Weather changes like rain, wind, or snow can bring water into commercial buildings, enough to cause damage to the structure and gradually lead to interior deterioration through time. This is the reason why roofs and walls, and entry points like windows and doors are built strong. They need to withstand the harsh elements and protect the building interior. But these exterior features need the help of effective exterior commercial waterproofing to make them more durable and able to endure the constant weather exposure.
An exterior commercial waterproofing system utilizes air sealing barriers to ward off water intrusion. Walls are caulk-sealed at the bottom plates and inner corners. Caulking and spray foaming are also done on joists, sub-floors and door thresholds to seal other possible points of water entry.
The rough openings in door and window exteriors can also be air-sealed with the use of backer rods or latex-based spray foams. In air sealing, exterior commercial waterproofing contractors often take steps not to void any existing warranty.
Air sealing is also done to the electrical and plumbing systems, such as wires, boxes, or sheathings. Any damage in these fixtures must be repaired first before air sealing. Other entry points like lighting fixtures, cable wire holes, and the like, are also sealed.
Roof overhangs are not just mere extensions of the roof system. These architectural features found in building entryways and windows not only enhance the exterior look of the building, they shelter building occupants caught outside the building in sudden gusts of rain.
Roof overhangs also keep rain water away during foul weather. They control rain water runoff and prevent it from directly entering through doors and windows. Roof overhangs are therefore an important part of the exterior commercial waterproofing system.
The appropriate size of overhangs also shields exterior walls and building foundations. The larger the overhang, the better the protection it provides to walls, doors, and windows in the building.
Despite the installation of the most appropriate exterior commercial waterproofing system, it is unavoidable that water may still penetrate the building’s barrier system. When there is moisture intrusion, it is not often easy to remove it and dry the area.
Since the walls are commonly the first to take the onslaught of water, they may remain wet for long periods of time. This leaves the walls vulnerable to rotting, rusting and possible growth of microbial organisms. The worst case is when the walls decay and compromise the building integrity.
To prevent moisture from being trapped and unable to leave the building, the exterior commercial waterproofing system must include a drainage plane system.
When rain water assaults the exterior walls, it enters through the highest point in the wall. The drainage plane is a pathway for water to flow through and exit to the lower areas of the wall.
Aside from rain water, water vapor also needs to be vented out by the exterior commercial waterproofing system. A drainage plane creates a pressure-filled space in wall cavities. This counters the pressure from outside the wall cavity, effectively driving water vapor out. This ensures that even minute quantities of water are removed from any free space in the wall cavities.