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Structural waterproofing; a waterproofing handbook and reference guide ... in the general subjects of waterproofing and dampproofing online

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A Waterproofing handbook and
reference guide for the use of
Architects, Engineers, Building
Contractors and others interested
in the general subjects of Water-
proofing and Dampproofing




(Copyrighled 1919)

Table of Contents

Part I

Structural Waterproofing and Dampproofing.

This chapter is designed to show the reader the relation of Integral Waterproofing to the general subjects of Waterproofing

and Dampproofing.

Waterproofing and Dampproofing How They Differ Where each should be Employed Gen-
eral Classification of Waterproofings and Dampproofings Graphic Chart Classifications of Water -
proofings Transparent, Opaque and Bituminous Coatings Discussion of Various Types of
Dampproofings coming under these Classifications Classifications of Waterproofings The In-
tegral and Membrane Methods Various types of Waterproofings included under Integral Method
Integral Powders and Pastes Various Types of Powders Colloidal Properties of Waterproof-
ing Pastes The Membrane Method of Waterproofing Its Various Usages.

Analytical Reasons for the Necessity of Incorporating a Waterproofing Compound
in Concrete.

Importance of density in structural materials for Strength and Resistance Danger of Porosity
Causes of Porosity Examples Porosity of Concrete Why Concrete is Porous Function of
Integral Waterproofing in eliminating Porosity Importance of Repellancy in Integral Water-
proofing Compounds Importance of Colloidal Properties in Integral Waterproofings.

The Physical Characteristics of Integral Waterproofing Compounds.

Waterproofing Powders and Pastes Methods of Introducing Waterproofing Powders into Con-
crete Theory underlying Waterproofing Powders Behavior of Powders in practical use Var-
ious types of Powders Methods of Introducing Waterproofing Pastes into Concrete Behavior
of Pastes in practical application The Simplicity of Pastes Illustrations.

The Colloidal Behavior of Integral Waterproofing Compounds.

Significance of Colloidal Characteristics as applied to Integral Waterproofings Difference be-
tween Portland cement and Plaster of Paris Presence of Colloids in Portland Cement Semi-
Waterproofness of Portland Cement Mortar due to presence of Colloids Addition of sufficient
more Colloid to produce complete Waterproofness Types of Colloidal Material which will pro-
duce most complete and permanent Waterproofing results Manner in which they should be
introduced into the concrete.

Influence of Water on Concrete

By Frank Burton, Department of Buildings, Detroit, Mich.

Influence of Wetting and Drying of Concrete on its Physical Properties Colloidal Nature of
Portland Cement Experiments by Campbell fa White on Expansion and Contraction of Concrete
due to alternate Wetting and Drying Similar experiments by Considere An interesting prac-
tical Example Further observations by Professor White Curves showing variation in Tensile
Strength of Concrete on Wetting and Drying Importance of Subject as related to entire Field
of Concrete Construction Theoretical Considerations More Practical Examples.


Integral Waterproofing with Particular Reference to the Mass Method.
By A. D. Hyman, Waterproofing Engineer, New York City.

The Function of Waterproofing Compounds What Waterproofing cannot do Composition of
Concrete Proper Proportioning Amount of Gauging Water Correct Proportioning of Water-
proofing Compounds Cautions on Concreting Work Importance of Proper Bond in Construction
Joints How to provide proper Bond Necessity of Removing Water Pressure during Construc-
tion How this can be done Six Important Considerations in Waterproofing.

Waterproofing Stucco.

Why Waterproofing for Stucco is Necessary Penetration of Moisture into Pores of Stucco .
Effect on Stucco of Freezing of this Moisture How Waterproofing relieves this condition
Porosity of Stucco as demonstrated by Test Circumstances of Test Practical Illustrations of
Unwaterproofed Stucco.

Integral Waterproofing by the\Cement Coating Process.

By A. D. Hyman, Chief Engineer of the Waterproofing & Construction Co.,
New York City.

