Waterproofing the Walls and Floors in your Apartment.

When renovating your home one of the most confusing aspects to plan for is the waterproofing. It’s something that doesn’t seem to add much to the aesthetics of the room, but can actually have the biggest impact on a space by protecting it from seepage and preventing structural and health damages caused by dampness and mold. The worst thing about damage caused by seepage is that you won’t realize anything is wrong till it’s too late.

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There are several reasons that cause damp walls, some of the more relevant ones are listed below:

  • Cracks on the exterior wall that allow rainwater to seep in.
  • Gaps in the floor tiles allow water from bathrooms to seep through and damage adjoining walls.
  • Water collects in the balcony due to improper drainage and seeps into interior walls.
  • Cracks in plumbing pipes.
  • Insufficient air circulation in bathrooms cause buildup of moisture.

rising-damp

Remember as a thumb rule that water needs to be guided out, which means wet surfaces need to be properly sloped and sealed.

Waterproofing requires a lot of demolition of walls and floors, so combine it with a larger home renovation project. Use a reputed company, like Dr. Fixit, Fosroc or Asian paints, for waterproofing and get a warranty even if it’s a bit more expensive. Ideally your waterproofing should last up to 10 years without damage if applied correctly.

Types of waterproofing commonly used in India

Floor Waterproofing

For floor waterproofing one suggests using URP chemical above the cement concrete along with a waterproof membrane under your floor tiles and turn the membrane up around 4″ up onto the skirting on the walls. Make sure you re-grout your tiles every 18 months or so, this will avoid any moisture going through to the substructure.

 Installing_shower_grates_on_concrete_floor

Wall Waterproofing

In order to waterproof your walls, remove the existing plastering, add a layer of tapecrete chemical (approx. 2-3 mm thick) followed by the wall plastering and paint.

Hope you found these tips useful, do share your renovation experiences with us in the comments below.

 

What goes into a Bathroom Renovation

If you’re tearing down and renovating a bathroom, you may not know what exactly it involves. All you may have seen are bathroom designs you’ve found online and shared with your contractor. Here’s a brief checklist to educate yourself.

 

Bathroom Demolition
The first step is tearing down the existing bathroom. It could be entirely internal if the walls don’t need to be moved. Specifically you may need to remove the wall tiles, floor tiles, fittings, and woodwork. Demolition always goes hand in hand with debris removal, so make sure you have someone to manage it for you (contractor or 3rd party).

Lighting & Electricals
A well-lit bathroom makes your daily experience a lot more pleasant. Given that false ceilings are becoming common practice in the bathrooms nowadays, ceiling lighting can be considered. As for the rest of the electricals make sure to provision for a water heater, at least 1-2 open points for things like an electric razor or hair dryer, a pressure pump if needed, and an AC if you feel like splurging.

Bathroom Plumbing
Plumbing is fairly typical in a bathroom. Check your water pressure before the walls are plastered up and the fixtures are installed, so that if pipe routing needs to be adjusted, or provisions for a pump need to be made it’s a LOT easier.

Waterproofing your Bathroom
It is extremely critical to get waterproofing right. We recommend that you waterproof the floor and about half the height of the walls in the bathroom for extra protection. This is done before any tiles or flooring is installed.

Bathroom Tiles
There are plenty of options out there for bathroom wall tiles. It all comes down to your choice and budget. From multiple Indian and imported wall tile brands, to unbranded ‘Gujarat’ tiles, you’ll find a lot out there. If you have storage space, buy an extra box for later (years to come). Sometimes you need to break a small section of the walls to resolve plumbing problems and matching tiles come in handy.

Flooring
You can use tiles, marble, or granite for your bathroom flooring.

False Ceiling 

It’s not uncommon nowadays to have a false ceiling in your bathroom. Keep it simple would be our suggestion. One downside of false ceiling is that if there is some kind of water seepage from the floor above, the false ceiling will need to be replaced. Regular ceilings on the other hand are cheaper to fix.

Woodwork
You may choose to get some storage constructed under your sink (vanity), or elsewhere in the bathroom if you have space. This comes in handy to store things like bathroom cleaners, towels, soaps, shampoos etc. Using waterproof board is a good idea to give your cabinets extra protection against moisture.

Counter Top
You may want to put in a granite/marble counter top around your washbasin based on the type of look you’re going for.

Doors & Windows
More and more people today are choosing UPVC doors and windows. While UPVC doors may not quite work out in the bathroom, windows are a good idea given UPVC is more resistant to moisture than wood and last longer.

