Water is the great destroyer of property. Large amounts of water can crush load-bearing structures and sweep away whole buildings in minutes, while smaller amounts over the years can infiltrate every crevice and rot out the strongest beams and facings. That’s why waterproofing is such a high priority for your commercial property, and it’s why even in drier climates, you need a decent barrier between the elements and your valuable investment property.
Types of Water Damage You’re Protecting Against
Water is an ingenious destructive agent. It has all kinds of ways of getting into and through structures to cause damage. Some of them happen so quickly you’d struggle to keep up, while others work silently for decades to do their damage. Some of the most common ways water damages properties include:
- Leaks: Water gets through roof structures and corrodes underlayment. It breeds mold, including toxic strains that cost a fortune to eliminate. It encourages rot in wooden structures and rust in metallic ones. If your property has permeable structures indoors, such as drywall or acoustic tiles, water will devastate them on contact.
- Cracks: Commercial properties are likely to be large and sit on a concrete slab. Poor drainage allows water to fill the soil under that slab and cause localized swelling. That puts shear forces on foundations and gradually encourages cracks that ruin the value of the structure. The result over time is increasingly costly foundation repairs or total demolition of the structure.
- Ice: Ice collapses rooftops, especially the flat roofs many commercial properties have. It can also form in the ceiling, walls and pipes during a cold snap, bursting pipes and pouring water into sensitive areas when the temperatures go back up.
Choosing the Right Waterproofing
The scope of the problems water causes demands a vigorous response by property owners. With the typical commercial flood insurance policy only covering the first $500,000 in damage to what could be a multimillion-dollar commercial property, and even lower coverage for less dramatic water damage, the stakes are high. Choosing the right waterproofing is a major priority. Here are your main options:
- Cementitious: Cementitious materials are available everywhere and easy to mix. These are best for indoor wet zones, like the floor around a toilet or sink, though it’s also a good choice for outdoor deck areas or parking skirts.
- Liquid Membrane: Liquid membranes form a chemical barrier made up of several layers applied via spray, roller or trowel. The rubbery coating it forms is more flexible than cementitious waterproofing, expanding by up to 300% depending on the specific polymer being used.
- Bituminous: Bituminous waterproofing is like the tar you mop onto the roof, and it can go on as a liquid or as sheets of material. Sometimes just called asphalt coating, it’s an excellent low-cost solution for areas that get lots of water, like rooftops. You will probably have to refresh this coating every year or so, but the cost of doing this isn’t very high.
- Polyurethane Liquid Repellant: Polyurethane liquid is lighter and more flexible as an option than bituminous waterproofing, and it’s relatively good on surface structures like porches. It’s more expensive than asphalt, however.
Protect your commercial property from water damage with CoreCom Commercial Painting. Choose the right waterproofing solution to prevent leaks, cracks, and ice damage, ensuring the longevity and value of your investment. Get in touch today!