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Damp Proofing Vs. Waterproofing: What's The Difference?

Damp Proofing Vs. Waterproofing: What's The Difference?

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More than often, dampproofing and waterproofing are used interchangeably. But you should note that there is a significant difference between the two. Moreover, waterproofing is considered far more effective and helps keep water from going to the surface. This even means that water vapour, moisture in the soil and water under pressure is successfully barred.

Dampproofing helps control water vapour from the humidity of the soil and stops the inflow of liquid water. This is the most critical point of differentiation between these two as they help determine whether dampproofing is enough for your structure. Also, living in a damp environment increases the likelihood of flooding in the area.

In this article, we shall tell you about what damp proofing is and the difference between waterproofing and dampproofing.

Let's get started.

What is Damp Proofing?

What is Damp Proofing?

Dampproofing is done in the absence of hydrostatic pressure. It is just a coating that is hand applied or sprayed on the surfaces of the wall paint. Also, it's not recommended when it comes to the construction of modern residential homes.

Dampproofing is only helpful in controlling water vapour from soil moisture but does not stop the inflow of water. It only keeps the dampness out of the home and is relatively basic. Additionally, it is a more viable solution when moisture is a significant problem.

What is the Difference Between Waterproofing and Dampproofing?

What is the Difference Between Waterproofing and Dampproofing?

Now, let's move and look at the significant differences between waterproofing and dampproofing. Waterproofing and dampproofing sound the same, with a common objective of keeping water away. However, their differences are substantial. They are crucial in understanding exactly what you're looking for.

  1. Waterproofing

    Waterproofing helps in keeping both moisture and water away. Moisture contains water vapour. Also, it is required in areas with a high-water table or other grave water-soil conditions that are there. Waterproofing concrete is designed in a way to stop any water infiltration through concrete structures.

    Also, waterproofing materials have the advantage of bridging cracks or faults that may develop over time due to the flexible, elastic nature and thickness of the coating. These materials are designed in such a way that they withstand hydrostatic pressure with an excess of 40 mils.

    Let's look at a few things that waterproofing can do

    ● It should be able to stop water vapour. This water vapour is the gaseous form of water which, when released by the surrounding, can move through the concrete.

    ● Waterproofing membranes should be able to put a full stop to water under hydrostatic pressure.

    ● The most important is that waterproofing should be able to sustain cracks or faults in the treated concrete structure.

    Furthermore, waterproofing is vital in areas with heavy rainfall and high-water tables. Since water enters the ground and accumulates in and around the foundation. The higher the water rises to reach the foundation; the more hydrostatic pressure gets exerted against the structure.

    This holds for areas with clayey soils. Clay absorbs and retains water more than granular soil. The hydrostatic pressure helps if forcing water through the porous concrete. Therefore, the depth, the degree of hydrostatic pressure, use of interior space are all essential factors to consider when looking for waterproofing materials.

    With that being said, let's look at a few waterproofing materials that are used

    ● Clay-based products such as bentonite

    ● Crystallization products

    ● Asphalt coating that is rubberized

    ● Urethane coating

    ● Rubber based coating

    ● Butyl rubber coating/sheeting

    Apart from these, waterproof putty is another waterproofing way in which a white cement-based waterproof putty is used, providing a strong base on the concrete wall. This is applied before the topcoat of the paint is done and protects the walls from water.

    Also read: Protect Your Home With These Waterproofing Methods & Solutions

  2. Dampproofing

    Another process that helps keep water away from the walls is dampproofing. This process involves using a mixture including tar or asphalt as an exterior of the structure; it has the purpose of stopping the wicking of moisture in the ground through concrete. It cures thickness that is less than 10 mils thick.

    Dampproofing is fundamental and is not meant to keep all moisture and water away; instead, the goal is to retard or block the capillaries, thus slowing down water penetration. Moreover, this was initially developed as a primer and is brittle at low temperatures. Therefore, damp proofing will only keep the dampness away from the foundation and is ineffective in preventing water from entering the structure through cracks, holes, or faults.

Why is Waterproofing Preferred over Damp Proofing?

Why is Waterproofing Preferred over Damp Proofing?
  • Coverage Area

    Damp proofing is unable to seal large holes, faults, or cracks. On the other hand, waterproofing is much more versatile. The reason for this is the flexibility and elastic nature of waterproofing.

  • Life Span

    The biggest con of damp proofing is that the products used have a short life span, whereas the best waterproof putty has a long life.

  • Applicability on Existing Structures

    Dampproofing is challenging to apply on existing structures and does not create any watertight seal. On the other hand, waterproofing is much more versatile.

  • The Advantages

    Damp Proofing only blocks the concrete pillars, which helps show water penetration. On the other hand, waterproofing can provide prevention to the passage of liquid water under the presence of hydrostatic pressure.

  • The Cost

    Professional damp proofing is more expensive than waterproofing. This is because of the difficulty of installation required for damp proofing, which requires heavy equipment and several days.

  • Health Benefits

    With broader coverage, waterproofing provides more protection towards the health of your home. Damp Proofing methods can be insufficient. Therefore, waterproofing is indeed the best choice when it comes to choosing between the two.


Waterproofing eliminates the inflow of moisture and water, which can enter through cracks or holes in the ceiling, walls, etc. Therefore, the structure must get waterproofed to ensure that a lasting solution is applied. Also, damp proofing may not be sufficient in fulfilling the end goal.

Waterproofing the home helps provide a security blanket for your home's excellent health.

Moreover, it is advisable to get quality and premium waterproofing so that you do not have to shell out the money later. Saving money initially will lead to unnecessary expenses later on. Also, quality waterproofing separates a robust, healthy, and long-lasting home from one that deteriorates soon, requiring maintenance and repair.

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