Industrial flooring isn’t as simple as it looks, it is important to get it right as there is no going back once the base is laid for the same. On the industrial front, water proof flooring has become extremely important for certain industries that manufacture water sensitive products and hence needs the proper flooring to ensure that water doesn’t get soaked into the floor.
Engineering and contracting services usually pride themselves in delivering “water proofing” floors – meaning the use of different methods, systems and products that can help impede, prevent or stop water infiltration onto the building structure. It is important to ascertain that there is a clear difference in terminology and ‘water proofing’ must not be confused with damp proofing or water control.
At times the term ‘water proofing’ can be misused to refer to these two. Some people get it wrong and assume that these are all on the same page but the truth is far from that. It is rather sad that some engineering services do not understand the difference themselves. Here is a difference yardstick that can help you identify one from the other and ensure that these terms are not misused or interchanged as it can be very misleading.
In colloquial terms it is the process where an asphalt based coating is applied on the foundation or floor even before the concrete is installed. This helps to prevent the moisture from the soil getting into the floor through the concrete. This is applied with the help of a roller after flattening out the foundation. To understand how this works, you need to know that the soil that is beneath and around the structure contains 100% humidity.
The newly laid foundation will have lesser humidity. Moisture travels from a higher humidity to a lower humidity. Concrete is porous in nature and hence the dampness will seep through the concrete and onto the flooring. Asphalt helps to prevent penetration of this moisture into the structure, thereby ensuring the durability of flooring. Damp proofing is very effective for basement industrial flooring.
The term says it all – it’s the measures taken to help control or keep water out of the flooring of the industrial unit. This works simple – collecting water from the area where the water is not required and diverting into an area of requirement or disposal. Most industries today use the ‘weeping system’ where the weeping tile collects any surface water that can accumulate due to wet conditions when there is a rise in the water table.
This water is drained later thus ensuring that the flooring is unaffected. There are many such water draining facilities used in the present – day like the weeping tile systems, air gap membranes, sump pumps, sub floor drainage systems, French drainage systems are a few that are noteworthy.
As mentioned above concrete is porous and will allow moisture or water to get through. A coating when applied on concrete will help to prevent this from happening. In order to make a floor water proof, a crystalline waterproofing material or an elastomeric water proofing membrane can be used.
The crystalline technology helps in closing the capillaries inside the concrete. This makes it denser and impervious to water and moisture. Whenever there is an exposure to water or moisture the crystalline growth restarts again. This is effective even in the longer run as when the laid flooring settles, there is chance that it may move a bit leading to the formation of cracks. Cracks make the floor pervious to water and moisture but with the crystalline in place, the crystalline starts to grow when it comes into contact with water thereby not allowing any sort of seepage into the floor surface.
Using an elastomeric membrane is also another good option. This can be especially useful in cases where the industrial structure in wet and swampy areas. This process is all about encapsulating the entire industrial flooring in a rubber envelope that averts moisture or water coming into contact with the concrete.
Making an Informed Decision
Making an educated decision is the best for any construction. Now with the knowledge of the existing differences among damp proofing, water control and water proofing, it is possible to make an educated decision based on what the requirement might be for a particular type of industrial flooring. Doing it right is essential and the right type of flooring needs to be chosen for the right industry. Businessmen who run manufacturing businesses have to be sure about what the contractors mean by each flooring type, as some contracting services are themselves not so sure about what each of these types mean to the manufacturing unit that is in need of it.