Waterproofing consultants have the knowledge and experience to integrate below-grade waterproofing with the other building components to perform effectively. This knowledge is applied to diagnose and resolve water and moisture issues when they arise.
A waterproofing consultant can also provide critical quality assurance during design and construction to verify that waterproofing is correctly installed and protected during the construction process.
What is Waterproofing?
Many people think of “waterproofing” as anything that keeps water out. In construction, waterproofing generally refers to components that prevent water infiltration in below-grade structures. A below-grade structure is anything below ground, such as a foundation, basement, or crawl space.
Waterproofing is water management of hydrostatic pressure or water pressure exertion against below-grade structures. Waterproofing aims to install systems or components that resist the hydrostatic (water) pressure and prevent water or moisture infiltration.
Damp-proofing differs from waterproofing. Damp-proofing systems help shed moisture and resist water vapor, but they do not resist hydrostatic pressure and may experience water infiltration.
Types of Waterproofing
The two types of waterproofing are vertical and horizontal.
Vertical waterproofing systems are used to prevent water from coming in through the below-ground walls. To prevent water infiltration from the side, waterproofing systems or components that resist water pressure on the below-grade foundation walls are installed. Depending on the materials, they may be installed on either the inside or the outside of the basement walls.
Horizontal waterproofing systems prevent water or moisture from coming up through the floor. The type of system recommended depends on the construction site location and water table. Multiple waterproofing and damp-proofing systems may be needed.
Why Hire a Waterproofing Consultant?
Moisture penetration can come from four different sources:
- Hydrostatic pressure: moisture coming in through the sides of the below-grade walls
- Capillary action: water coming up through the basement floor
- Water vapor migration: water vapor coming up into the building from underground water or soil
- Condensation: moisture forming due to a combination of heat, humidity, and air-flow
A waterproofing consultant assesses water or moisture management needs from these different sources. Consequently, they recommend the best combination of both below-grade and above-grade systems so that the building effectively handles moisture and stays safe, healthy, and sound for continued use.
In addition, a waterproofing consultant ensures installed waterproofing systems “survive construction” and are intact and operating as intended.
Services provided by BEPG’s waterproofing consultants:
Besides waterproofing consulting, Building Envelope Professionals Group, LLC (BEPG) provides comprehensive building envelope services that look at how the waterproofing system interacts with exterior wall and roofing systems.