Introductory Discussion The Cement Coating Process Preliminary Steps Preparation of
Surface for Bond Preparation of Plaster Coat Plaster Coat Ingredients and their Properties
Thickness of Coat for Walls and Floor Necessity of Continuity of Plaster Coat Necessity of
Insulating Waterproofing under Abnormal Conditions Construction Joints between different
days' work How to Eliminate Weaknesses from appearing Bleeding Walls to Remove Pressure
Construction of Drainage System to eliminate pressure Concluding Comments.

Practical Application of Waterproofed Plaster Coat.

Manner in which Wall should be Roughened Illustration of Roughened Wall Why a %" Water-
proofed Plaster Coat is Adequate Roughening of Columns and Footings Application of Water-
proofed Plaster Coat to Columns and Footings to Prevent Electrolysis Results of Plaster Coat
Waterproofing A Typical Illustration.

Relieving Pressure Before Application of a Waterproofed Plaster Coat.

Method of Draining Bleed Pipes Siphon Central Sumps Complete Work of Drainage
Bleeding Wall to eliminate Slow Seepage Practical Illustration of Bleed Pipes Results of fail-
ure to Relieve Pressure.

Integral Waterproofing a Consistent Principle of Engineering.

The use of the Safety Factor in Engineering Design Its application to Waterproofing Engineer-
ing not an exact Science Safety Factor in Reality Factor of Ignorance Definition of Exact
Sciences Illustrations Method of Procedure in Exact Sciences How Engineering differs from
Exact Science Why the Factor of Safety is necessary in Engineering Concrete offers greatest
Variation of all Building Materials Why it does so Why the Safety Factor Principle is par-
ticularly applicable to Concrete Construction Direct bearing of this to Waterproofing of Con-
crete Concluding Review and Discussion.

Part II

Discussion of Truscon Waterproofing Paste, Concentrated.

Nature of Truscon Waterproofing Paste, Concentrated How Used Method of Incorporating
Truscon Waterproofing Paste Concentrated in the Concrete Its Economy Colloidal Nature
of Truscon Waterproofing Paste, Concentrated Effect on Concrete General Directions for
Use Table of Quantities Illustrations Reports Testimonial Letters Prominent Users.

General Specifications for the Use of Truscon Waterproofing Paste, Concentrated.

Specifications for Waterproofing Mass Concrete by Integral Method Applicable to Standpipes,
Cisterns, Reservoirs, Foundations and Similar Structures Specifications for Waterproofing and
General Masonry Structures by means of Waterproofed Plaster Coat Applicable fo Cisterns,
Reservoirs, Foundations, Basements, Tunnels, Subways and Similar Structures Specifications
for Waterproofing Cement Stucco.

Part III

Representative Truscon Waterproofing Paste, Concentrated, Installations.


HIS is the era of concrete construction. For a number of years
past the use of concrete as a building material has been grow-
ing by leaps and bounds. It is most natural that this should be
the case. Concrete is the most ideal building material known.
It is durable and fireproof. It provides rapidity in construction
and economy in labor. It has, in fact, few limitations.

Its natural absorbent property, however, had a tendency to
limit its use in certain directions. There seemed to be no reason, though, why
this difficulty could not be overcome and the use of concrete further extended,
by eliminating this absorbent characteristic. It seemed logical that the intro-
duction of some element into the concrete during the process of mixing, would
accomplish this purpose and add to the other splendid qualities of concrete, the
highest degree of impermeability. As later events demonstrated, this proved
true, and it is when in a waterproofed state that concrete finds its highest and
most complete expression. Out of this idea itself, however, together with its
subsequent development, has grown the science of integral waterproofing.

But because of the comparative newness of integral waterproofing as a science,
there has been little organized literature or data on the subject. The architect
and engineer, faced with a condition where waterproofing seemed necessary, or
desiring to extend his use of concrete by some effective system of waterproofing,
has found difficulty in knowing where to turn for instruction or suggestion. In
other words, the science of waterproofing has lacked a handbook to which the
builder could turn as a reference guide.

