Waterproof concrete

No concrete is totally waterproof. The material contains fine capillary pores and voids—and ordinary concrete tends to act as a sponge, so it absorbs water. This can result in dampness, and promote staining and bacterial growth. Hence, concrete should be detailed to cast off rainwater, i.e. paving should be laid to fall to drains, and facing walls should be detailed to throw off water and avoid puddling. Tops of walls and steps should be ‘canted’, or laid to drain. This is particularly important in the case of reinforced concrete, because otherwise the steel reinforcement can rust.

If designing pools or tanks, the aim should be to avoid cracks and joints which would leak. Usually, it is therefore prudent to coat, line or otherwise ...

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