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Volume :24 Issue : 2 1997      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Leakage of building basements in Kuwait: extent and causes

Auther : NAJI AL-MUTAIRI, EMMANUEL K. ATTIOGBE, AND MONEERA AL-SHALEH

 Civil Engineering & Building Department, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research,

P.O. Box 24885, Safat 13109, Kuwait.

 ABSTRACT

Attention to quality of waterproofing materials and construction practices is frequently lacking in the construction of basements in Kuwait. As a result, leakage of building basements is a widespread problem. To develop effective guidelines for waterproofing building basements, it was necessary to establish background data on local conditions regarding the leakage problem by investigating waterproofing materials, construction practices and actual leaking basements.

Waterproofing materials from as many as eleven countries are available on the local market, suggesting a broad range in the quality of the materials. Improper construction practices are identified with regard to the handling and installation of waterproofing materials. The majority of the leaking basements are found in residential buildings. Old as well as new buildings are susceptible to basement leaks. An overall rise in the groundwater table in different parts of Kuwait is indicated from the field investigations. Groundwater and water used in irrigating private and public gardens are the most common sources of leakage in Kuwait’s buildings. For many leaking basements, no information is available on the types of water- proofing material used for the floors and walls, suggesting a lack of importance being attached to the use of waterproofing in building basements. For the cases where information is available, fluid-applied materials are the waterproofing materials most commonly used in the basements, indicating possible poor quality materials or poor construction practices related to their installation.

 

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