This Architectural and Engineering Edition of Structural Waterproofing is an
endeavor to supply this deficiency and to place at the disposal of the architect
and engineer, a thoroughly organized and complete handbook upon the entire
subject of integral waterproofing. The theory underlying waterproofing, the
nature of waterproofing compounds, a discussion of their chemical and physical
characteristics and their practical use in mass concrete, cement plaster coat and
stucco, are all fully dealt with in the various chapters of this book. We hope
very sincerely that Structural Waterproofing will fulfill a much needed require-
ment in supplying full information upon the subject, to all persons who may
be interested.

We desire to make acknowledgment to Mr. Frank Burton of Detroit and Messrs.
H. A. and A. D. Hyman of New York City for the valuable chapters which
they contributed to Structural Waterproofing.



Structural Waterproofing and

This chapter is designed to show the reader the relation of Integral Waterproofing to the general
subjects of Waterproofing and Dampproofing

Waterproofing and Dampproofing How They Differ Where each should be Employed Gen-
eral Classification of Waterproofings and Dampproofings Graphic Chart Classifications of
Waterproofings Transparent, Opaque and Bituminous Coatings Discussion of Various Types of
Dampproofings coming under these Classifications Classifications of Waterproofings The In-
tegral and Membrane Methods Various types of Waterproofings included under Integral Method
Integral Powders and Pastes Various Types of Powders Colloidal Properties of Waterproof-
ing Pastes The Membrane Method of Waterproofing Its Various Usages.

The general subject of structural dampproofing
and waterproofing as it confronts us today in-
volves the methods and means of protecting
structural materials against the disintegrating
action of water. Masonry building materials
are generally more or less porous and capillary
in their structure, permitting the absorption and
permeation of water. The presence of water in
masonry is structurally injurious, due to its
solvent action on any soluble content, but more
particularly its disintegrating action by the
expansive force that is manifested by the congeal-
ing of the water on freezing. Water that is drawn
into foundations from the surrounding soil grad-
ually ascends into the structure, due to the cap-
illary nature of the constructive materials, and
finally permeates the entire wall, producing
damp and clammy conditions that foster and
spread disease. While the subject of structural
waterproofing and dampproofing deals primarily
with the prevention of gradual decay and dis-
integration of structural materials, it also per-
forms the useful and necessary function of pro-
viding more hygienic conditions for the benefit
of humanity in general.

The subject of the protection of structural
materials against the disintegrating action of
water should, for the most comprehensive under-
standing, be considered under the two general
divisions of Waterproofing and Dampproofing.
The term Waterproofing should correctly be
confined to the consideration of methods and
means of protecting subterra construction and
structures intended for retaining and containing
water under and against hydrostatic head.
Consistent with this definition, the term Water-
proofing as a part of this great subject would
apply directly to the methods of treating founda-
tions, tunnels, reservoirs, cisterns, standpipes
and similar construction. The term Dampproof-
ing should correctly be confined to the considera-

tion of the methods and means of keeping water
and dampness out of the superstructure of
buildings. In accordance with this definition,
dampproofing should involve the various methods
of treating exposed walls above grade line to
avoid the entrance or penetration of moisture
and dampness into the structure.

While there is a slight opportunity for dis-
cussion on the absolute literal correctness of the
above definitions, nevertheless this division of
the general subject serves most admirably to
differentiate between waterproofing conditions
and dampproofing requirements and to qualify
the various materials into either waterproofing
or dampproofing products.

It was only a few years ago that in the absence
of any comprehensive understanding of this
subject, transparent washes were recommended
in the literature of manufacturers for treating
foundations, tunnels and general subterra con-
struction, with no apparent recognition that
such materials have absolutely no application
to these severe requirements. By making the
above separation of this general subject, and
with further sub-division of each individual part,
the various materials can be very simply classi-
fied and confined for treating conditions where
they have a useful and valuable application.

In a paper from one of our larger universities,
which recently appeared in the technical press,
the following statement was included in the
introductory remarks : "Waterproofing materials
for use with concrete are divided into four gen-
eral classes Membrane, Integral, Surface
Washes, and Oil Paint Films." Such a statement
can only be confusing, as it does not suggest or
indicate any differentiation between the proper-
ties of the various materials which are suggested
and is, in fact, no more progressive than the
general understanding of the subject a few years

K unfortunate and

ago whcj"i Jit/w&s {ir? &
chaotic condition.

