As construction experts, architects, and engineers we are often presented with scenarios where water intrusion has become an issue in an existing structure. More times than not we are asked to identify the underlying issue and present a solution to correct the issue.
Adopting a Systematic Approach to Below-grade Waterproofing, a recently published article in Construction Specifier, is extremely relevant to our area of focus and validates the point of view that waterproofing should be thought of as a system rather than a product.
As the article states, there are two very critical elements to consider before even thinking about the best waterproofing system. The answers to these two questions could very well be the starting place for the best waterproofing approach for the specific project:
- Where is the project being built? In other words, in what geographic region is the structure being placed? A building going up Florida might take on a completely different waterproofing approach than a building being built in Minnesota.
- What time of year is the project being constructed or what is the climate in the geographic location at the time of year the construction is being built? 100 F will be a very different story than 40 F.
Several approaches and areas for consideration when waterproofing include:
- Preparing non-structural cracks in the concrete substrate
- Wall-to-wall slab/footing transition to a vapor barrier
- Wall-to-footing transition and footer termination
- Pipe penetrations
- Waterproofing termination at grade
Continue to the full article to learn more about the above scenarios and the effects of a waterproofing system approach.