Bridges are arguably one of the most utilitarian pieces of architecture. It is built to serve the purpose of carrying traffic loads from one destination to another safely over a physical obstacle, and in most cases, it is over a body of water. Therefore, to prolong the life span of the infrastructure, it is important that the bridge deck is adequately protected and waterproofed.

completed bridge deck project

What is a Bridge Deck?

A bridge deck is the driving surface of the bridge usually meant for vehicular traffic. Due to heavy and constant traffic loads and punishing weather conditions, the bridge deck must be hard-wearing, durable, and resilient against heavy and constant traffic. 

Since the two most common materials used to construct bridge decks are concrete or reinforced steel, it is essential that these are protected in order to ensure structural integrity, and ultimately safety. 

Why is it important to waterproof the bridge deck?

Bridges are at constant attack and under stress as water, chlorides, acid rain, de-icing salts, and freeze thaw cycles act on them. Extreme weather cycles, the impact of traffic and vibration place bridges under further stress. Bridge repairs can often amount to 10-30% of the updated construction cost, and large repairs may even exceed that amount and still be the preferred option when compared to the cost of traffic interruption and demolition. 

As moisture is the most significant factor in concrete deterioration, incorporating sufficient waterproofing at the design stage is by far the most cost-effective option. 

Do all bridges need waterproofing?

It is highly recommended but is not compulsory in every country. It all depends on the climate (tropical, dry, temperate continental, etc.), the surrounding environment of which the bridge is built in, as well as the building codes that are in place in for the region. 

Read more about this, or speak to one of our Sales Representatives to learn more about the most suitable bridge deck waterproofing solutions for your project.

3 Most Common USL Bridge Deck Waterproofing Solutions

Matacryl PUMA

Matacryl’s polyurethane methyl methacrylate (PUMA) technology exceeds the performance of traditional MMA as well as conventional epoxy and polyurea resins. The adhesive quality of the polymers ensures tenacious adhesion to the substrate in addition to an unbreakable chemical bond between coats. That same bonding chemistry creates a very forgiving membrane that is easy to repair. Together, the combination of polyurethane and methyl methacrylate delivers a superior, high-wear waterproofing system that delivers long-term performance by protecting the substrate from the extreme weather, chlorides, de-icing salts, chemicals, gasoline, and oils. Matacryl systems deliver quick cure time in extreme cold temperatures and rain resistance in 60 minutes.

Pitchmastic PmB

Pitchmastic PmB systems are designed to form a flexible, chemically resistant seamless membrane tough enough to outlast the design of many structures. Pitchmastic PmB's systems provide exceptional bond strength to all commonly used substrates, has excellent crack bridging capability, a life expectancy in excess of 30 years and holds British Board of Agrément approval.

Britdex MDP

Britdex MDP is a 100% effective seamless bridge deck waterproofing membrane, flexible and robust enough to outlast the design life of many structures. A rapid cure, cold liquid spray applied system based on methacrylate resins, Britdex MDP is a tough, seamless membrane with no vulnerable joints and is resistant to chemical attack by oils, fuel, and other harmful substances. Britdex MDP Waterproofing is suitable for use on concrete bridge decks as part of new and maintenance applications with APL or HRA surfacing. 

Comparison Chart of USL Bridge Deck Waterproofing systems marketed by Tremco CPG:

USL bridge deck waterproofing chart

Although neither one option is inherently better than the other, it all boils down to the building development requirements, time allowance, budget, and environmental conditions. 

Speak to one of our Sales Representatives to learn more about the most suitable bridge deck waterproofing solutions for your project.

USL logo

Infrastructure Specialists

World class, multi-disciplined mechanical engineering solution provider, with core competencies in structural protection and movement control. USL offers an unrivalled range of specialist services including spray applied bridge deck membranes, bridge deck expansion joints, structural bearings, bridge deck drainage as well as bespoke structural fabrications. Our expert team is on hand to help you in any current or upcoming project you may have, do get in touch with them.

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