Moisture barrier and waterproofing are distinctive terms that are used interchangeably in the construction industry. In this article, we will explore the differences between the two in detail.
What is Moisture Barrier?
A moisture barrier prevents water ingress by diffusion. These membranes fill the spaces of the substrate with polymer or epoxy and restrict vapors from passing through. Moisture barriers work under limitations: It does not provide adequate protection from moisture, particularly in high humid areas. These surfaces are used in construction to prevent moisture from seeping through the walls or floors and causing damage to the building or its contents.
Moisture barriers are made from a variety of materials, including plastic, foil, and asphalt-based products. They are applied as a sheet or membrane over the surface to prevent gaps or punctures. However, these sheets are not designed to withstand standing water or water under pressure. Moisture barriers are not resistant to chemicals or UV exposure.
What is Waterproofing?
Waterproofing membranes resist hydrostatic pressure and bulk water intrusion into a building. These surfaces are made from rubber, plastic, or coated fabric materials, each with its own properties and characteristics. Waterproofing is designed to withstand prolonged exposure to moisture, chemicals, and UV radiation.
Waterproofing membranes are applied with rollers, brushes, or spray, forming a continuous, impermeable barrier over the surface. It differs from dampproofing, as the latter process resists moisture flow in a gaseous state.
Waterproofing membranes or sheets are applied on:
- Plant rooms
- Concrete tanks
- Flat roofs
- Containment areas
Differences between Moisture Barrier and Waterproofing
Following are some key differences between moisture barrier and waterproofing:
The primary purpose of a moisture barrier is to prevent water from passing through a surface. Waterproofing, on the other hand, is designed to create a blockade against hydrostatic pressure.
Moisture barriers are designed as a temporary solution to prevent moisture from passing through a surface, whereas waterproofing is a long-term solution against moisture ingress, chemicals, and UV radiation. It has a long lifespan of 3-10 years, depending on the environmental conditions, surface porosity, and other factors.
Moisture barriers are applied as a sheet or membrane over the surface. On the other hand, waterproofing systems (membranes, coatings, and adhesives) are applied with rollers, brushes, or spray cans to form an impermeable barrier over the surface.
Moisture barriers are designed from a variety of materials, including plastic, foil, and asphalt-based products, while waterproofing materials are formulated with plastic, EDPM, and other substances.
Moisture barriers are less expensive than waterproofing materials because of their short life. In other words, they have to be replaced in quick time.
While moisture barriers and waterproofing are used to prevent water penetration, there are significant differences between the two. Moisture barriers are designed to prevent moisture from passing through a surface, while waterproofing is designed to create a barrier resistant to hydrostatic pressure.
Waterproofing is a more comprehensive and long-term solution that requires specialized materials and is specifically formulated to resist the passage of water under high pressure. Careful consideration of the specific needs of a construction project will help determine which approach is most appropriate.
If your place requires a coating of moisture barrier or waterproofing membrane, contact Waterproofing.pk today.