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Maintaining a commercial building is hard work. The sheer size of commercial properties in comparison to residential properties means an extra amount of care and vigilance is needed to prevent wear and tear. One of the most important facets of maintaining a commercial building is to ensure that its foundation is waterproof.

Structurally, the worst thing that can happen to a building is a foundation problem. Without a sound and solid foundation, a building cannot properly sustain the amount of pressure it receives on a daily basis and, consequently, will give way. The vast majority of foundation problems stem from wet soil. Wet soil through flooding or leakage can cause the earth to swell and lose strength, shaking the foundations of the building, causing damage to the building’s structure and presenting a health and safety hazard.

Foundation waterproofing tips

The strength and life of a commercial building lays solely on its foundation. To maintain the life and safety of your building, consider the following tips:

1. Lay a foundation drainage system

A foundation drainage system should be incorporated into the design of below-ground structures in commercial properties, landscape areas, etc, as they’re convenient, flexible, and effective. One of them is to use perforated pipes running along the perimeter of the foundation to an outlet on the surface where water can be efficiently pumped out or drained. The piping is laid between layers of gravel and filter fabric to help prevent pipes clogging up over time with loose debris and material. Before laying a drain system down, a layer of waterproof membrane must be applied to the exterior wall to prevent any leaks into the structures.

2. Use basement waterproofing

When it comes to foundation waterproofing, the basement is one of the places that requires the most attention. Since the basement or car lot is underground, it’s constantly at risk of water penetration due to the soil it is constructed in. Water can easily seep into cracks and spaces, causing mould and other health hazards. This can result in property damage and also poses a great threat to the electrical systems, lift mechanisms, and the structural integrity of the building. There are generally two methods used in basement waterproofing; positive and negative waterproofing.

  • Positive waterproofing – This refers to water pressure coming from the upper or inner side of the concrete. In this method, the surrounding perimeters of the building structure are dug and then layers of waterproofing material are applied. Positive pressure is generally caused by rain or flooding.
  • Negative waterproofing – If water pressure is coming from the outer surface or from below the concrete (for example, pressure due to groundwater in a basement) it requires negative waterproofing. This can be caused by groundwater in surrounding soil and leaking drain pipes.

3. Hire commercial foundation waterproofing contractors

Ensuring that the foundation of your commercial building is waterproofed requires the help of a waterproofing professional. It’s important to note that not all waterproofing contractors are the same, and therefore research and comparison are required to find the right one for your needs. Go with a contractor who’s experienced with commercial foundations and understands the differences between commercial and residential foundations. There are various systems used for foundation waterproofing, so before hiring a contractor have a look at their specific waterproofing solutions and determine which one will give you the best benefits long-term.

Benefits of waterproofing for commercial buildings

While foundation waterproofing can be installed at any stage of a commercial building’s life it is far more practical and cost effective incorporating it into the construction of the building. Foundation waterproofing for commercial buildings has a number of core benefits:

  • Preserves structural integrity.
  • Enhances indoor air quality.
  • Allows for compliance with existing building codes.
  • Increases property value.
  • Increases lifespan.

If your property isn’t correctly waterproofed, you’re sure to be presented with a nuisance of a problem in years to come and, potentially, some costly repairs. Possible risks include:

  • Dislodgement of ceiling tiles leading to damage of inventory, equipment, and private property.
  • The potential failure of the building’s HVAC system due to water intrusion.
  • Bacterial and insect infestation due to a damp environment and mould formation.
  • Damage and failing of electrical systems.
  • Surface cracks and fissures.
  • Movement and instability in the building’s foundation leading to structural damage and manipulation.

Consider a waterproofing system from Projex

If you’re the owner of a commercial building and are looking for a way to secure the foundation through waterproofing solutions, get in touch with the Projex group today and discuss what method of foundation waterproofing will be necessary for the longevity and integrity of your commercial building.

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.