No, concrete is not waterproof straight out the bag. Concrete and water have a complicated relationship.
First, water is a primary ingredient in triggering the chemical reaction that hardens concrete. Secondly, water can damage concrete after setting.
During the hardening process of concrete, pockets of air form inside the slab.
Some bubble to the top while others stay inside the slab and make it semi-porous.
After complete hardening of the slab, the air pockets let in moisture into the slab leading to concrete damage.
Water can easily penetrate damage it or form air pockets thus it not waterproof. You have to protect it from water using suitable materials around.
What is the Difference between a Waterproofer and a Concrete Sealer?
Waterproofing compounds and concrete sealers have similar functions but in different ways.
Waterproofers penetrate the concrete to fill air pockets, while sealers mainly form protective layers above concrete surfaces.
Both forms of water blocking or repellent compounds has advantage and disadvantages.
Choosing the best type for your home should be a matter of both protective abilities and aesthetic appeal.
But you may be forced to use both or use one of them depending on how you want to protect your concrete.
Types of Concrete Waterproofing Materials
This is among the best concrete waterproofing materials. It is easy to apply and penetrates the concrete surface evenly and deeply.
Hence, the polyurethane membrane fills in even the tiniest cracks in concrete, reducing its capacity to absorb water.
Polyurethane has other benefits, such as resisting detergents, oils, and numerous chemicals.
This is why I recommend polyurethane as a top waterproofing material. You can apply it on walls, terraces, and balconies.
2. Bituminous Membrane
Waterproofing with a bituminous membrane is popular with sloped roofs. It has a torch on the self-adhesive membrane and membrane. Self-adhesive compounds consist of filler, polymers, and asphalt.
The self-adhesive type is not durable as bonding properties decrease with time. This type is a mixed compound consisting of organic liquids that are extremely waterproof, dense, and sticky.
3. Bituminous Coating
This is also known as asphalt coating, and it is protective and flexible. It is an excellent waterproofing and coating agent, especially on surfaces with concrete foundations.
The waterproofing material is made of a material containing bitumen; hence it cannot be exposed to sunlight. It becomes fragile and very brittle if you expose it to the sun.
4. Liquid Waterproofing Membrane
A liquid membrane is a light coating consisting of a primer, and two coats of liquid waterproof are applied by roller or spray. It provides more flexibility than what is provided by cement waterproofing as it forms a rubbery coating on the surface.
The durability of this product depends on the polymer used to make the liquid waterproofing. It consists of polymer modified asphalt.
5. Cementitious Waterproofing
This is the easiest waterproofing method in construction work. It uses materials that are readily available in the market. It is a waterproofing method suitable for wet areas like bathrooms and toilets.
Because it is exclusively used in wet areas, it is not exposed to weathering and sunlight. Therefore, contraction and expansion processes do not occur in cementitious waterproofing.
Types of Concrete Sealers
1.Acrylic Resin-based Sealers
These sealers have a film of acrylic resin to offer excellent performance. To improve durability, you can blend them with silicone, polyurethane, or epoxy.
Please note that acrylic is available in various types, with some superior to others.
Styrene acrylic performs poorly, and it sometimes turns yellow when exposed to direct sunlight. The better option would be pure or virgin acrylic resin, which does not turn yellow and lasts longer.
Polyurethane or Epoxy Sealers
They are more costly than acrylics but are not superior to acrylics. They form a thicker layer making them slippery, especially when applied onto a walkway or patio.
They also moisture from escaping from concrete, which can be a problem. Failure for the concrete to breathe causes a white haze between the sealer layer and the concrete.
3. Penetrating Sealers
These are made from special resins that penetrate the concrete and create a barrier to oil, water, and other contaminants. This product is ideal for the driveway or garage.
So, Is Concrete Waterproof?
No, concrete is not waterproof as standard. You need waterproofing and sealing products which are available at professional concrete supply retailers.
Concrete is widely used and can last long if it is protected with suitable materials available in the market.
Avoid obtaining the products from a hardware store as they have a shorter lifespan despite providing sufficient performance. Get your products from reputable concrete supplier so as they serve you for long