What’s The Difference Between Damp Proofing and Water Proofing

What’s The Difference Between Damp Proofing and Water Proofing

There is a clear difference between damp proofing and waterproofing. Damp proofing is designed to keep moisture away while waterproofing keeps both moisture and liquid water away. You need damp proofing and waterproofing when appropriate, if you have a moisture problem then you will go with the former but the later will come in handy when you need to stop water from penetrating. It is a reliable waterproofing website, be sure to check them out if you need high-quality waterproofing.

Buildings have been dampened for years, a practice that used to be wrongly referred to as waterproofing. The International Residential Code (IRC) points out the requirements that involve either damping or waterproofing. All concrete or masonry foundation walls ‘that maintain soil and enclose internal spaces and floors below grade shall be dampened from the top of the base to the finished grade.’ The IRC shall then mention the permissible products, including bituminous coating and acrylic-modified cement. Waterproofing is only needed by the IRC “in areas where a high water table or other severe soil-water conditions are known to exist.”


The process of waterproofing a concrete foundation provides a continuous obstacle to water penetration. Through curing the surface with either tar or elastomeric rubber coating, this barrier is created and is able to withstand hydrostatic pressure. Hydrophobic chemicals may be sprayed on the surface or added by hand. When determining if waterproofing is required, the key issue is how much the structure would have to cope with standing water. The depth of the base wall, the usage of indoor space, and the environment around it would all be considerations in this decision. In general, though, if there is some doubt as to whether waterproofing is needed, this is most frequently the case.

Damp proofing

When the concrete surface is damp, the coating is applied in the same manner as the waterproofing. Typically this coating substance is centered on asphalt and creates a membrane. The main distinction between waterproofing and damp proofing is that the membrane is not supposed to resist standing water penetration while hydrostatic pressure is present. In other words, damp-proofing is designed to discourage small levels of moisture from harming the concrete but does not entirely cover the surface in the context of waterproofing. Damp proofing is also not worth covering wide holes or blemishes in concrete. If adequate surface drainage is feasible and drains are properly built, damp proofing may also be a reasonable option in certain applications but is seldom utilized in modern residential design.

Damp proofing is a covering, typically centered on asphalt, that is either poured on or applied by hand to the exterior of the wall. While less commonly prescribed in new residential buildings, it is also an appropriate method of care in certain cases. Negatives include the inability to seal broader openings or holes left in the form of connections and the risk of damage due to rough or careless backfill. However, with good surface drainage, correctly engineered base drains and a lack of hydrostatic pressure to cause water infiltration, damping may offer sufficient and long-lasting security for certain crawling areas and basements.

What do I need? Waterproofing or damp proofing?

Waterproofing is not pretty, and because it is going to be deep inside anyway, it is convenient to skimp and opt with damp-proofing instead of painting the same black stuff that comes in a bucket. But damp-proofing just slows down the moisture; it does not block the head of the stream from running against the foundation.

Almost all waterproofing materials may be applied to concrete blocks as well as to poured concrete walls, and many of the same problems and practical tips are relevant.

Waterproofing of the foundation needs the same care as damping in the treatment of surfaces and drain pipes, but is much more exacting in the treatment of the wall itself. Obviously, if there is any doubt as to whether or not damping is going to do the job, it is prudent to spend extra time and money on waterproofing, especially in living rooms.


Local considerations vary greatly and help to make the right choice to prevent water infiltration. Any areas with dryer conditions and lower water tables routinely build basements with foundation walls that can exceed a thickness of 10 feet. Other areas, with strong annual rainfall, high water levels, and low surface freezing, use slab-on-grade foundations most frequently. But these foundations do need protection to prevent moisture from migrating into the slab from the ground. And remember topography—a walking basement on the side of a hill has a strong chance to use gravity to transfer subsurface water down, whereas a complete basement on flats in a damp environment can have to use mechanical means in the absence of surrounding well-drained land.

The depth of the base wall and the use of the indoor space will also come in contact with the choice of the solution. A 36-inch frost wall for an unheated crawling area constructed on well-drained soil and utilizing a gravity drain is a successful damp-proofing candidate. The house next door, with a 10-foot-high foundation wall and a completed basement, could opt for a completely waterproof foundation wall device.