Waterproofing Commercial Buildings

Waterproofing products have evolved tremendously in the last 30 years so the first thing to understand is the structure of a conventional corporate building, and which parts are most vulnerable to water damage:

  • Ponds & Fountains
  • Roofs, And Especially Flat Roofs Without Adequate Drainage Solutions
  • Balconies And Terraces
  • Water Tanks
  • Expansion Joints
  • Basements
  • Retaining Walls
  • Planter Boxes
  • Lift Pits
  • Cellars

When you are conducting a check, your focus should be on these areas. That does not mean you should neglect the rest of the building areas.

Why does your commercial building need to be absolutely waterproof?

  • Prevent loss of rent.
  • Prevent damage of property – the last thing you want as a building owner is to have your property uninhabitable.
  • Cockroaches, rats, and other pests are attracted to damp areas, which not only poses a major health risk for the occupants but also an ongoing cost for the owner, who must bring in exterminators.
  • The safety of your staff – As the building owner, you would be held liable for any damages or injuries incurred by your tenants or employees.
    • Mould and mildew can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems
    • If wiring is exposed to water due to insufficient waterproofing, a fire may break out or electrocution could occur.
    • Sagging ceilings and unsteady balconies can cause collapse and therefore major injuries may occur.
  • For structural reasons.
  • For hygiene reasons.

Preventative checks

Regular, comprehensive check ups are absolute key for preventing a small leak or break from becoming a health hazard. As part of your regular workplace safety list, you should thoroughly check the entire building premises and fault points for any water ingress problems or any safety cautions.

Try to do a simple check biannually or whenever you feel that you haven’t for a while. Do a thorough check once per year at absolute minimum.

Being able to tell where water is seeping during heavy rains can be the only time certain cracks may manifest. Even during some lighter precipitation, there may not be enough water build up for areas to flood or to let in enough water through a small crack.

It’s a lot cheaper to fix an issue that hasn’t formed yet, and even more so when it comes to waterproofing. Some forms of waterproofing can be installed directly over pre-existing waterproofing. However, in extreme cases, you’ll be looking at cracks, structural damage, and other factors which may prevent a ‘quick fix’.

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