In the absence of a classification of this
subject, it is very confusing to the engineer or
architect to know exactly what material to select
for any particular condition. Naturally, each
particular product or method has some special
properties that make it advantageous for certain
conditions, and at the same time may have
limitations that would correctly prohibit its use
under certain requirements. Is it not advan-
tageous to the development of this important
subject to carefully consider the properties and
behavior of each particular method, and so
classify it as to be able to select the material
and the method that best suit a certain fixed

The architect or engineer will find the follow-
ing classification of this subject a big advantage
in preparing his specifications and also in his
general consulting work. As an example : If a
client should inquire whether a simple trans-
parent wash was applicable for treating the in-
terior of a reservoir of considerable depth, he
could very much simplify his reply with the
advice that the method suggested by the client
is fundamentally a dampproofing treatment and
confined to conditions subjected only to damp-
ness and has no application to a condition where
hydrostatic pressure is to be withstood. The
client can be easily made to recognize that his
condition is literally a waterproofing require-
ment and that he must employ a method that has
actual waterproofing value and not simply a
material with such limitations as will only per-
mit its use for dampproofing requirements.

Both the subject of dampproofing and of
waterproofing can be sub-divided into various
sub-headings, each of which has characteristic
properties and insures quite a complete and
comprehensive understanding of the full subject.
The following discussion develops quite a full
sub-classification of the two general subjects,
with comment on the distinctive properties and
values of each separate sub-class.

The subject of dampproofing, which we have
already defined as correctly applying to a con-
sideration of methods and means of keeping
water and dampness out of the superstructure of
buildings, may be very simply sub-divided into
the three following classes, viz:

A Transparent Coatings and Treatments.
B Opaque Decorative Coatings.
C Special Bituminous Coatings.

This classification is quite a complete one and
includes practically every treatment that has

ever been suggested or used to any practical
extent in connection with the treatment of
exterior exposed walls above grade line.

Again, the above classification of damp-
proofing treatments may be further sub-divided.
The method involving the use of transparent
coatings may be sub-divided into three quite
characteristic sub-heads, viz:

(1) The Sylvester Process.
(2) Hot Paramne and Waxes.
(3) Special Proprietary Products.

(1) The Sylvester Process is one of the
oldest dampproofing treatments, and while it
has been used to some practical extent, it is at
the present time very seldom considered. The
Sylvester Process provides for the alternate
treatment of a porous masonry surface with
solutions of soap and alum. These solutions
are preferably applied hot so as to insure good
penetration and to accelerate the chemical re-
action between the two materials. The theory
of this treatment is to provide by inter-reaction
of the soap and the alum, an aluminum salt of
the fat contained in the soap, which will be
deposited in the pores of the surface and tend
to repel the moisture. While from a theoretical
standpoint, the treatment may appear to be quite
an effective one, yet on a practical consideration
it is not very satisfactory. It is necessary to
make a number of alternate applications of the
soap and alum in order to obtain a sufficient
quantity of the aluminum soap to provide any
repellent or dampproofing action. The number
of coats required is made necessary by the fact
that the conditions of contact between the wash
applications of soap and alum are not such as to
insure a good, thorough chemical reaction be-
tween the two materials, and there is necessarily
considerably soluble material left in the pores
that is not utilized, due to the poor and inade-
quate physical contact.

