Difference Between SBS Modified Waterproofing Membrane and Liquid Type Waterproofing

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Waterproofing has been used for the construction of buildings ever since the technological advancement of the year 1990. Today, it is widely used all over the world.

In this article, I’m going to explain the difference between SBS modified waterproofing membrane and Liquid type waterproofing. More than that, I will suggest when it is best to use the membrane over the other and vice versa.

The materials we mentioned earlier are important to discuss because of their popularity. They are a significant part of almost all types of building projects. Furthermore, they are mainly used to avoid water leakage, especially on the foundation, balcony, roof, and wet areas in the building. These two materials each have their own characteristics and advantages for the different areas where they are used.

There is one important document that you need to ensure before you can start the application of waterproofing which is the method statement for the application of waterproofing membrane. Similar to other activity which is a method statement for  liquid applied waterproofing . This is to ensure that the activity will be safe.



All right now let’s dive in! I’m gonna present a table so that it will be easy to understand.

Here is the Difference Between SBS Modified Waterproofing Membrane and Liquid Type Waterproofing in the table below.


Area /Location/ CharacteristicsSBS Modified waterproofing membraneLiquid Waterproofing
Difference in Material5mm SBS (Sterene-Butadiene-Sterene) Modified Membrane

-          SBS is one of the families of synthetic rubber.

-          It was discovered that by properly modifying asphalt or bitumen with SBS, they could create a highly durable elastomeric mix with a very excellent elongation and elastic properties. More than that, the mix would also have excellent abrasion resistance.
Black liquid applied with waterproofing membrane

-          High polymer emulsion. When cured, it can form a tough, flexible and elastomeric membrane.

-          Gives better moisture protection and comes with the ease of application.
Raft foundation

- Mostly used for the foundation of high-rise buildings. Its depth is 16 m to 50m from the ground, but this factor can vary depending on the type and height of the structure.
● Use SBS modified waterproofing membrane

For the raft foundation area, the waterproofing membrane is advisable because it can withstand high water pressure. The raft foundation commonly has a depth of 16m from the ground. This means that the uplift pressure is extreme. Therefore, the material of the SBS modified waterproofing membrane is advisable.
●       Do not use

This material cannot retain its shape after being pressed and stretched by the heavy load of raft concrete.
Matt foundation

- is the foundation used in shallow foundations such as low-rise buildings, malls, supermarkets, etc.
● Use SBS membrane

Although the matt foundation isn’t as deep as the raft, the SBS modified waterproofing membrane is still advisable, especially for projects near the seashore. Just like our project, “The Square,” the matt foundation lies at 5m below ground with a water level 2m below ground.
● Do not use

The liquid applied cannot withstand long periods under high pressure.
Isolated footing

-is used in the foundation of factory buildings, warehouses, residential houses.
● Use

-          This is used when the footing is below the water level. The water will surely percolate the footing if there is no SBS modified membrane applied to it. Water ingress would be avoided.
● Use

-          If the footing is above the water table then apply this material.

-          Even if there is no uplift pressure, you can still use this for its practicality.
Wet areas such as Kitchen, Bathrooms, Comfort rooms or Toilet● Do not use.

-          SBS modified membrane is not necessary for these areas. This is because there is not much pressure and the toppings above it are screed and tiles, both of which may tear off the membrane.
● Use

-         It is advisable to use this material because it is less thick. It is 1 mm to 3mm. It will affect the elevation or level of the FFL if you have a thicker waterproofing material. This is one of the reasons why I don’t advise SBS modified membrane
Balcony and terrace

-of a hotel or high-rise residential building.
● Use

-          SBS modified membrane can be used in these areas. Just make sure that the design of the balcony can accommodate a thickness of 5 or 6 mm of the SBS membrane
● Use

-          This material can be used if you want to avoid complicated installation processes because you won’t need a primer. In other cases, you’ll need to dry out the primer before you can apply the actual waterproofing material.

-          Roof of a high-rise building or low-rise

-          Roof deck

-          Upper roof
● Use

-          Because of the wide area of the roof and the presence of heavy MEP installations, it is advisable to use SBS Modified membrane on the roof.
● Do no use.

-          Roof is an open place and when a heavy downpour comes, this material might not withstand prolonged rainfall.
Swimming pool

-on high-rise buildings at roof deck or even on the ground floor.
● Use

-          It is advisable to use SBS modified membrane in this area. Swimming pools contain heavy weight of water above the waterproofing.
● Use

-          Use this material on the 4th layer. This waterproofing will protect the 3rd layer gunite because within gunite there is reinforcement.
Attic slab

-is made above the substation of a high-rise building. Electrical rooms.
● Use SBS

-          The underside of the attic slab is a critical area that contains the substation and the generator. In order to prevent water from falling on the high voltage electrical power, an SBS modified waterproofing is required to be placed in this area.
● Do not use

-          It will possibly leak even though it is still a membrane. It is not like SBS modified.
External wall (behind cladding)

-this is behind cladding which may be a glass cladding, GRC cladding, or granite cladding. To protect the wall from water ingress, waterproofing is required.
● Do not use

-          Due to the criticality of the application involved with the external walls of a high-rise building, the SBS modified membrane is not advisable. It is impractical to use over external areas with a height of 50 m or above.
● Use

-        It is very practical to use liquid waterproofing in this area because it can be applied with a brush or roller.
Read also:  A Step-by-step Guide to Quality Control Procedures for Work Inspection Requests




Related Article:

Method Statement for Application of Waterproofing Membrane

Method Statement for Liquid Applied Bituminous Waterproofing

Alright, that’s it! I hope you’ve learned a lot from our blog today.

If you have something in mind that you would like me to explain and discuss, please write it down in the comment section and I’ll surely create an article or blog for you.

What is SBS Modified Waterproofing Membrane?

It was discovered that by properly modifying asphalt or bitumen with SBS, they could create a highly durable elastomeric mix with very excellent elongation and elastic properties.

What is the meaning of SBS?

It is Sterene-Butadiene-Sterene.

What type of waterproofing applies in the foundation of a high-rise building?

It is recommended to use SBS Modified Waterproofing in order to ensure impermeable foundation.

Did you apply the SBS Waterproofing Membrane and Liquid Type Waterproofing in your project? 

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