There are many factors in to becoming a waterproofing contractor however the one thing that is vital is to have all the right tools and product to provide your customer with the right sort of protection.
South African weather, especially in the summer months can produce alot of rain, therefore requiring many roof's to be waterproofed as well as exterior walls and often balcony's and floors. This is where WaterKote comes in handy. It is easy to apply and is 100% clear. Meaning you can paint it on any surface and it will not distort the colour of the substrate
The video link below will confirm my story on the right regarding the compexity and mystery of fixing leaks on a flat roof. Listen carefully as he explains that the leak is not the source of the water, the source or cause is many meters away!
This method is ancient because bitumen is a form of tar which softens in heat and contracts in cold. this constant movement will fatigue the membrane in time. The new method is to use a product like WaterKote which is unaffected by the heat or cold, is UV stable and completely hydrophobic or watertite!!!
Waterproofing is both very simple for the DIY enthusiast, and extremely complex at the same time. Why? Because water behaves in unpredictable ways on roofs, and, in particular, on flat roofs. If you can see the hole or "tunnel" where the water is leaking through, then it is easy to stop that. But if you cannot find the source of the leak, then it becomes a guessing game.
On some flat roofs that were treated with membrane and acrylic paints, the wear and tear of weather over time will degrade the top layer of paint so much so that it becomes porous. This is not easy to diagnose if you are new to what to look for when on top of a roof.
Other challenges are when cracks appear on parapet walls, which were not treated properly, the water will seep under the waterproofing and find little "tunnels" to travel through until it drips, sometimes many meters away from the crack/cause.
I imagine that causes of leaks could fill a book with the amount of "hidden" ways water finds to drive us mad.
But then comes damp, a real nasty problem because it could come through a wall, say from a shower into a bedroom, or it could be rising damp from the foundation. It could come from between the two outer layers of brickwork with the source in the roof or parapet. Or from built up soil against a wall. In some cases we found it to be a leaking pipe in the wall. So you quickly begin to see how water can cause grey hairs and lots of expense.
As with all things today, there is an overload of information on the internet and in the pub, where "experts" abound. Let me assure you that it is impossible to fix a leak from the pub or the internet. Until such time as you have been to the source of the leak, not the place in the house where it is leaking, that is the effect, you must find the cause. The only way to find it, is to climb up on the roof.
Now comes challenge number two, the more important one, assume you found the cause, now what do you do? What product do you use? If you take the advice from someone who has never been on a roof or who is not old enough to spell waterproofing, then you are in trouble. Most shop assistants are totally clueless. The remaining few are invariably trained via a book or a video or a paint salesman.
Waterproofing must comply to minimum standards of efficacy, durability, UV stabilisation, algae control, (yes algae is a plant and its roots will cause damage) flexibility, rapid drying/waterproofing time, cost effective coverage, ease of application, safety in application, and should be eco-friendly.
Price of waterproofing is not based on the cost of the tin of paint, beware, this is such a trap for the unwary to succumb to WaterKote at R1250 per 5lt will cover an effective 16m2 and cost R78 per sqm. Some waterproofing mediums, will take up to two liters to cover a sqm and cost R500 per 5lt tin, which seems such a bargain, but the cost per sqm is R200. Exactly R122 more per sqm than WaterKote. And you can be assured that at R500 per 5lt it is mostly filled with powder and water and very little waterproofing binder. (See how paint is made at this link)
This video tells you that the water and powder (marble dust) or (calcium carbonate) paint cost almost R2000 per 5lt. WOW!
The R500 bargain paint takes up to ten days to dry out, and if it rains during this time, the product is washed off the roof and down the drain. This bargain paint requires the surface be first painted with a primer to "secure" the substrate. So if you are paying well over R200 per sqm, do you still feel "lucky"?
None of these "other" waterproofing mediums come in clear, as with WaterKote! The reason is as mentioned in the video link above, paint is made with powder filler and water. Totally opaque. Transparent waterproofing allows you to fix the problem without having to find matching paint colours of roof tiles or parapet walls.
So when you factor all these elements into your decision to buy waterproofing "paint" it starts to make sense as to what your choice should be! But that is not all... WaterKote can be used on wood as water-based varnish, or on tiles as a transparent waterproofing medium. It can be painted over cheap paint to protect it from the elements and extend its life exponentially.