With over 15 years’ experience in the industry, there isn’t much we haven’t seen and fixed when it comes to building remediation; these include waterproofing and other water damage services. What the naked eye fails to realise is that structural issues often occur as a result of water ingress and waterproofing failure. Waterproofing is a vital step in construction and remedial property maintenance. It’s a costly yet vital part of property ownership. It is very important for the point of stability of the structure. Once it is damaged, it can’t be return to its original status. When cracks on the roof form; it can lead to ceiling leakages in the long run, particularly due to the result of accumulated damp spots during rainy season. Roof leaks are spread throughout the building and are they can damage electrical appliances, wooden structures and inbuilt furniture.

To help you identify and solve these issues; here are the warning signs you should look out for:

  1. Bubbles in the paint that contain water
  2. Mould, Mildew and Vegetative growth
  3. Blistering or Peeling Paint
  4. Efflorescence (the white drip stains that can be seen on the edge of balconies and stairs)
  5. Rust stains on the concrete façade
  6. Cracked walls
  7. Internal and Rising damp

Common Issues Associated with Poor Waterproofing

Issues from Above

No matter where your building is located, exposure to risk of water leaks from above is unavoidable. Top-floor levels can experience waterproofing problems from rainwater puddles forming on the roof. Flat roofs can collect excessive rain that leads to leaks and eventually damage the structure of the building. Poor workmanship on higher levels such as defective incorrect installation methodology can lead to leakage issues due to waterproofing failure.

Building Deterioration

There are many reasons why a building deteriorates; most of them have something to do with exposure to elements such as weather over time that leads to deterioration. Concrete is vulnerable to chemicals due to three of its primary composition characteristics: permeability, alkalinity, and reactivity. Permeability to liquids and gasses varies considerably with different types of concrete. Even the best concrete has some small degree of permeability. Permeability increases rapidly with increasing water-cement ratio and with decreasing moisture- curing time. Penetration of fluids into the concrete is sometimes accompanied by chemical reactions with cement, aggregates and/or embedded steel if it is present. Leaching of cement hydration compounds or deposition of extraneous crystals or crystalline reaction products can also degrade the system. Concrete corrosion is also one of the main reasons for concrete deterioration, and there are two main categories of concrete corrosion—general corrosion from carbonation and pitting corrosion from chloride ions. Carbonation exposure to reinforcement structures over long periods can cause widespread cracking of the concrete. Exposure to chloride ions from water that leaks to the concrete can cause pitting corrosion and deterioration.

Moulds and Mildew

Moulds and Mildew in buildings can be visible or can be hidden. In modern buildings, moisture may be present as the result of:

  • Flood or Sewer back-up
  • Leaks in the roof/basement or plumbing
  • Sealed buildings that do not allow excess moisture to escape.
  • Poor window or wall construction and insulation
  • Sources such as cooking facilities, showers, bathtubs, etc.
  • Excess humidity

Not only will they weaken the structure of the building, but they can also pose serious risks to the individuals residing in the building. When moisture finds its way to enter your walls and ceilings, it leads to build up the growth of mould and mildew. This creates spores, which again lead to many health problems. Spores get projected into the air, and when you breathe in, they will straight away travel to your lungs that can cause health problems. It’s always preferable to have waterproofing done to your home at the right time, to keep you and your family away from such unexpected health problems.

High-maintenance Repairs

Water damage repairs are very expensive, so it’s very essential to remember that prevention is far better than cure when it comes to waterproofing. Every tiny leaks and cracks should be dealt right away as water damage can escalate quicker than expected. Smart waterproofing can be costly, but it is a long-term investment that will surely save you money in the future. It is wiser to invest in preventive risk measures than to pay for damage repairs.

Wrong choice of Waterproofing Membrane

A waterproof membrane is required to protect a floor from liquid which could penetrate it and/or damage it. Therefore, floor penetrations such as floor wastes and other fixtures need to be accommodated with extreme care so that the continuity of the waterproofing is not impaired and subsurface drainage (above the membrane) is provided.

So, when choosing a waterproofing system, make sure to choose a complete package that includes a sheet membrane with all the ancillaries. It is important to consider how flexible the membrane is to allow building movements and how resistant it is to the UV, chemicals, harsh salt air and in the case of green applications, to root penetrations.

Poor Workmanship

Incorrect installation methodology can lead to leakage issues due to waterproofing failure. Tricky places like balconies and windows need professional work when applying waterproofing. Poor workmanship also includes wrong product specifications, when the wrong product is used; and insufficient substrate preparation, which means poor preparation before the waterproofing membrane is applied.

How to Solve these problems?

The answer is simple; you just must find and right people. Remember that waterproofing is a critical element for protecting the building and preserving its value. AllSealedWA can complete a range of waterproofing solutions which we tailor to the specific works we are completing; from specific waterproofing membranes ideal for showers and bathrooms to balconies and even membranes suitable for exposed use on rooftops or terraces. We believe that the application waterproofing is fine art and needs to be applied with great skill and accuracy. All of our technicians have had intensive training in the procedures for a professional and efficient application of different types of waterproof membranes. We guarantee you with the confidence and peace of mind that a quality service has been carried out.

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