Choosing a below-grade waterproofing system for your business is of utmost importance. After all, the wrong choice can cause a lot of money and headaches.
Below-grade waterproofing refers to the construction practice of applying membranes or coating to walls of your building’s structure below the street or ground level. In theory, it should last the lifetime of your structure.
If not done correctly, below-grade waterproof may lead to deterioration, which requires immediate action and may impact your building’s longevity.
So, what should you consider before installing a below-grade waterproofing system to your building? Here are some things to keep in mind:
1. The Types of Below-Grade Waterproofing
Below-grade waterproofing consists of five primary types:
- Bentonite (ash)
- Self-adhering sheet waterproofing
- Spray-applied or rolled waterproofing
- Structural epoxy injections
2. What Materials Work Best in Certain Situations?
Which type of below-grade waterproofing you choose depends on different factors:
- Pre-applied waterproofing systems are designed to prevent water migration under the structure. They’re built to tie into pile caps and not pilings.
- Bentonite systems are used in blindside (interior) applications and tie into the pilings of the structure. They require compressive strength to perform. Compressive strength refers to the maximum compressive stress a solid material can sustain without fracture.
- Self-adhering sheet systems represent the preferred method for waterproofing retainer walls. They’re not used in blind-side applications.
- Spray-applied or rolled systems aren’t used in blind-side applications and are easy to install.
- Structural epoxy injections are designed to seal and stop foundation leaks.
3. Other Considerations
Some other things to keep in mind before the installation of a below-grade waterproofing system to make it meets site-specific issues and building requirements, including:
- The leak rise and sensitivity to the humidity of an occupied space.
- The water table
- Soil characteristics
- The construction sequence
- Ease of application
The soil characteristics are important because waterproofing materials are exposed to harsher conditions than any of the building’s other exterior components. For example, water can remain in below-grade surfaces for weeks.
The construction sequence is essential because waterproofing materials shouldn’t be exposed to exterior elements for an extended period. It’s also crucial for choosing the right waterproofing materials.
If your Miami-area building needs below-grade waterproofing, contact the experienced professionals at A-1 Property Services. We specialize in below-grade waterproofing applications.