Moisture damage is one of the most common headaches of facility managers and building owners. Moisture continuously seeks a way to gain entry into the building. It can come in common liquid form, or enter the property through the air. It can be brought by wind, rain, or seepage from underground. An effective waterproofing system can keep water out, and even drive it out when it does come in.
Waterproofing contractors install effective barrier systems in buildings and facilities to:
- Prolong building life
- Improve indoor air quality
- Increase energy efficiency
- Comply with existing building codes
Waterproofing for Longer-Lasting Structures
Waterproofing contractors consider the various ways that moisture enters the property in designing effective waterproofing systems. The presence of moisture should be managed properly to avoid water-borne damages. There is constant danger of water erosion taking place undetected. Water can continually weaken the building’s foundation through time.
Waterproofing contractors install water barrier systems that prevent moisture or water vapor from coming inside the building or above ground. They also design barrier systems that allow the building to “breathe” or channel any moisture out of the building.
Better Indoor Air Quality
Air-borne water can enter the property through vapor diffusion. Waterproofing contractors find this form of water intrusion even more difficult to solve, because such minute quantities of water tend to stay inside the building undetected. This moisture infiltration can lead to the growth of molds that can compromise the quality of indoor air.
Repelling air-borne moisture is an important part of the waterproofing system. The system must stand up to wind, fan or stack pressures — the types of air movement that can bring vapor inside the building. Waterproofing contractors install the system with air and vapor barrier components, equipped with a drainage mechanism to direct moisture out of the building.
An important consideration with air barriers is that they should be seamlessly applied to make the system air-tight. To do this, waterproofing contractors use water-borne acrylic resins or rubberized asphalt emulsions, which are cheap, easily applied and environment-friendly.
Energy-efficient Waterproofed Buildings
The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that 40% of a building’s energy consumption is spent on cooling or heating the building alone. When air leakages introduce moisture to the building, the work load of HVAC systems is increased. Unvented moisture changes the temperature of the building, making HVAC systems work harder to maintain the right room temperatures and consuming more energy as a result.
Waterproofing contractors install waterproofing systems that prioritize the walls as the first line of defense. The structural material of the walls dictates the barrier to be installed — whether heat, moisture, air, vapor, or a combination of these barrier types. These barriers prevent moisture in the form or rain or wind from coming in, resisting the loss of thermal energy, conserving energy as a result.
Compliance to Existing Building Codes
Waterproofing buildings and facilities is one of the requirements for compliance to existing building codes such as the International Building Code (IBC), and in state and local jurisdictions. Building codes address the need for waterproofing systems to keep the buildings safe from air and moisture damages. Waterproofing contractors use compliant products, materials and practices to adhere to these building codes.