Waterproofing for Energy Efficiency

June 2, 2010

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Moisture from air leakage increases the work load of HVAC systems in the building. If moisture penetrates the building and is not vented out one way or another, these mechanical systems work harder to maintain comfortable room temperatures. The added load requires these machines to use up more energy in the process.

Waterproofing contractors often focus a lot of attention into making the walls a first line of the building’s defense. The waterproofing system to be installed on walls depends largely on the material composition of the walls. They may be made of wood, concrete, bricks, etc. The different structural material dictates the type of barrier that can be installed in these walls — be it an insulating or heat barrier, a moisture barrier, an air barrier, a vapor barrier, or a combination of some of these.

Each of these barriers prevents water from penetrating the building, or limits the amount of moisture that comes in, or resists moisture intrusion into the building through thermal transfer. Waterproofing contractors design barrier systems that will be impervious to the external elements such as rain or wind. When wind blows moisture into the building, the building may suffer from heat loss and onslaught of cold drafts. This decreases energy efficiency as a result.

Air barrier systems, in particular, help maintain the appropriate interior temperature for lesser energy consumption. This contributes to lowering the energy costs, as determined by the U.S. Department of Energy, wherein 40% of a building’s energy consumption is estimated to be due to cooling or heating the building.

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