Skip to main content
What are the Best Waterproofing Materials? All Types, Uses and Features

What are the Best Waterproofing Materials? All Types, Uses and Features


Waterproofing is a subject that’s not very popular amongst homeowners as it carries technical expertise. Although it’s something that professional contractors deal with, it is also an important subject that residents must read about since it impacts homes, buildings, terraces and damp spaces. To begin with, let us discover what waterproofing materials are, its uses and benefits and its areas of application. Waterproofing’s efficiency depends entirely on the technique and material used on the surface.

In this blog, our experts navigate through the definition of waterproofing, types of waterproofing materials, its uses and more.

What is waterproofing?

Waterproofing is the process of protecting a surface from water ingress and dampness by using waterproofing materials and coatings. It is important to understand what waterproofing is before diving into its types and uses. When it comes to larger surfaces like buildings, foundations and terraces that are subject to weathering and dampness, waterproofing comes in handy. It is an added layer of protection that shields the surface from structural damage through water ingress, pipe leakages and more. Waterproofing forms an integral part of building and home construction as it is preventive and helps maintain the structural integrity of buildings and homes. It helps in preventing erosion, mold growth, furniture damage, corrosion, leaks and damages of building structures. Once you identify the area that is to be treated, you can choose the suitable waterproofing technique and waterproofing material for it.

Types of waterproofing materials

Choosing the type of waterproofing material depends entirely on the area of application, the type of water damage or water exposure, the structure of the space and the environment. Let us look at different types of waterproofing materials and its uses.

  1. Cement-based waterproofing materials

    One of the most commonly used waterproofing materials is cement-based waterproofing or cementitious waterproofing materials. Often used on concrete surfaces, this waterproofing material is mixed with cement to create a slurry-like liquid form that can be evenly spread. Cement-based waterproofing materials are commonly used in interiors of residential spaces like bathrooms, pools and basements where the water pressure is high. Cement-based waterproofing materials are affordable and a durable waterproofing layer. Cementitious waterproofing materials often contain additives that enhance the strength of the material.

    Types of waterproofing materials
  2. Liquid waterproofing membrane materials

    Liquid waterproofing membrane materials create a seamless thin layer with two coats of paint and a prime that can either be rolled, sprayed or brushed onto surfaces for waterproofing. Once it cures and dries, it forms a seamless and flexible layer of coating on the surface. These materials are often used in roofs, balconies, terraces, foundations and decks. Because of its fluid nature, they conform to different shapes and are easy to apply on any surface. The many types of liquid waterproofing membranes depend on the type of polymer and additives used to manufacture the same. From acrylic, polyurethane to silicone, bitumen and epoxy, liquid membranes can be manufactured in many types.

    Cement-based waterproofing materials
  3. Liquid bituminous membrane waterproofing materials

    Also known as asphalt pavement, liquid bituminous membrane waterproofing material is a durable and excellent waterproof coating used on concrete surfaces. It is made from bitumen, a hydrophobic material that is derived from crude oil. Bitum is commonly known for its waterproofing abilities and is used in construction widely. It is largely used on horizontal and vertical surfaces like basements, toilets, foundations, kitchens etc. This material adheres well to various substrates like masonry, metal and concrete. It also provides flexibility and fights cracks even after curing.

    Also Read: Foundation Waterproofing: 5 Reasons to Protect Your Home from Leakage

    Liquid waterproofing membrane materials
  4. Sheet Membrane waterproofing materials

    Manufactured in the form of a prefabricated roll or sheet, sheet membrane waterproofing materials are commonly preferred for roof and terrace areas because of its ease of application, versatility and sturdiness. Sheet membranes come in different sizes and thickness depending on the area of application. They are known for their ease of application, affordability, consistent quality and water resistant properties. PVC, EPDM and bitumen membranes are the most common types of materials available in construction. Most sheet membranes flaunt high adhesion because they are applied with the help of a torch flame. It is commonly used in areas that are in high contact with water like WCs, washrooms, gardens, terraces, sloping roofs, kitchens, basements etc.

    Liquid bituminous membrane waterproofing materials
  5. Polyurethane liquid membrane waterproofing materials

    Polyurethane is a versatile polymer used to create a liquid waterproofing membrane that is flexible and a seamless barrier used against water intrusion. It is commonly used on flat roofs and protects the roof from external factors such as harsh weather, dampness and water seepage. Contractors usually use one-component or two-component polyurethane liquid membranes for waterproofing depending on the area and the need. The two-component material is commonly used for residential spaces like balconies, terraces and roofs.