(2) The second classification of transparent
dampproofing treatments covers all of the var-
ious methods which have been proposed and
used, involving the heating of the masonry
surface and the application of melted paraffine
or wax. While a dampproofing treatment of
this type can be made very effective, its applica-
cation is necessarily limited to only special
cases where the high cost of its application is
not prohibitory. The application can only be
made slowly, as the surface has to be heated
with a blow torch, and only when at the proper
temperature can the melted paraffine or wax be
applied, to insure the proper penetration and

A-Transparent Coatings and


Protection of





Action of


B-Opaque Decorative

(1) Sylvester Process

, (2) Hot Paraffins and

(3) Special Proprietary

(1) Various Cement

(2) Common Oil

(3) Special Proprie-
tary Cement

C-Special Bituminous Coatings

(1) Finely powdered
dry compounds
mixed with dry



(2) Compounds
either in liquid
or paste form
added to water
used to temper

(a) Repellent
\ (b) Non-repellent
(c) Metallic

(a) Unsaturated

(b) Extended

(c) Concentrated

f (1) Coal Tar Pitch
B-Membrane < (2) Natural Asphalts

I, (3) Special Bituminous Compositions

absorption of the repellent material into the
pores of the surface.

A very representative incident of the use of
this method for preserving masonry exposed to
weather exposure is the application to Cleo-
patra's Needle in Grand Central Park, New
York City, in 1885. This obelisk, while resisting
the climatic exposure of old Egypt for ages, soon
developed indications of rapid superficial decay
when subjected to the climatic conditions char-
acteristic of our country. This stone was quite
absorbent and as a result of the freezing of
water in the pores, the outer surface of the stone
was slowly disintegrating. In cleaning the
obelisk previous to the application of the hot
paraffine, about two and one-half barrels of
pieces, weighing a total of nearly 780 pounds,
were removed. Some of the pieces were so much
decayed and disintegrated that they would
crumble easily when removed from the surface.
After removing the outer crust of disintegrated
stone, the entire surface of about 270 square
yards was heated and then immediately treated
with a hot solution of paraffine.

(3) The third class of transparent treat-
ments, viz: Special Proprietary Products, sug-
gests quite an interesting and unfortunate
chapter in the history of the development of
the general subject of the preservation of struc-
tural work against the disintegrating action of

water. Following the general recognition that
one of the objections to concrete construction
was its absorbent nature, there appeared on the
market an almost innumerable number of trans-
parent liquids presented with the most extra-
ordinary and extravagant claims. According to
the literature of the several manufacturers of
these products, there was absolutely no condi-
tion associated with the general protection
against water in constructional work that could
not be very effectively and efficiently overcome
by a simple application of their product. There
was no intent or indication of a proper recogni-
tion of the limitations of a transparent treat-
ment, but they were recommended without
qualification for tunnels, foundations, reservoirs,
tanks, etc., in fact, every single condition that
would require waterproofing treatment would
find the manufacturers of these transparent
treatments recommending their materials.

It will always be the subject of a great deal of
regret on the part of all who are vitally inter-
ested in the scientific development of this im-
portant subject, that the manufacturers of
these various transparent treatments did not
exercise greater judgment in recognizing the
limitations of their products. They were un-
fortunately prompted alone by the mercenary
instinct of a quick return and profit on the sale
of their material, not realizing that the ineffec-

tive and unsatisfactory results which would
follow the use of their materials would tend to
establish a general skepticism, and, in fact, dis-
belief in the efficiency and value of all water-
proofing materials.

Practically all of the earlier proprietary
transparent dampproofing products were nothing
more or less than low melting point paraffines or
waxes which had been melted and fluxed back
into a volatile solvent. The theory of such a
preparation is entirely correct, but unfortunately
these several paraffines and waxes can only be
dissolved in solvents to a very limited extent,
producing a product that actually carries a very
small amount of repellent base and an excessive
amount of volatile material. On application to
the surface, practically 90 to 95 per cent of the
original material would be lost by evaporation,
leaving only a small residue deposited in the pores
of the surface. It would require a number of
repeated applications in order to leave deposited
in the pores of the surface a sufficient quantity
of the repellent base to provide any efficient
dampproofing results. Of course, it was usually
recommended with these materials that two
coats were all that was necessary in order to
provide efficient dampproofing results.

There were a few materials that involved a
little more technical effort than the simple so-
lution of paraffine or waxes, but in the majority
of cases only a small amount of actual total

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Online LibraryDetroit Truscon laboratoriesStructural waterproofing; a waterproofing handbook and reference guide ... in the general subjects of waterproofing and dampproofing → online text (page 1 of 10)