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Without waterproofing, your facilities can experience the same level of structural damage as termite-infested buildings. For high-traffic commercial sites like golf courses, waterproofing preserves the structural integrity of buildings, and ensures high quality safety for visitors.

Throughout this article are key things you need to know about waterproofing a golf course.

What’s waterproofing and why do you need it?

Faulty waterproofing is one of the three most common building defects in Australia and it’s regulated by Australian building codes and standards. Essentially, waterproofing is a layer of material that goes beyond mere water resistance, as it prevents all moisture from passing through.

Golf courses commonly contain both semi-outdoor and heavy-duty traffic areas. Its layout also encourages plenty of movement between wet and dry areas. In this case, waterproofing is the best protection in preventing moisture from damaging structures and facilities. If left undetected, water/moisture can cause building structures to develop significant damages.

From a glass half full perspective, waterproofing has a multitude of benefits. As well as preventing the damages just mentioned, it also protects against weather and electrical hazards. Furthermore, it can boost insulation, preserve and enhance property value, and allow a secure peace of mind that the building structure is maintained.

Waterproofing golf course facilities

Golf courses can provide facilities such as bathrooms, swimming pools, and ponds. Attention to high-quality waterproofing in these areas should be made a top priority. This is because facilities with sanitary fixtures, appliances, and water outlets are subject to higher levels of moisture, direct wetting, and humidity.

Waterproofing commercial roofs and balconies

Other areas you should be inclined to waterproof on a golf course, are those exposed to natural elements. Roofs, balconies, terraces and podium decks, are some of the high-risk areas vulnerable to water damages. Check these regularly and make sure you stay on top of adequate waterproofing.

For roofs, especially flat roofs with poor drainage, applying Wolfin or Cosmofin waterproof solutions, and improving water drainage is ideal. The same applies for balconies. This type of waterproofing needs to be carried out by professionals and can be used on everything from concrete and timber, to steel and CFC.

Ensure you have a preventative-check program so you can catch any cracks or leaks early and save on expensive repairs. Check your balconies, roofs, and other areas at least once every six months. If left unchecked, these water-damage issues can quickly worsen and become health hazards for your members.

Waterproofing lakes and ponds

Artificial lakes and ponds on a golf course provide practical and aesthetic value to your site when proficiently maintained. Follow this method for the best long-term protection.

  1. Excavate the pond or lake
  2. Construct a geotextile underlay
  3. Apply waterproof membrane layer

Waterproofing these in-ground lakes and ponds prevent leakage, and protect your turf and wildlife from toxic pond chemicals.

Waterproofing below-ground structures

When it comes to below-ground structures, waterproofing is probably one of the most important considerations. Basements, cellars, and anything below ground-level are prone to issues with dampness and water seepage that eventually damages the structural foundations. As well as causing respiratory health problems due to mould, it is also costly to repair.

It is recommended to waterproof any below-ground structures from the outside. This stops water and moisture from the source and protects the structure from moisture related issues.

However, if water has already penetrated the basement, you’ll need to go about the process a bit differently (by a professional).

  1. Remove water with a sump pump.
  2. Run a dehumidifier to dry out the air.
  3. Apply a PVC-based waterproofing sheet membrane to the external walls of the basement such as Cosmofin or Wolfin.
  4. Identify heights and terminate the membrane onto the Factory Bonded Steel profiles which are saw cut into the structure as per manufacturer’s recommendation ensuring the top termination is a minimum of a 100mm above finish soil level.
  5. Cut the membrane to the required dimensions, and then hot-air weld onto the terminating profiles at base and top of walls.
  6. Once that’s done, inspect and test all the laps, seams, joints, and carry out any repairs if necessary.
  7. A44 geofabric should be applied to the membrane before installing drainage cells and it is highly recommended that the drainage cells are used to help alleviate and drain water from these areas.
  8. Finally, the backfilling can be carried out.

It is also common for underground structures to sustain leaks from above, making them the first to develop issues. Regular checks and maintenance is the best way to catch leaks and stop them before they become serious.

Waterproofing retaining walls for landscaping

Retaining walls add versatility and interest to a golf course. More importantly, (provided they are waterproofed) they are reliable for long-term terracing of sloping areas and controlling erosion.

Plan and build your retaining wall according to your local regulations, obtain approval first if necessary. Design the wall with good drainage in mind since water pressure can damage retaining walls. Once it’s in place, you can have it waterproofed. Waterproofing protects the back of the wall from moisture and greatly enhances the longevity of the structure. Products like Cosmofin and Wolfin are suitable, for more tips on waterproofing retaining walls click here.

Waterproofing planter boxes

Waterproofing your rooftop garden goes hand in hand with your irrigation system and drainage design. While your roof might have been treated with a waterproofing product when it was first built, you should nevertheless waterproof your planter boxes separately to the roofdeck.

Some older rooftop gardens used asphaltic bitumen for waterproofing, but this organic substance is not appropriate since plants can penetrate it with their roots as they grow. Synthetic waterproofing membranes are more likely to be immune against plant roots, ensure the product you use is certified root resistant.

Rooftop gardens are exposed to the elements, so a strong protective layer of waterproofing is essential. The layer of protection should be sufficiently flexible. For example, it should allow for a degree of expansion to allow and accomodate for physical or thermal movement in the planter box. Choosing the appropriate membrane and correctly applying the product can ensure it retains its watertight properties for many years to come.

Waterproofing golf courses near the ocean

You’ll need to take special consideration if the golf course is close to the sea. Be sure to use a waterproofing product that can withstand the salt in the air, as well as UV exposure and other elements. This ensures you get maximum waterproofing, further preventing your structures and facilities to be subject to leakage.

We can’t stress more the importance of waterproofing

Waterproofing is a critical consideration in any golf course, and everything from bathrooms and roofs to outdoor pools will need protection from water and moisture. By having an ongoing waterproofing program for your golf course, you can ensure the longevity of your facilities as well as guest enjoyment and safety.

Projex is Australia’s leading provider of waterproofing solutions, with over 25 years experience as a quality supplier of premium engineering and waterproofing products. Find out more about our waterproofing solutions on our website, or contact us for more information about how we can help you protect your golf course from water and moisture.

The Projex Mission is to source and supply technically excellent products to meet the needs of owners, designers, insurers and operators of buildings and structures for specialist protection against water, industrial liquids, impact and corrosion risks.