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24 Jul 2001

omes are like ideal men- ironclad, unassailable, unshakable- having no faults. Yet some may retain odd loopholes.Some bright ideas to help seal leaky homes

Expert Tips to Watertight houses

Concrete by nature is porous and develops cracks due to the ravages of weather. During monsoon, rainwater finds its way through these weak spots in the concrete and mitigates the life of the structure, besides making the surrounding unsanitary. One way of preventing this efficiently is by using a waterproofing compound

The first thing to do is to identify the leaky area. Once you have identified the area, you need to buy the appropriate waterproofing material choosing from several brands in the market. 

If you live in a bungalow or ground floor apartment, here's how to waterproof your basement walls -:

In a new house construction, it is crucial to check that drains installed at footing level direct water away from the house. As you backfill the trench, apply waterproof layers to the foundation wall.

n an existing house, you can still dig drainage ditches and install waterproofing chemicals. To waterproof from the inside, apply a coating of waterproofing compound, which will penetrate several inches of previously untreated concrete. Once it penetrates, it will expand and seal the concrete pores. While chemicals will help block water movement through concrete, they do not stop the hydrostatic pressure of groundwater, which is constantly pushing against the foundation wall. Installing perimeter drain lines relieves that pressure.

Concealing dampness. Here's how:

If you're lucky, the dampness in your home as a natural result from monsoon will be restricted to areas like the bathroom or your basement, but if not, you could be stuck with unsightly damp patches right in your living room or bedroom.

Of course, the most viable solution is to apply waterproofing compound, but there are some people for whom this is not practical perhaps due to the financial factor involved, which could lead to conspicuous ugly patches of dampness and peeling paint. So the next best thing to do is to conceal the damage. And this is how to do it -: 

  • Draw attention to another spot in the room by reducing the light in that particular section and highlighting the adjacent corner with a decorative piece. Re-arrange your furniture to focus away from the wall.
  • Wallpaper the most affected section of the wall if you are in a hurry to conceal the unsightly patch.
  • Putting up a collage of family photographs on the wall can draw attention away from the messy area.
  • Rusted grills however, will need to be rust proofed with red oxide and painted.

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