental impact.

How Long Does The Waterproofing Last?

The longevity of waterproofing treatments varies based on the method and the quality of application. Typically, with proper maintenance, waterproofing can last several decades. However, it’s always recommended to have periodic checks to ensure the waterproofing integrity.


Waterproofing is vital for maintaining the health and longevity of concrete structures. While there are numerous traditional methods available, the ones mentioned above offer innovative and effective solutions to safeguarding concrete from moisture intrusion. By being aware of these lesser-known techniques, building owners and contractors can make informed decisions and choose the method best suited for their needs. As with all construction practices, ensuring proper application and adhering to recommended guidelines is crucial for the success of any waterproofing endeavor. For more information, contact Concrete Contractor El Cajon at (619) 473-4433.