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Case Study – Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground

11 June, 2023

In early 2023, Steven Smethurst from Owens Builders & Contractors, contacted the Resapol Leigh branch seeking assistance for a balcony waterproofing project at the Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground. Owens Builders specializes in commercial building, refurbishment, and maintenance services in Manchester and the North-West of the UK. Steven needed a waterproofing solution to protect the balconies located at the pavilion stand, as standing water had been collecting and seeping into the function rooms below. This water infiltration was causing damage to the ceiling and had the potential to cause even greater harm if not addressed promptly. They therefore required a quick and user-friendly waterproofing system.

The Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground, situated in Greater Manchester, has been the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club since 1864. Originally opened in 1857, it is the second oldest Test venue in England after The Oval, it holds a rich history, hosting the first Ashes Test in England in 1884 and the Cricket World Cup five times (in 1975, 1979, 1983, 1999, and 2019). After losing its Test status in 2009, the ground underwent extensive redevelopment, including the restoration of the pavilion stand and the creation of The Point, an iconic £12 million stand overlooking the pitch.

After hearing about the waterproofing project the Resapol Leigh depot’s technical team considered Mapei Purtop Easy as a potential solution. Purtop Easy is a ready-to-use, one-component elastic polyurethane membrane commonly used for waterproofing balconies, terraces, roofs, and areas with pedestrian access, both for new construction and renovations. Its high elasticity and durability make it suitable for application on both horizontal and vertical surfaces using brushes, rollers, or trowels. Once applied, Purtop Easy ensures complete waterproofing even at low temperatures and in the presence of standing water, making it the ideal choice for this particular project.

Stephen Woods, Mapei’s Technical Manager, contacted the Resapol Leigh depot to arrange a site visit and gather information about the project and to assist with the proper application of the system. Owens Builders provided additional pictures after the site visit, showing that repairs had been made to the balconies and falls had been created in preparation for applying the Purtop Easy system.




Once the project was approved, the delivery of Purtop Easy system was swiftly arranged from Resapol’s Leigh, direct to the project site. The work commenced on April 11, 2023, and time constraints were crucial as the project needed to be completed within two days of applying the new screed to the balconies. The full Purtop Easy system, consisting of Mapei Polyprimer HB 45, Purtop Easy, and Mapetex FG, was required. The primer played a key role as Purtop Easy could only be applied to substrates with a moisture content of less than 6%. Applying the primer allowed Owens Builders to subsequently begin application of the Purtop Easy system earlier, saving them time and ultimately reducing the project’s budget.

“At Owens we have a great deal of experience operating on and within grade II listed buildings. Drawing on the technical expertise and support of Resapol we were able provide a cost-effective permanent solution to what was an ongoing problem for LCC, all within a 2 week working window!”
– Steven Smethurst, Owens Builders & Contractors

Steven Smethurst, Owens Builders & Contractors Thanks to the ease of application of the Purtop Easy system, the project was successfully completed on 14th April 2023