“No material is itself durable or non-durable; it is the interaction of the material with its in-service environment that determines its durability” - says a well-known concrete technologist Larry Masters. Thus with reference to concrete, durability will depend on the nature of the concrete (and that means impermeability) and the aggressiveness of the in-service environment. The three important steps that ensure adequate durability of concrete in-service are:
  • Compliance with current standards of good practice during construction.
  • The use of new and improved materials and innovative construction systems designed for increased durability at competitive costs.
  • Provision of protection to existing undamaged structure against adverse environments.
However in spite of all the precautions there are several other factors which can affect the durability of concrete. Though, innumerable to list out, these factors can be mainly grouped under four principle categories viz:
  1. Construction practices,
  2. Design,
  3. Material characteristics, and,
  4. Exposure conditions.
The appropriate knowledge or lack of the same regarding these four categories leads to distress and defects in the concrete structures and that is often the initiation point of the deterioration in the health of the concrete structure. In the Indian context these four parameters have caused havoc in the alter part of the century and thus it becomes our paramount responsibility to introspect, evaluate and rectify the blunders and march confidently towards the future with healthy waterproof structures.

The defects and the distress in the structures are manifested in several ways but generally observed manifestations are the dampness and leakages. Needless to say, though there are several independent reasons for leakages in the structures. The well thought-out methods to waterproof a structure can give long lasting rewards. Thus, it is a well identified aspect of durability to offer good waterproofing to a structure.

An attempt has been made to bring out various near perfect methods of waterproofing based on the latest developments in the world of material science.