Although we perceive concrete to be indestructible it can have it weaknesses. One of these is the expansion and contractions it experiences when it is subjected to changes in temperature. To accommodate for this, items such as a Hydrophilic water stop are used. Depending on the size of the structure being made from the concrete it could require several of these.
To prevent cracking along the joints and seams of the concrete structure builders will create expansion joints, but these have to be sealed properly so they don’t allow water to seep into them. This is where the water stops come into action. The size of the structure will dictate how many expansion joints have to be utilized and naturally the bigger the structure is the more that will be needed. It’s not just in large commercial structures that have this requirement, as it is often a requirement for residential buildings but on a lesser scale, such as between the footers and the foundation where the cold joint is present.
A Hydrophilic water stop makes for a good choice because it has gained its popularity from its performance as a top quality and quite unique type of sealing gasket. The compounds that it is made from allows it to swell where moisture is present. This swelling provides the perfect seal in the joints. They are designed in such a way that the time is just right for the swelling to begin which means the expansion it goes through doesn’t happen too soon. This also means that the concrete has time to fully cure before the expansion which is important if the concrete is to going to be at its full strength.
Concrete engineers are also impressed with this particular type of water stop because of its flexibility in the type of joints it can be used in. It means they can use the same type for both horizontal and vertical joints which makes their job much quicker.
A problem in the past has been finding a water stop that holds its position well through adhesion. Many of the older types didn’t have the ability to be embedded into the concrete while it was still wet. This is a major problem that the Hydrophilic water stop has been able to end. With its durability and ease of use and its quality, it is fast becoming the number one choice in the concrete industry.