WATERPROOFING OF THE STRUCTURES | BY SUNANDA GLOBAL (PART 2)
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 a 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 the 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 a near impossible job adding astronomically to the cost of maintenance. Besides in several large structures like hotels or large commercial premises, proper sinks 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 a proper understanding of materials.
In the 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 time an additional safety measure in the course of waterproofing can help a long way to offer 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 that can ensure total waterproofing.
From an economic point of view also when spread over the entire cost of the project per square foot which is to say for example approx. Rs.1000/- per sq. ft, then the cost of this additional safety does not come to even 2 percent. 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 percent. Further, as the number of floors increases, as is the generalized case these days, the cost per square foot is brought down to an 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 the 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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