What Factors To Consider When Choosing A Water Stop Type

water stop on a construction site

Whenever you are working on a new construction project, one of the most critical things to take care of is waterproofing. Not having a proper waterproof structure can lead to deterioration at a rapid pace and you do not want to see that happen. To make sure such a situation never occurs, there are several technologies that companies utilize and one of them is adding water stops to the structure. A water stop is a tool that you insert between structural joints to close any possible openings where the water may enter the walls of the property. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a water stop that would suit your project the most.

Material Type

Typically, there are three types of water stop fixtures that you can choose from to install on your property. These include plastic water stops, metallic water stops, and rubber water stops. As far as performance is concerned, each of these has great durability, resistance to wear and tear, and some level of flexibility to adapt to any structural deformations. However, the metallic water stop is most suitable for working with structures that have steel bars and the plastic one is best for situations where you may be expecting corrosive materials to hit the fixtures.

Size of Water Stop

Depending on the structural requirements, you may be choosing between water stops of different sizes. While the length is not really a factor, the thickness and width do have a role to play. The more water pressure you are expecting to see on the water stops, the more you will need to increase the thickness. The same principle also applies to the level of deformation that you may be seeing in the structure. This factor typically comes into play for already built structures and need water stops installed onto them.


Depending on the application you have, you may consider different materials and sizes for your water stops. Each environment presents a different challenge that a particular type of water stop will be capable of handling. Here are some examples based on the material type that you can use to figure out which option will be best for your project.

Rubber Water Stops: Typically, these are installed in basements where the temperatures do not go beyond 60°C. Rubber does not work well in temperatures beyond 70°C and you should also avoid using it in areas where organic solvent corrosion may be happening with materials like oils.

Metallic Water Stops: This is the most sought-after type of water stop in areas where corrosion is expected. Places that need to be highly impermeable and are generally small in size have these installed. Examples of this include furnace pits, casting pits, and some other high-temperature environments as well. However, they do not do well in terms of managing deformation caused by changing widths in structure.

Plastic Water Stops: This is the most versatile material of all as you can use these in highly corrosive environments and even use them as an additional improvement for existing water stops. Plastic water stops are also great at dealing with high pressure like you would see in reservoirs and refineries.


Last but certainly not least, your water stop choice should also consider the quality of the material that you are choosing. Whether it is rubber, steel, or plastic, the quality should meet proper standards and be strong enough to do the job you get it for effectively.

Keep in mind

The factors discussed here can make it quite easy for anyone to choose the right water stop for their project. Be sure to find out the proper installation method for each or, better yet, get a professional to install it for you.

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