By its very nature, mankind has always sought protection from atmospheric conditions. Considering the prehistoric conditions, caves clearly offered effective shelter against both cold temperatures and severe storms. In order to prevent the inconveniences that came with rains and storms, humanity sought to avoid rain water in caves and the early tents that came into use later. Waterproofing first appears along with the need of protection against rain water. This necessity led to taking refuge in caves and in between rock formations, and later, the emergence of the concept of tens and roofs. What needed to be avoided was the water coming from above. In time, however, with the technological developments in buildings, both the direction and the conditions of the water that necessitates protection took a different turn. The water falling from the clouds was no longer the only concern; groundwater also became a hazard to the buildings that we lived in. The transition from nomadic lifestyle to permanent settlements contributed enormously to this process. When humankind was exhausted from ceaselessly wandering across continents with their tents and felt the need to find lands where they could take root, a similar need to put down the roots of their building was born along with it. Water was now a threat that must be struggled against underneath us. Durable, comfortable and healthy buildings are only possible through their proper design and construction as well as protection against extraneous effects. Water is one of the major factors effecting buildings. Buildings are exposed to water due to;

• Precipitation such as rain and snow,

• Moisture in the soil and the rainwater or utility water absorbed by the soil.

• Water usage in wet places such as bathrooms and restrooms.

• Pressurized and unpressurized groundwaters in the soil upon which the building has been erected.

• Condensation of water vapor coming from within the building on exterior surfaces such as roofs and walls.


It is impossible to prevent water from posing a threat to the building and comfort in the ways mentioned above, but it is possible to prevent it from penetrating buildings. "Waterproofing" is the term used for the procedures carried out upon the building envelope with the aim to prevent buildings from water or humidity that might come from any direction. The biggest threat to building lifespan and durability is "water". Water seeping into the building causes corrosion on reinforcements in the bearing parts, which in turn leads to fewer sections and a drastically reduced load-carrying capacity. Also, water inside the constructional components freeze in cold seasons and vaporizes in hot seasons, resulting in compromised concrete integrity and formation of cracks. Apart from that, the sulfates that are contained within soil moisture or groundwater enter into chemical reactions with foundational concrete, which lead to deterioration in the concrete composition. This, in turn, has a negative impact on building's lifespan and durability. Water also causes the growth of organic matter in buildings such as mold, fungi etc. that are hazardous to human health. Waterproofing is carried out to protect the constructional elements aboveground from the harmful effects of rain water and acidic atmospheric gases, and the constructional elements below the ground from the harmful effects of groundwater and moisture. For an effective waterproofing, proofing application must cover all constructional elements from the foundation to the rooftop of the building. Floor coverings, balconies, external walls, roofs and foundational walls are subjects of waterproofing. Following the two major earthquakes that occurred in 1999, new concepts such as Richter scale, tsunami, soil survey came into our lives. Corrosion was also among these concepts. Corrosion, or rusting, was what led to the collapse of many buildings in the earthquake. And what caused corrosion was the lack of prior waterproofing. The fact that buildings need to be waterproofed is yet to be fully realized even after such a tragic experience. The biggest impact of water on buildings is concerning building lifespan and safety. This fact proves that waterproofing carries vital importance.