PVC versus Rubber: Which Makes a Good Waterstop?

waterConcrete remains one of the most dependable construction materials in the world. It also has a problem — it can allow water to get into the joints. When this happens, the water harms the foundation. It also affects the construction process. To prevent that, companies use a waterstop for concrete joints.

As its name suggests, it prevents any leaks from damaging the concrete-joint structure. In the market, you’ll find a lot of options available. Here are some of them:

1. PVC

PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. It is one of the most common materials for concrete waterstops as it provides many advantages. First, this material is not difficult to find. In fact, it is the third most produced synthetic plastic polymer in the world. Its demand will rise 3.2 percent per year until 2021.

Moreover, it is flexible. Elongating it is not a problem. Even when you stretch it, it does not lose its shape and does not damage its durability. It also has one of the highest tensile strengths.

PVC also can resist different types of fluids. These include diesel oil and seawater. It does not react with acid, so it doesn’t experience corrosion or burning. If colours matter to the business, then companies can choose a wide variety of shades.

2. Rubber

Another common material for waterstops is rubber. One of its advantages is that there are many options to choose from. There are natural rubber and neoprene rubber. It can also be styrene butadiene rubber (SBR). It is the most in-demand type of rubber.

A rubber waterstop has a high elasticity and elongation quality. An SBR, on the other hand, is abrasion-resistant. For this reason, it can sustain its shape when poured with concrete.

Its ability to expand makes it ideal for environments where water pressure can change drastically — reservoirs and water treatment facilities, for example.

Some components of the SBR may be harmful to certain people. For those with health concerns, they can choose to use natural rubber.

Remember, though, that selecting the right material for water stops is half of the success. The other is the proper installation. Working closely with the contractors is still the best way to avoid water leaks.