Water may be essential to life, but it is also one element in this planet that can bring about frequent and large-scale damage to natural or man-made structures. Scientific laws prevail, making water in its various forms a very effective agent of corrosion, erosion, and physical damages.
To facility managers and waterproofing contractors, the work to prevent damages in building facilities begin with the understanding of how water behaves when present in various quantities. The ways in which it reacts with other materials in its surroundings — such as concrete, soil, wood, chemicals, and the like — and the extent of damages it brings, are also important to waterproofing contractors seeking a way to manage water damage prevention.
Sources of Damage
Waterproofing contractors often encounter repair projects wherein the damage could have been prevented had the necessary precautions been taken in advance. Furthermore, the severity of damage could have been lesser had immediate intervention been initiated.
Damage occurs when dampness seeps into areas of the property and stays there for long periods of time. The entry of moisture into building areas can come from any of the following sources:
- Building materials, such as porous surfaces
- Cracks and fissures
- Poorly-sealed splices
- Roof leaks
- Damage to the drainage system
- Poor management of fountains, man-made lakes and pools
- Groundwater run-off
Combating Water Damage
Waterproofing contractors respond with different kinds of solutions, depending on the source and extent of damage. But at the onset of remediation efforts, any solution always begins with cleaning the waterlogged area.
To protect concrete surfaces from seepage, waterproofing contractors use epoxy-based sealant additives to the concrete coatings before application. For concrete structures that require flexibility of movement, materials such as asphalt, vinyl or polymer-based emulsions are used. These materials protect the concrete surface, and move with the structure as needed.
For already-waterlogged surfaces, surfaces are waterproofed with the use of vinyl or resin coatings, to seal the surface. Other treatments involve the use of materials that sink into the surface to ward off any future water penetration.
The best solution to water damage problems in the property, however, is the hiring of skilled professionals to provide the most effective solution and prevention of moisture-wrought deteriorations.
Waterproofing contractors come up with well-planned treatment for any permeation already in progress, and provide good preventive maintenance solutions for the property’s long-term protection.
In doing so, contractors often work with other specialists, such as water systems professionals, landscapers, roofing contractors, among others, to understand the problem in-depth and develop the best solution.
Water damage may be caused by water trying to seep into every nook and crevasse of the facility, but one important thing to be alerted to is that the damage may actually be a symptom of a bigger, more dangerous problem. The building may already be deteriorating right down to its foundation, or it is already showing signs of structural vulnerabilities that need to be addressed to a deeper level beyond waterproofing.