Liquid Membrane Waterproofing

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Liquid Waterproofing Membrane

A liquid waterproofing membrane is essential for protecting many building structures. These flexible membranes are hand or spray applied onto surfaces such as balconies, podium decks and green roofs. They are even used to line municipal water tanks to prevent leaks. This type of protection is also used to help extend the service life of structures such as car parks.

Often, it’s easier and faster to spray-apply liquid waterproofing instead of installing waterproofing sheet membranes, since cutting sheets into shape and taking care of details and penetration often takes time and skill. For example, for some projects, it can take anywhere between two to three days to install 10,000 square feet of a sheet membrane with a three-man crew. In comparison, a crew of the same size can install up to 10,000 square feet of spray-applied waterproofing in one day, depending on the product used.

It can be tricky to cut prefabricated waterproofing sheets to fit the surface to be waterproofed and ensure no fish mouths or voids appear in the membrane during installation. liquid waterproofing systems overcome this challenge. They simply conform to the shape of the structure. This allows the waterproofing solution to be 100% truly monolithic, overcoming vulnerable points like joints and adapting to minor imperfections in the surface it is protecting.

Advantages of liquid waterproofing membrane

Liquid applied waterproofing offers many advantages, including:


Ease of application

Liquid waterproofing can often be applied quickly. Depending on the product, a three-man crew can apply 10,000 square feet or 930 square meters of spray-applied waterproofing in just one day. These advantages become even more pronounced when waterproofing complex spaces or spaces with lots of detailing, since it’s easier to waterproof pipes and other penetrations with liquid than it is by cutting and placing sheet membranes.



Liquid applied waterproofing cures to form one solid membrane, so there are no seams or joints, which are the most common areas where waterproofing tends to fail. As it’s applied, with or without reinforcement, it spreads to coat the entire surface, and cures to form a continuous membrane so there’s no seam where water could get through.



The best performing liquid waterproofing systems have the flexibility to expand and contract as the temperature changes, and adapt to minor structural movements. This way, the waterproofing continues to perform, even when exposed to extreme weather and/or when small concrete cracks occur in the underlying structure.

Uses for Liquid Waterproofing


If you’re planning a green roof project, be sure that the waterproofing
system you choose passes long-term root resistant tests
so that it isn’t damaged as plants take hold.

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A liquid waterproofing membrane is commonly used for a wide range of applications, such as:

Green roofs
Buried roofs
Inverted roofs

Cold vs. hot waterproofing

In the past, general contractors relied on hot applied waterproofing due to its low cost and ability to adhere well to substrates.

Depending on the region, general contractors may face additional permitting, have to pay extra for onsite fire marshals and/or face obstacles with securing liability insurance when using hot applied waterproofing.

For many general contractors, the added hassles mean hot applied waterproofing no longer makes sense, particularly when there are cold applied waterproofing options available that offer the same or better adhesion properties. Using cold applied waterproofing reduces the complexities and risks during construction and speeds the installation process.


Uses for liquid waterproofing membrane

A liquid waterproofing membrane is commonly used for a wide range of applications, such as:

Green roofs

Liquid applied waterproofing membranes work well for protecting green roofs. Typically, green roofs have a lot of penetrations for irrigation. Liquid waterproofing is easy to apply to detailing. Be sure that whatever waterproofing system you select is compatible with the green roof assembly and has been proven in similar environments. If you’re planning a green roof project, be sure that the waterproofing system you choose passes long-term root resistant tests so that it isn’t damaged as plants take hold.

Buried roofs

A buried roof is often a section of a basement that extends beyond the main elevation and is typically part of an under-garden structure or landscaped area. An elevated deck that’s used by people or cars may also be categorized as a buried roof structure.
Waterproofing systems for buried roofs need to last for the life of the structure, because making repairs on the waterproofing system is disruptive for the owners and the occupants of the building

Inverted roofs

Some projects, such as rooftop terraces, use an inverted roof design. In these scenarios, the waterproofing layer is installed beneath the roof’s traditional insulation. Insulation is placed on top of the liquid waterproofing membrane and held in place with paving slabs or gravel. The seamless nature of liquid waterproofing makes it appropriate for these projects. The liquid is easy to apply. Once it cures, it forms one solid membrane that is resistant to leaks.

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