With urban space at a premium in the United States, developers might consider building on sites left contaminated by centuries of industrial development. Often, these abandoned industrial zones—such as former steel mills or refineries—are dubbed brownfields and come not only with health and safety hazards, but also with a high cost of cleanup. However, many of these sites are viable for building, if properly remediated.

When redeveloping a brownfield site, project teams must plan for remediation. The process involves an in-depth assessment of the soil and the nature of its contaminants and getting expert advice on the most effective remediation techniques available. A geotechnical engineer can provide recommendations that are specific to the particular site.

The need for pre-applied membranes

Remediation often begins with treating the first few layers of soil or removing several layers of soil from the site. However, this process will most likely leave traces of volatile organic compounds behind. This means it is also essential to prevent harmful gasses in the soil from seeping into the structure. Pre-applied membranes can offer this protection by being laid before the foundation is poured. They prevent contaminants in the ground from corroding the structure or migrating inside and degrading the air quality.

Not all pre-applied membranes are the same

One might assume that any pre-applied waterproofing membrane would also protect against hazardous ground contaminants and gases. However, most pre-applied membranes do not offer both protection against water and harmful gases. Some waterproofing membranes will degrade over time when exposed to certain contaminants. Others may not have the tight, integral bond to keep vapors out. The PREPRUFE Plus waterproofing membrane from GCP Applied Technologies has proven protection from both water as well as ground contaminants and various gases including methane.

A superior membrane waterproofing solution

The PREPRUFE waterproofing membranes provide a continuous layer of protection. It prevents water migration into and around the structure, thereby protecting the concrete from deterioration caused by the chlorides and sulfates in groundwater or aggressive soils.

The system is applied as a single layer with Dual Adhesive ZipLap, which allows for high levels of installation accuracy. The membrane itself is a composite sheet comprising three layers: a durable high-density polyethylene film; a pressure-sensitive adhesive layer; and a patented weather and dirt-resistant protective layer, which is suitable for foot traffic without protection.

A high-performance, adhesive-bonded waterproofing membrane like PREPRUFE can improve the concrete’s long-term structural performance and durability by providing constant protection from sulfate, chloride, and water ingress, offering the ultimate solution for projects where failure isn’t an option.

To learn more about the benefits of PREPRUFE Plus waterproofing membrane and it’s proven track record, please visit: gcpat.com/en/products/preprufe-comprehensive-waterproofing-system