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100 years ago mastic asphalt was the only real waterproofing system available. It was used in a wide range of applications, from waterproofing at "The Tower of London" and "Buckingham Palace" through to the "Paris Metro".
Asphalt could be seen in the flooring of schools, hospitals, warehouses and housing. Hospitals extensively used mastic asphalt for flooring. This flooring was red in colour and made use of coved upstands. The reason for this was to make it easy to clean flooring and to leave no dust in the corners. This system of red asphalt flooring with coved upstands was also applied in "Hampstead Police Station" cells. A similar system was used with white asphalt and coving in army barracks. The "Houses Of Parliament"1 had tanking in mastic asphalt prior to the Second World War. Mastic asphalt really was the only waterproofing system which was tried and tested across a variety of different applications.
For roofs, asphalt was used extensively across the United Kingdom. The asphalt would contain natural rock. This natural rock would force itself to the surface of the asphalt. This made asphalt roofing extremely durable and removed the need for any paint to protect the asphalt from the sun. This was an exceptionally good waterproofing system.
Even today we work on projects which were first laid in mastic asphalt more than 100 hundred years ago. These projects include "Buckingham Palace", "The Tower Of London" and "Canterbury Cathedral"2. "The Tower Of London" has an incredible amount of mastic asphalt including tanking under walkways, flooring, step waterproofing and roofing.
You can learn more about our work at "The Tower Of London" by clicking the link below:
Mastic asphalt is a waterproofing material with illustrious history which has stood the test of time. It is still refereed to as 'The King of Waterproofing' and holds its own in a time where modern products are pushed by dedicated salespeople.
If you would like RJ Evans to provide any information related to the historical use of mastic asphalt or the maintenance of any heritage projects please contact us or call us now on 01277 375 511. One of our friendly asphalt specialists will be delighted to help.