Over the years, waterproofing technology has evolved and enabled specifiers to address long-standing challenges, such as renovation without removing the existing membrane and to install with minimal disruption. However, what is still a major concern for both specifiers and contractors are the time constraints involved in a project, especially when renovating and repairing existing structures. Indeed, the speed with which waterproofing failure must be addressed is vital, for both the structure and for the economic impact the failure may incur.

Membrane repairs often involve intense manual labour: removing the old membrane, disposing of it correctly, and then applying the new membrane on a dry substrate. Membrane repairs can take weeks, often at great cost to both the owner and the businesses disrupted by the work.

While there are numerous types of waterproofing membranes, liquid membranes are arguably quicker to apply - particularly in a refurbishment situation - and can cope with the complexity of an existing roof with services than alternate membrane systems.

In early 2014, the use of a liquid membrane was proven to be the most effective waterproofing solution during a renovation project at Sydney’s historic Central Station Tramway. The 100-year-old structure had begun to leak onto the businesses and a major pedestrian thoroughfare below. The Central Station operators had commissioned The ACR Group to carry out the renovation work and had chosen to use MasterSeal Traffic 2000, a liquid membrane by BASF, for the job.

The challenge the renovation team faced was to repair the membrane with minimal disruption to the busy Light Rail timetable. Traditional methods of membrane repair would have required removing the concrete that protected the membrane and then re-laying it over with a new membrane. This would have caused severe disruption to light rail schedules, commuters and to the businesses below, incurring heavy costs for the Central Station operators. As shown in the case study, the repaired membrane met stringent building standards and the steps taken to lay the new membrane caused little to no impact on the tram timetable. The project only took a matter of days to complete, which meant that the allotted time-frames were not affected.

Waterproofing refurbishment is a time game where the flexibility to act quickly and with minimum disruption to the operation is an advantage. As shown in the Central Station Tramway Case Study, the use of liquid membrane technology can help specifiers to reduce time-frames and save costs while still meeting stringent requirements for waterproofing the structure.

For more information, click here download BASF's free whitepaper.