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Thursday, June 23, 2011

About Waterproofing Flat Roofs and Bathrooms

I made a veritable nuisance of myself to The Panda over waterproofing. Thanks to the various roof leaks at the penthouse, Petunia was determined that there would be NO leaks at the new house. Dry is comfortable and wet is not.

There are 2 flat roofs at the new house. The thing about flat roofs is that they are cast in concrete, and whilst concrete would stop tanks and such, water just about thumbs its nose at it and seeps to wherever it wants to go. I was determined to make both roofs entirely impermeable to water.

Typically, flat roofs are waterproofed with liquid membranes. These membranes come in liquid form and when painted on thick upon the slab, they harden into a membrane that is impermeable to water. Once applied, it is very important NOT to tear the membrane with shoes, boots, pails and whatnot. Else, it becomes a plastic bag with a multiple holes.

I gave The Panda much grief over the waterproofing... I did. First, I went into a flap about the extra foam insulation layer that The Panda had very kindly wanted to include as part of my waterproofing system. These are hard foam panels that are laid on top of the membrane together with some other layers of thingies that altogether make your floor look like a hamburger before you slosh on the sauce (i.e., the cement screed).

I was afraid that the foam, having different heat expansion properties than tiles, would cause the tiles to expand so much that they would pop up. Then, I was afraid that tiles sitting atop such foam panels would crack if I placed heavy pots and trellises on it. So much for The Panda wanting to be generous above and beyond the contract specifications. I wasn't at all grateful.

Next, I made some noise when I noted that the wall across from my shower head was not treated with the liquid membrane. It isn't normal practice but I wanted it done because I was sure that the children would splash water all the way there when they shower. After Little Boy showers, you would think a tsunami had gone just through the bathroom. All that is missing are fish gasping for breath on the bathroom floor. Just about everything gets wet. Even though it wasn't normal practice, The Panda did it for me.

Then, I noted that a little wall that would get wet around those parts had not been completely built and therefore might not be waterproofed. I raised another stink. The Panda said that it would be done in due course, when it was time to raise that wall.

After that, I flapped like hen when I noticed that the cloth laid over the waterproofing membrane covered only part of the roof. There was quite a good reason for that and The Panda patiently explained. Later, I screeched like a parrot when I caught some of the workers traipsing all over the membrane trying to get some other works done. The Panda gave the workers a nice talking to via Muthu the site supervisor.

Indeed, it makes no sense for The Panda to do a poor job on the waterproofing because it comes with a 1o year warranty. If water seeps through, he would have to incur even more costs in repair. Hence, we both agreed that it was better to be somewhat a kiasu flappy hen than have to deal with leaks later. The Panda was a paragon of patience right through all my flappiness. I think Petunia the Flappy Hen will roast a relative for The Panda's favourite snack - roast chicken.


My SINFONIA said...

wow...looks like you have been roofed out!

petunialee said...

Yup... all roofed out!!