Understanding the Forces for Water Movement to Create Waterproofing System

The process of waterproofing is creating an object or structure to be waterproof or water resistant so that it will not be affected water or resisting it. Nowadays, objects and structure can be waterproofed by applying various items such as coatings, sealants, paints and various structures to divert the water. Understanding the forces of water is crucial in constructing an effective waterproofing system so that it will be able to divert the flow of water successfully with it.

1. Natural gravity

All surface water is trying to reach sea level via natural gravitational forces. Ensuring that the substrate that will contain surface water to be designed with a gradient to fall is the primary key to a great waterproofing system.

2. Surface tension

The momentum that occurs when water is being moved by gravity approaches a change in building plane and clings to the underside of the horizontal surface, continuing with momentum into the building by adhering to the surface through this tension.

Drip edges and flashings are ways to break surface tension and prevent water from being attracted to the inside of a building.

3. Wind / air currents

Cap flashing and counter flashing can prevent infiltration due to air pressure or wind. 

4. Capillary action

Water is absorbed into an envelope substrate by wicking action, occurring mostly at below grade levels. When water table of soil in ground is high, water can move up the substrate. 

5. Hydrostatic pressure

Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure that is exerted by a fluid at equilibrium at a given point within the fluid, due to the force of gravity. Hydrostatic pressure increases in proportion to depth measured from the surface because of the increasing weight of fluid exerting downward force from above.

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