Choosing the Right Waterstops for Concrete Structure Joints

Engineers planningThere are different types of water stops for concrete structures depending on the usage and materials. You must consider several factors in choosing the right water stop, such as the type of joint and its movement, the amount of pressure and chemical reaction it will be exposed to.

Concrete also expands depending on the temperature just like other structures. As such, expansion joints are installed on the slabs and walls to prevent the construction from getting damaged. Installing water stops will prevent water leakage from these joints and intervals.

Get to know the two types of concrete structure joints:

Non-Moving Joints

Also referred to as cold joints, non-moving joints are typically installed as a footing and foundation. For this kind, hydrophilic water stop is the best choice as it uses an active component called Bentonite clay. Other water stops provide the same controlled swelling properties that expand and seal the joints but are made of non- Bentonite materials.

There are also materials specifically designed to seal non-moving joints though they are not classified as water stops. These materials expand dramatically when exposed to water, forming a blockade and ultimately sealing the joint.

Non-moving joints may have different properties and classifications. What’s important is that these materials can prevent water from leaking out and penetrate the joint.

Moving Joints

Water stops used to seal moving joints are usually referred to as mechanical water stops, owing to its movement. There is a wide variety of materials currently being used as automatic water stops like stainless steel, copper, rubber, and PVC, though the latter is considered as the most widely used water stop material due to its elasticity and resistance to many water-based chemicals.

Water stops are installed twice on concrete structures with moving joints. The first installation is before the concrete is placed. The second installation, on the other hand, seals its placement. There are different types of installing mechanical water stop depending on the details, in particular, whether the concrete structure is vertically or horizontally mounted.