Shower Enclosure

A modern bathroom today isn’t complete without a shower enclosure. It adds character and utility to your bathroom. Toughened glass is pricy, so an enclosure adds a significant expense to your bathroom renovation.

Bathroom Fittings
Last but not the least is the bathroom fixtures, which includes your washbasin, WC, and plumbing fixtures like your shower fittings, sink faucet, and WC faucet. The pricing of these vary vastly depending on the brand you choose. Some of the brands in the market include Hindware, Jaquar, Kohler, Grohe.

 

 

Rainwater Harvesting

Updated Feb 2019

Rains are a major source of water for us, many rivers feed out of it. However, much of the water goes waste when we allow it to run off and enter urban drains. Hence it is extremely important to accumulate, the water through roof drains, into underground reservoirs, for use.

Rainwater can be used in gardens, in toilets, and for domestic use with proper treatment. The harvested water can also be used for storage and for other purposes such as groundwater recharge.

rwh6

Suitable for roof top area upto 100 sq.metres  

rwh5

 Abandoned/ Running Hand Pump 
Suitable for roof top area upto 150 sq.metres

 rwh4

Abandoned Dug Well 
Suitable for roof top area more than 1000sq.metres 

rwh3

Recharge Trench 
Suitable for roof top area — 200 to 300 sq.metres

rwh2

Gravity Head Recharge Well 
Suitable for roof top area more than 400sq.metres 

rwh1

Recharge Shaft 
Suitable for roof top area greater than 1500 sq.metres

 All images sourced from: Delhi Jal Board

Why Should we Harvest Rainwater?

With rapid urbanisation and the growth in population, the existing portable water supply is no longer sufficient to meet consumption needs.  According to the Delhi Jal Board, based on its present population, Delhi’s water requirement is 800 MGD (million gallons per day), while the total water supply from all sources is 670 MGD. Delhi gets most of its water from neighbouring basin states like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh etc. Thus, the Delhi Govt. is limited in augmenting its water supply, leading to increased pressure on ground water.

With the receding water table, it has become all the more imperative to adopt Rainwater harvesting techniques.

Rainfall usually occurs in high intensity short spells, resulting in a run off, rather than recharging the ground water levels. Rainwater harvesting helps chanelise this runoff water, and store it. Rainwater is bacteriologically pure, free from organic matter and soft in nature. Moreover, it can be used to recharge the ground water levels  . Another advantage of rainwater harvesting is to reduce the . In fact, rainwater harvesting systems have been put in place in Chennai, and the Delhi Government has taken inspiration from them.

According to rainwaterharvesting.org:

Potential of rooftop water availability in National Capital Territory of Delhi

Roof Area in Sq.m Annual rainfall in (litres) Quantity of rainfall available for harvesting (litres)
50 30,550 18,330
100 61,100 36,660
500 305,500 183,300
1000 610,000 366,600

(Note: a.Annual average rainfall of Delhi=611 mm; b. runoff coefficient is assumed as 0.60;Sq. m to be read as square metre)
An analysis done based on the rainfall availability and demand supply gap shows that even 50 per cent of the rainwater harvested could help in bridging the demand supply gap.

What is the state of the Ground Water Table in Delhi?

A graphic published in the Times of India in May 2018 showed the following figures:

Neighborhood Depth to water level(m)
Dwarka 21.92
Kapashera 79
Mehrauli 78.1
Mayapuri 37.36
Janakpuri 12.9
Vikaspuri 15.62

A previous article in the Hindu dated August 2014, suggested the state of Ground water is dismal, especially in south and south-west Delhi. Here are some facts and figures from the article, to give you and idea.

Region Depth to water level(m) Area in sqkm
Central, North-West, North 0-2 3.8
South District 40-45 68
New Delhi, East, South-West, North-West 5-10 287
South West, New Delhi 10-20 410
South-West, South, New Delhi 20-40 247
East 2-5 465

What is the Delhi Jal Board mandate, what have they asked homes to do?

Considering the gap in supply and demand of water, and the ground water levels in some areas, the Delhi Jal Board has made it mandatory for all existing residential with an area of 500sq m and above, to install rainwater harvesting systems. There are around 10 areas where groundwater levels are reasonably high. Vetted by the Central Ground Water Authority , these areas will not be required to carry out RWH. These include Okhla, Siddharth Extension and Jahangirpuri.*

What effort does it take to Maintain a Rain Water Harvesting System?

