How to fix a leaking water tank?
Concrete water tanks are usually constructed to last for at least 20-25 years. However, the concrete is a heterogeneous material having voids and capillaries within its matrix in the hardened stage. So, it is very likely that water seeps in through these voids and capillaries and cause leakage.
The problem of water tank leakage is pretty complex to handle. Needless to say, it is one of the things that if left untreated can make the problem of water leakage even worse. The leaking water may creep in through cracks formed at the base of the water tank and reach to the internal walls and ceiling by penetrating the roof.
In order to fix the issue of water tank leaking, it is important to understand and get to the root of it. One of the possible reasons might be the age of the water tank itself. There might also be a possibility of water leakage from the inside of the tank – probably the base. In case you already know the cause of leakage, it will help you fix it effectively.
Let us delve deeper to understand the problem of leakage in concrete water tanks.
Possible reasons for water leakage
Note: Being a critical structure of any building, concrete water tanks must be given special attention during the construction phase itself. Doing so can help prevent water contamination and seepage.
In most cases, after a few years of construction, the problem of water leakage is likely to occur due to the poor treatments of joints and excess porosity which fail to endure water pressure.
Leakage problems are likely to occur in concrete water tanks due to variable water pressure effects on their walls which cause structural movement, resulting in cracks.
Practices that lead to the problem of leakage
Note: One of the logical ways to keep the problem of water leakage at bay is to make sure that the concrete water tank is precisely constructed so that it works efficiently when it comes to enduring varying hydrostatic water pressure.
Having said that, let us check out some ongoing practices that lead to the problem of leaking water tanks.
Poor workmanship and material are a big concern that gives birth to the problem of leakage. Masons do not add any chemical to the cement which later on, due to constant water pressure, produce excess pores in the whole structure of the tank.
Many a time, homeowners or even construction supervisors do not give the water tank its due attention. Since the tank will be storing a good volume of water, it needs special treatment. Taking about the current practice, what they do is they simply apply the coat of neat cement slurry mixed with acrylic polymer or latex which is neither water-resistant nor elastomeric. As a result, the treatment has no effect and thus fail to perform under constant water onslaught.
The internal walls of concrete tanks are usually finished with tiles which over time are likely to form algae and fungus. Consequently, these contaminate the water and may create health-related problems after consumption.
Another ignored aspect of water tanks (underground and overhead) are their external walls. Construction supervisors often leave external walls without any treatment or they use cement polymer slurry which cannot provide the required protection against ground soil and water contamination. Also, the treatment is not effective when it comes to sustaining groundwater pressure.
Poorly sealed openings in the walls of the concrete water tanks are another major reason for probable leakages.
Solutions for bad practices
Poor quality concrete
A waterproofing compound must be mixed during concrete production to reduce water permeability. For this problem, Dr. Fixit LW Plus is an ideal choice. It is highly effective in minimising honeycombing and pores which help in reducing the problem of water seepage.
Inefficient protective layer on the internal walls
A polymer modified cement coating that is approved for food-grade coating must be applied on the internal walls, be it underground or overhead concrete water tanks. Dr. Fixit Pidifin 2K is an ideal choice for dealing with this kind of problem. It is a highly elastic acrylic modified cementitious coating that provides a protective layer of 1mm thickness and works efficiently under varying water pressure.
Poor protective layer on the external walls
To get rid of this problem, coal tar coating must be applied to the external walls. For this, you can consider Dr. Fixit Coal Tar Epoxy which is an effective solution when it comes to protecting external walls from soil contamination and groundwater. The chemical used in this solution is highly water-resistant that eliminates any possible chances of water seepage through the walls.
Poorly sealed openings due to plumbing pipes
Gaps at all the openings must be sealed properly. For this problem, you can consider Dr Fixit Bathseal Tape that can be wrapped around plumbing pipes. After this, the gaps can be filed with Dr. Fixit Pidigrout. It is a non-shrink, expansive cementitious solution that acts as a strong barrier for water that can enter from the outside.
In the end
In order to get the job done properly, you need to choose the best waterproofing solution for your leaking water tank so that you can rest assured about getting a long-lasting treatment for the same.