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Better to be Prepared than Pay for Restoration: Waterproofing Solutions

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018 by Megan Jones


Better to be Prepared than Pay for Restoration: Waterproofing Solutions

 

 

Water damage is a huge, very costly problem that can happen to any household. Restoring water damage per 700 square feet can cost $2,700 on average.

 

It can even go as high as $7,500 if the restoration process would involve black water removal, mold remediation, and carpet or drywall replacement.

 

Water damage can easily spread throughout your home that’s why it shouldn’t be ignored. It’s hard to spot signs of leaks until it has gotten worse and you see stains on your ceilings and walls (that means water has heavily penetrated your home surfaces already) and the only way to go is to replace them.

 

So before it happens, every homeowner should pay attention to the best solution against water damage: waterproofing.

What is waterproofing?

Waterproofing is one of the most important yet often overlooked concerns in home construction.

This process is basically done to ensure that the entire building is shielded from the damaging effects of water, from the rain to the drainage system and plumbing systems.

 

All homes undergo waterproofing during construction. But as the property gets older, it gets exposed to water damage too through roof holes, broken gutters, and downspouts, etc. During winter, concrete shrinks as it becomes cold, causing cracks to widen.

 

This gives a special entry point for water to seep through and invade your home interior. Water can then damage your walls, floors, drywall and even your insulation. All these surfaces can harbor mold, which causes further problems in your home.

Structural Waterproofing

Structural waterproofing involves resolving a range of problems, from leaky roofs to damp basements, cellars and tunnels, underground structures, car park decks and swimming pools.

 

No matter how well-built a home is, water penetration and material deterioration can affect its structural integrity. Thus, preventive maintenance is needed. A structural waterproofing consultant is needed to ensure that below ground structures are protected from water damage.

 

Post structural waterproofing can prove difficult and costly, but there are ideal, long-term, cost-effective solutions available, such as:

 

  • Use of cementitious coatings for below ground and water retaining structures. These are water-based, non-hazardous formulations that rapidly cure concrete surfaces without releasing strong odor or hazardous chemicals.
  • Use of water management systems for home interiors. This usually involves the application of a vapor barrier or membrane that forms a cavity between the wall the and membrane, as well as hydro channels and sump pumps that transport water out of the basement and out into the drains.

External Wall Waterproofing

Over time, rainwater or moisture can dampen your external walls. Before applying waterproofing products, it is always best to eliminate any other sources of structural dampness, from burst pipes to wall cracks, or condensation within the walls. Here are some more best practices for external wall waterproofing:

 

  • Clean your gutters. Clogged gutters may flow over the edge and down the external walls. Worse, they retain rainwater which is then absorbed by the roof’s wood or fascia boards, leading to more serious problems like mold, rotten wood, and leaks.
  • Select the right waterproofing agent. There are various waterproofing solutions for walls, such as silicate-based concrete sealer which can only be used on unpainted or unsealed walls, concrete waterproofing coating that can be applied to any surfaces, even with paint on, and waterproofing paint.
  • Fill in cracks and repair other issues. Use good-quality fillers to repair cracks and patch holes. Walls should be dried completely before being applied with a coating solution.

Bathroom Waterproofing

Bathrooms are by nature, wet spaces. However, it is important to make sure that the water does not seep through the walls and other surfaces, causing dangerous leaks and mold build-up. Here are some of the best practices when waterproofing bathrooms:

 

  • Create a moisture barrier behind the shower prior to installing the finished wall. Seal walls. Tiles can greatly keep water off the wall and are easier to maintain too.
  • Tiles also make a great water barrier on the floor. Experts recommend sealing grout annually as water can get into and behind grout.
  • Ceilings require waterproof painting. Installing a vent help usher out moist air out of the bathroom.

How to Handle Emergency Water Damage

Being one of the most serious emergencies that can happen to any home, water damage should be dealt with immediately and appropriately. As the first step, detect the main source of the leak.

 

Usually, it is caused by flooding (due to heavy rains or storm), burst hot water tank, or pressurized water line. It is important for every homeowner to know where the shutoffs are located to immediately stop the water flow.

 

Flood can be difficult to stop but its damage in your home can be lessened by blocking the passage of water. If flooding is caused by backed-up sewer pipes, urgent professional help is required.

 

Shutting down all electrical sources within the damaged area is a must to prevent deadly accidents. Water makes an excellent electrical conductor and can easily deliver a serious shock. Also, raise or remove furniture and other belongings. Carpets can be dealt with later.

 

Emergency water damage is best-taken care by professionals. However, there are some things you can do while waiting for help. For instance, during cleanup, it is best to make use of air movers and dehumidifiers to dry moisture in the air.

 

Establishing proper air flow is essential to drying wet surfaces within your home. Once you’ve pulled away wet materials, you will need one air mover for every 15-25 sq. Ft. of space. If the moisture is too high, you may need more.

 

Dehumidifiers are a great drying tool too. While fans are helpful tools, dehumidifiers can help dry out sodden carpets, beneath floorboards, as well as other hard-to-reach areas that fans cannot cover.

 

Waterproofing should be something that every homeowner should prioritize to avoid stressful and costly repair and restoration work in the future.

 

Water damage is among the most dreaded problems any household can deal with. Waterproofing a home may require money and effort but the investment and time spent are all worth it.

 

Megan Jones

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