Estimates suggest the cost of maintaining your rainwater harvesting setup could be of the order of Rs. 5k per year. You should get your tank cleaned 1-2 times a year based on the rainfall season in your region. Also make sure the inlets are not blocked with waste which could impede the flow of water. You could also use alum in the water to help the dust settle down to the bottom in order to make the water clearer for use, however ensure that you don’t use the water for cooking or drinking in that case.

 

If you’re looking to implement rain water harvesting in your Delhi home, BuildingBlox can help. Please fill the BuildingBlox Rainwater Harvesting Form and we will contact you.

*For  more details on the Rain Water Harvesting Mandate, do lookup the Delhi Jal Board website https://djb.gov.in

How to take care of your house this monsoon

We like rains. What we don’t like is damp walls, smelly carpets and the fear of termites. So we thought why not give our readers what would help them the most at this time of the year – “Home Maintenance Tips for a Happy Monsoon”

At times the best solution to a problem is to avoid the problem itself. You cannot avoid monsoons but you can avoid its side effects that affect your house.

Here are few things that you must consider as the monsoon is almost knocking at the door.

Monsoons are a good time for maintenance and not enhancements

  1. Try to minimize moisture in the house by exposing rooms to more sunlight, using dehumidifiers and air conditioners.
  2. Exposing upholstery and rugs to sunlight to minimize overall moisture in the house.
  3. Ensuring cross ventilation to keep the rooms dry during rainy weather.
  4. Not painting/polishing the furniture as it would affect the outer surface of your furniture.
  5. If you have wooden flooring, getting it waxed would be a good idea.
  6. Avoid furniture near the windows to protect them from rain water.

Renovations and Monsoons don’t go well together

  1. Do not underestimate the smallest of the cracks. It would be a good idea to patch them up at the earliest.
  2. Get the window and door frames water-tight.
  3. Do not neglect the terrace. The terraces must be sloped between 1:100 to 1:150 towards the rain-water outlets.
  4. It would be a good idea to waterproof the horizontal surfaces and install proper rainwater pipes.

Walls need some extra care periodically to withstand monsoons. Rain water tends to seep through the walls because of the capillary action that takes place through walls, shafts and construction joints.

Hence, one needs to paint the exterior of the building every 5 years. If you are yet to do so, plan it now. Use waterproof emulsions that are available.

Engage professionals, an architect or structural engineer to check for structural weaknesses every four to six years.

Hope these tips are useful.

We at BuildingBlox ensure that you are always delivered with best of advice and products for your construction needs.

Things to keep in Mind While Waterproofing your Washroom

    Washrooms are one of the most important parts of every construction project. They are no longer those secluded parts in the corner of the house, but instead are used as areas of leisure and relaxation. And it is quite obvious that bathrooms are the most prone to moisture related mishaps so special attention must be paid to waterproofing it appropriately. Here are some things to keep in mind as you supervise the waterproofing of your bathroom.

Bathroom Flooring

Flooring:

    Use antiskid tiles on the floor. It is always a good idea to use wide grout lines between the tiles and seal the grout lines annually, so that water doesn’t seep through them. Another important aspect of bathroom flooring is the uninterrupted slope towards the drain so that water doesn’t accumulate in pockets.

Bathroom Walls

Walls:

    The wall behind the shower panel, the part under the sink and the area behind the water closet, are most prone to mold and mildew, it is therefore a good idea to use tiles on the washroom walls as well. Use the Dr. Fixit Bathseal kit to protect your walls, floor, and sanitation areas.

Bathroom Ceiling

Ceiling:

    Ensure that your washroom ceiling is coated with waterproof paint so that it doesn’t absorb moisture.
Always ensure that there is enough ventilation and an exhaust fan in the bathroom so that moisture doesn’t stay. Also ensure that the joints in the plumbing and faucets are sealed properly; and, we repeat, the slopes on the floor direct the water straight to the drain.

    In fact, they Waterproofing is an extremely essential part of every construction project as the lack of it, or inadequacy of the same, can cause moulds to fester, seepage, and ultimately weaken the walls.

    Different types of waterproofing materials are used in the building industry. In order to obtain satisfactory performance, it is essential to apply the water-proofing treatment prior to laying the tiles and special care has to be taken to carefully preparing the building sub-surface so that it can receive the treatment as recommended.

    It is essential to ensure the water-tightness of the structures so that the flow of water from inside the structure to outside (in case of swimming pools), and the infiltration of water from the surrounding soil into the structure are effectively prevented.

    Have a look at our growing database of waterproofing products and have a look at some amazing bathroom images on our pinterest page to inspire you to start designing your dream bathroom today.