    Sheet Membrane waterproofing materials

Uses of waterproofing materials

Waterproofing materials come into question when the need for waterproofing arises. That typically happens when the structural integrity of a building or a space is under damage or needs protection. The exteriors of a building are subject to harsh weather conditions, humidity, wind, climate and external water that can cause deterioration of the facade over time. Waterproofing is a process that is created to protect such structures from external factors like humidity, leakages, water penetration and water damage. The primary purpose of waterproofing materials is to create a protective barrier. The most common uses of waterproofing materials are as follows:

  • Roof waterproofing
  • Basement waterproofing
  • Foundation waterproofing
  • Balconies and deck waterproofing
  • Interior waterproofing
  • Exterior wall waterproofing
  • Terrace waterproofing

Benefits of waterproofing materials

Waterproofing materials have numerous benefits for buildings, residential spaces and commercial spaces. Following are some key benefits of using waterproofing materials:

  1. Increased structural lifespan

    Waterproofing protects building barriers from damage, deterioration and retains the newness of these structures.

    Benefits of waterproofing materials
  2. Prevention of Water Damage:

    This is the key benefit of waterproofing materials. It creates a thick layer of protection against water damage, infiltration or ingress.

    Increased structural lifespan
  3. Reduced Maintenance:

    Waterproofing materials give you longevity and durability thereby reducing your maintenance costs for leakages and repairs.

    Prevention of Water Damage
  4. Prevention of mold and mildew:

    Moisture breeds mold and mildew growth. Waterproofing materials prevent moisture building in such spaces. This also creates good hygiene in residential spaces.

    Reduced Maintenance
  5. Energy efficiency

    Waterproofing can help reduce energy costs by preventing moisture from entering the space because of its insulation properties.

    Prevention of mold and mildew

Also Read: 5 Steps Guide To Completely Waterproof Your Home

Best waterproofing materials for walls

Certain factors need to be kept in mind while choosing waterproofing materials for walls such as water contact, type of wall, environment, exposure etc. There are different types of waterproofing materials for interior and exterior walls. However, the most commonly used ones are liquid waterproofing membranes (polyurethane or acrylic), cementitious waterproofing coatings, modified bitumen coatings and sheet membranes. For interior walls that require a decorative finish, waterproof primers and paints are also available.

Best waterproofing materials for terrace/roofs

Roofs and terraces are areas that are constantly exposed to weathering and have high contact with water and humidity. The type of waterproofing material depends on the type of substrate, the surface, the level of foot traffic and the climate. For flat and sloped roofs, modified bitumen membranes are commonly used due to flexibility, resilience, UV radiation-resistance, and durability. EPDM and Liquid membranes can be applied directly to the roof surface. PVC membranes are used for flat and pitched roofs. Concrete waterproofing coatings can be used for terraces and roofs as well. These are used just like paint after being mixed with water and applied to the surface.

How to choose the right waterproofing material for your project?

Homeowners need to consider various factors while choosing the right waterproofing material such as type of surface, environment, climate, level of water exposure etc. Here are a few steps to follow while choosing the right material:

  1. Analyze the requirement:

    Understand the area, identify the level of water exposure or contact and consider the climate and environment.

    How to choose the right waterproofing material for your project?
  2. Study the material options

    Learn about the strengths, weaknesses and features of all waterproofing materials to find the best suit for your needs.

    Analyze the requirement:
  3. Onboard professionals or consult them:

    It is best to seek advice from professionals who have been dealing with waterproofing for a long time. They can give you market insights on materials, the costs and the area of application.

  4. Consider the application:

    Each material has its own way of application such as rolling, spraying, brushing etc.

    Onboard professionals or consult them


By understanding waterproofing materials and studying the steps and tips given in this blog, you must consult a professional to take things forward. We hope this blog helps you make an informed decision about the best waterproofing material for your space.

Nerolac Paints, a leading paint company in India offers a wide range of wall paint colours & painting services & solutions for homes & offices.

Get in Touch

Looking for something else? Drop your query and we will contact you.

Get in Touch

Looking for something else? Drop your query and we will contact you.

  • Get in Touch
  • Store Locator
  • Download App

Get in Touch

Looking for something else? Drop your query and we will contact you.