Waterproofing and water repellent are two different ways to achieve one goal which is to protect your roofs from water. Water is one of the biggest causes that destroy a roof slowly but steadily. The only way to fight it is to be proactive and take early measures to avoid destruction or damage and select the correct roof waterproofing system. Ideally, you should take care of water problems when you are constructing the house or building and keep checking from time to time.
However, if you forgot to waterproof the house or didn’t pay attention, don’t beat yourself up. There are still many solutions for you out there. All you need is a perfect waterproofing expert. They can check your house, assess the damage, and guide you towards a repair plan.
When it comes to water problems and possible solutions, roofing agents take different approaches. Of course, roofing is a technical field and full of jargon that you probably won’t understand. Today, we are dealing with such delicate subjects i.e. waterproof and water repellent. These terms are pretty easy to comprehend. However, if you see in the roofing context, they are confusing and complicated.
Understanding the Basics
To make things easier to digest, first of all, we will write the definitions.
Waterproofing as defined by Wikipedia:
“Waterproofing is the process of making an object or structure waterproof or water-resistant so that it remains relatively unaffected by water or resisting the ingress of water under specified conditions. Such items may be used in wet environments or underwater to specified depths.”
Water Repellent as defined by Merriam-Webster:
“treated with a finish that is resistant but not impervious to penetration by water.”
Waterproofing a Roof
Waterproofing a roof is a complex process where roofing agents prepare a plan of action after inspection and carefully execute a difficult job. It usually consists of layering a roof with waterproof material that can avoid penetration. There are different effective waterproofing methodologies like polyurea which enables a roof to be cent percent waterproof.
However, the reins are in the hands of the roofing company. The owner of the house can’t do anything here as the damage is done and only roofing experts can fix it now.
Water Repellent Roofs
Water repellent roofs are more about structure than the application of any solution. They are tilted as per the industry standard (3:12 or more) therefore no water can stay on them for long. In this way, water repellent roofs are automatically waterproof.
Water repellent roofs give the control in the owner’s hand as s/he doesn’t have to bother about water ponding or absorption on the roofs.
Waterproofing vs Water Repellent – the Difference
Waterproofing or water repellent might have seemed like the same thing. However, in the roofing world, they are poles apart. Obviously, the end target is to protect the roofs from water. However, waterproof and water repellent take different approaches in every way possible.
Honestly, homeowners don’t get to choose between them so often. It only happens in cases where you are constructing your house from scratch. Ideally, people should go for water repellent roofs as it increases the life of your house. However, modern designs are more and more focused on flat roofs which calls for a waterproofing mechanism.
If you are constructing the house, we recommend basing your roofing decision after considering factors like location, neighborhood, and weather. Areas that get rains more often or are near oceans should definitely pick the water repellent or tilted roofs. Locations with dry weather (most of the year) can go for flat roofs with some basic waterproofing treatment.
In short, the difference between waterproofing and water repellent is that one is a solution or mechanism or process while the other is the type of roof. However, waterproofing is required for all types of roofs, even the water repellent ones, if you really want to make them strong and sturdy.
Conclusion: Waterproof vs Water Repellent Roofs
As long as the roof is solid and free of water damages, it doesn’t matter whether you have a waterproofed roof or a water repellent one. At the end of the day, these are different ways to ensure the roof of the house is intact and safe and will remain so in the years to come.