The Need for Building Waterproofing

October 1, 2010

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If a routine inspection of the facility shows disturbing signs of water intrusion, facility managers must take the necessary steps to mitigate the problem. Water damage can weaken the structural integrity of the building, threaten the health and safety of building occupants, and expose the facility to the risk of building code violations.

Signs of Waterproofing Problems

Commercial building waterproofing contractors can accurately detect waterproofing system failures through a comprehensive inspection. But facility managers will be able to spot waterproofing problems through these visible signs:

  1. Wet basement walls & floors. Sign of moisture seepage from above or below ground.
  2. Molds and fungi growth. Microorganism colonies in certain areas of the building mean a source of moisture is feeding their growth.
  3. Rot. Wooden or concrete materials are decaying, a sign that the presence of moisture is changing the room temperature and humidity.
  4. Pools of water. Water brought in by foul weather disappears in time. If pools of them remain, this means there is a failure in the commercial building waterproofing system.

The Importance of Waterproofing

Building operations are potentially affected by failure of the commercial building waterproofing system. The importance of waterproofing is summarized below:

    1. It prevents water entry by sealing every possible way that water can enter — roofs, walls, decks, and basements, to name a few.
    1. It allows the building to “breathe”. When water unavoidably enters the building, it can be channeled out using drains and ventilations.
    1. It maintains air quality. The growth of water-borne and harmful microbes is prevented, which can compromise the air quality of the interior environment.
    1. It maintains comfortable interior temperature. Water is denied entry into the building, preventing temperature changes that make HVAC systems work harder to compensate.
  1. It preserves structural integrity. Water cannot stay long enough to cause material rot and weakened foundations.

When is the Time to Waterproof a Building?

Here are the instances when commercial building waterproofing systems should be installed:

  1. During construction, when building designers incorporate the waterproofing system to the overall building design. The barrier system is built into the building, ensuring greater moisture protection.
  2. During building retrofit, soon after the building is built.
  3. During regular building maintenance, when the facility conducts regular inspections, tune-ups and re-servicing of building areas and equipments to ensure their top condition.
  4. During building renovation, such as when a building feature is added, or the building layout is changed. The commercial building waterproofing system has to be re-installed to accommodate the renovation.
  5. When needed, or when damages occur from emergency situations such as flood, fire or major disasters.

Designing a barrier system against water intrusion often means focusing on the various ways that water can possibly enter the building.

In case of ground water seepage, basements and low-lying areas are the entry point. Waterproofing these areas require commercial building waterproofing contractors with basement waterproofing specialties. The barrier system will seal the inner wall and floor chambers with water-tight lining.

Structural waterproofing systems are installed in other areas of the building. Multi-coat systems, concrete-based coatings, epoxies and bituminous formulations can be used in the barrier system, because of their water-repellent properties.

Drainage systems complete the commercial building waterproofing system, where pre-formed channels are installed in walls to direct water outward.

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