What You Need to Know about Waterproofing

Waterproofing is a method that can help prevent water from penetrating the house. There are various ways to waterproof a property, which includes decks, basements, and apartment stairs waterproofing. There are also various components that contribute to a waterproofing system. This can include drainage composites to direct water away from the structure, façade and fountain membranes, and watertight plumbing.

Types of Waterproofing

Positive side waterproofing prevents water from entering into the wall by creating a waterproof barrier on the side. Negative side waterproofing protects the surface opposite the side of applied hydrostatic pressure, so that water is redirected after it enters. This is more accessible and makes it easier to identify any leak locations. The downside is that moisture does still enter the wall assembly, which can cause the materials to degrade over time. There are also combination systems that use both types.

Dampproofing is not the same thing as waterproofing, even though some construction professionals interchange the two terms on accident. Dampproofing is an inexpensive coating that is designed to prevent moisture from wicking up into below grade walls. Waterproofing offers a larger range of water protection.

What to Look for after Waterproofing

Even if a property has had waterproofing done, there are some things to look for in order to know if the waterproofing failed. Pay attention to any mold, mildew, or vegetative growth. See if there are any stains or rust, odors or cracked walls, and wood rot. The longer moisture deterioration is allowed to go on, the more costly it is to repair. It’s necessary to create a plan for any signs of water entry.

Start with reviewing the history on leaks so you know how the building reacts to any weather events, such as rain, snow, or high humidity. Temperature fluctuations also affect building materials. If you know there is a leak after it rains, then you can figure out the cause. Also identify the water source. A water test can help determine the type of water that is leaking. If it contains chlorine, then it’s likely from a plumbing leak. Also rule out ambient moisture. If the sheet is still wet on the side facing the wall, then water introduction though the wall surface is probably the issue. Condensation may be the cause, which may be due to HVAC equipment. Determine the location of the leak. By looking at where, when, and under what conditions the signs of water are present, you can determine the pathway.

Waterproofing Failure

Waterproofing can fail for a few reasons. This can include design omission, installation errors, and deficient quality assurance.

Waterproofing, especially deck and apartment stairs waterproofing, can provide benefits to the property value and increase safety. Proper waterproofing will ensure materials last longer and there will need to be fewer repairs and less money spent.


David Rosenberg: A seasoned political journalist, David's blog posts provide insightful commentary on national politics and policy. His extensive knowledge and unbiased reporting make him a valuable contributor to any news outlet.