Most homeowners believe that a well-constructed retaining wall is determined solely by what is below the ground. While this is true, an excellent design that maximises usable space and enhances the visual aesthetics of your flat lawn needs waterproofing behind the wall. A well-waterproofed retaining barrier prevents water damage and helps to maintain the structural integrity of a building. That said, waterproofing a retaining wall requires a meticulous approach for optimal performance.

This article highlights tips for applying waterproofing on a retaining wall.

Reinforce Waterproof Membrane

Time coupled with environmental factors, such as cyclic thermal contraction and expansion, take a toll on retaining walls. The structural movements on the joints of a retaining wall eventually create gaps and allow water to sip. This is especially the case if you do not reinforce the waterproof membrane during the application process. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the waterproof membrane adheres to the wall fast and stays put regardless of structural movement.

A reinforcing bandage used together with liquid rubber helps to join corners, junctions, cracks, and penetrations present in the retaining wall. The reinforcement materials ensure the membrane adheres tight throughout a retaining wall's life.

Extend Below Perforated Pipes

Contractors have to address hydrostatic pressure build-up behind a retaining wall during construction. It usually occurs when water sinks into the soil behind the wall and settles rather than draining away. Installing perforated pipes at the base of the wall solves this problem by allowing water to trickle slowly into the soil.

Therefore, it is only logical that the waterproofing membrane covers the entire height of the retaining wall. Most importantly, the membrane must go below the perforated pipes. It will ensure that water trickling from the perforated pipe doesn't sip through the base of the wall. This step is only possible if you have enough waterproof membrane to cover the retaining wall's entire surface.

Eliminate Seams

Quality waterproofing membranes are excellent at what they are designed to do; keep water from penetrating the surface. However, a waterproofing membrane is only as good as the surface's preparation.

Any open seams between the bricks on the wall will compromise the membrane's ability to keep water from leaking through. The best way to eliminate these seams is to fill them with quality caulking. Follow this up by smoothing the blocked seams to create a flat, smooth surface ready for waterproofing application. Remember to allow the seams to dry adequately before installing the waterproofing membrane on the retaining wall.