In the above-cited cases, each waterproofing problem becomes a unique case study and needs to be addressed separately.


Modern day structures are indeed more complicated than the earlier ones, which were constructed, say 20-25 years ago. Earlier, a mere conventional waterproofing treatment of terrace, toilet, bath, sinks and an old basement needed the waterproofing job. However, these days the structures are high-rise, they have large podium, car-parking lots, basements, terrace garden at each duplex flat level, corporate office gardens, flowerbeds, swimming pools at various levels, narrow ducts (chowks) for plumbing lines and electrical lines besides conventional problems of regular large terraces. Due to unusually large heights of the structures, ensuring the quality plastering on the external surface also poses a problem, which adds to the difficulties in waterproofing. If the problems of such large structures are left unattended and uncared for at the execution stage, then the rectification becomes near impossible job adding astronomically to the cost of maintenance. Besides in several large structures like hotels or large commercial premises proper sunks are not provided in toilet and bath blocks. This creates problems while adjusting the arrangement of plumbing and other toilet lines. Sometimes even slabs are to be perforated both as an afterthought or the part of planning which can become a potential source of leakage if not handled with proper understanding of materials.

In above cited cases each waterproofing problem becomes a unique case study and needs to be addressed separately. Obviously a thorough study and absolute expertise in the field only can give a proper solution. Most of the times an additional safety measure in the course of waterproofing can help a long way to offer the relief. Looking at the very high cost per square foot of construction today and still higher costs for rectification (in case anything goes wrong) it is very wise to take a safety measure which can ensure a total waterproofing.

From economic point of view also when spread over entire cost of project per square foot which is say for example approx. Rs.1000/- per sq.ft, then the cost of this additional safety does not come to even 2 per cent. If you add the cost of interiors to the basic cost of the structures then possibly this additional cost will be further lowered down to 1 or 1.25 per cent. Further, as the number of floors increase, as is the generalised case these days, the cost per square foot is brought down to almost negligible percentage.

It is interesting and important to note that the ineffective waterproofing not only destroys the structure but also does not spare the more valuable interior decorations, which ironically is thought to be of more importance by public. Thus, wise is the builder/ constructor who acknowledges and implements the effective safety measures for waterproofing right at the conceptual stage.

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Mechanism of waterproofing

About the author

Dr. S. K. Manjrekar (Ph.D. Bombay University - 1977), Dr. S. K. Manjrekar is Chairman and Managing Director of a well-known construction chemicals company in India - M/s. Sunanda Speciality Coatings Pvt. Ltd.,for last 40 years. Operations in UAE, Oman, Nepal, Tanzania and USA.

He is actively working on several technical and administrative committees of American Concrete Institute (ACI) in USA.

He teaches concrete field testing course of ACI to engineers of India as a ‘Train the Trainer’ initiative.

He has published more than 200 papers in various national and international journals.

He has given more than 100 key note lectures in the field of Concrete, Corrosion Prevention, Waterproofing and Nano materials etc.

Lectured extensively internationally in Countries - United Kingdom - London, Leeds University, United States of America - Pittsburgh, Malaysia, Oman, Dubai, Sharjah, Kuwait, Romania, Hong Kong – Hong Kong University and many more as an invited keynote speaker.

He is the guest editor of International journals in UK, USA and Mexico.