July 03, 2018

Waterproofing for Retaining Walls 

Waterproofing retaining walls, below ground tanking, foundations & basements require best practice waterproofing techniques.

The consequences of water leaks due to basement membrane failure are costly and often difficult to rectify.

Basement Waterproofing - Grand Maison Constructions

Basement Waterproofing

Liquid Applied Waterproofing Membrane applied for below ground tanking by Findlay-Evans. 

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Recent expensive lawsuits due to water damage from faulty construction techniques have raised the level of awareness about the importance of correct waterproofing.

VIDEO - How Waterproof Basements 

  • This is particularly the case for below ground waterproofing where the cost of failure is high.
  • Obviously it is far more cost effective to waterproof correctly the first time - however below ground waterproofing in construction unfortunately is often a "out of sight" mentality !

Waterproof Systems for Retaining Walls 


Retaining Wall Waterproofing


Liquid Applied Membrane

Using Liquid Spray On Waterproofing 

Spray Applied Liquid Rubber 

  • Liquid Waterproofing Membranes will conform to the shape of the wall & then extend down to footings/foundation in one seamless membrane.
  • Liquid Rubber is extremely flexible - the waterproof membrane will move contraction & expansion of cement block wall. 
Retaining wall preparation before waterproofing

How to Waterproof a Retaining Wall

  • Selection of quality waterproofing product that will last the lifetime of the building.
  • Knowledge and understanding of problem areas of below ground structures - slab/foundation junction.
  • Retaining Wall Membrane - the best ones are Liquid Applied - which have  flexibility and will move with the building.
  • And most importantly from the builder’s point of view - GOOD RETAINING WALL PREPARATION
Basement -waterproofing-Melbourne
Rendered wall prior to waterproofing application
Rendered wall prior to waterproofing application

Preparing Retaining Walls for Waterproofing

Preparation is vital to prevent water penetration for below ground structures.

  • Quality waterproofing is all about preparation.
  • Great preparation is all about attention to detail.
  • For below ground that means preparation to all voids, form-tie holes, and joints in the structure.

VIDEO - Spray On Liquid Waterproof Coatings 

From a builder’s/developers perspective, here are a few preparation pointers to achieve successful waterproofing.

  • Waterproofing products  DO NOT adhere to a dirty surface.
  • Scrape off excess and loose material from walls and footings and power wash before waterproofing applicators arrive.
  • Get as much as possible done ahead of time: once waterproofing application starts timing is crucial and to stop to scrape loose concrete from the footings etc etc interrupts the rhythm.
  • Keep the foundation wall and footings clean, free of loose material, and fairly smooth just before waterproofing.
  • Remove concrete form ties. If there’s an odd form tie that wasn’t aligned properly and won’t break off flush, cut it off with a cutting torch or reciprocating saw. Break form ties off on the inside of the foundation too.

Cement Block Retaining Walls

  • The Findlay-Evans Waterproofing Team inspect and prepare the surface substrate prior to the waterproofing application.
  • Our aim is to have a surface that is smooth, dry and free of any contaminants like grease, mould etc.
  • Preparation sometimes require primers/patch work to ensure the substrate is as monolithic as possible.
  • Often the wall-footing joints, require cement or other trowel-grade material to form a “fillet” (radius or cove) before applying the waterproofing system.
  • However we find inevitably small holes, cracks and defects do get missed.
  • It is very difficult to make sure 100% of all surface defects are covered.
  • And unfortunately these defects often only show up after the waterproof coating has been applied.

Rendered wall prior to waterproofing application.

Quality Waterproofing Application

  • To 100% prepare a surface to accept the waterproof membrane,F.E.W offer a premium process.
  • Our premium preparation is to completely bag/render the surface prior to waterproof application.
  • Complete bagging covers the entire wall with an acrylic coat providing a monolithic surface perfect for a waterproofing membrane.
  • The bag/render surface also provides even extra waterproof resilience.
  • All tie-holes are properly filled.
  • After the waterproofing coat is applied to the correct thickness, the membrane will last indefinitely – it will not dry out, crack or peel off the wall.

Melbourne Waterproofing Contractors


  • Our Team can overcoat these existing membranes with a spray application of liquid waterproofing coatings that will firmly adhere to the surface. 

  • This provides a fully bonded seamless waterproof system over the existing failed membrane.

  • We can offer repairs to existing membranes that are leaking, deteriorated, cracked and ageing.

  • Using a cold spray application, Liquid Rubber membranes can over coat an existing roof – repairs that are Cost Effective & Save Time.

Findlay & Evans Waterproofing

DIY Waterproof Coatings for Retaining Walls