Proper waterproofing is essential for preventing moisture ingress into vulnerable parts of a residential structure. In general, the materials used in construction are resilient and durable. However, most of them will experience deterioration after continuous exposure to moisture. For instance, concrete is porous and tends to crack after long-term moisture absorption. Wood will also rot without protection from water or even high humidity and other masonry elements will change after soaking in water.
If you have noticed moisture ingress issues in your home, consider these tips to plan and prepare for residential waterproofing.
Check Moisture Issues
One of the common mistakes made during waterproofing projects is the failure to address the underlying moisture problems. In simple terms, you can apply a waterproofing membrane to the affected parts of your building. However, if the source of the harmful water is not handled, the coating will fail within a short period and the ingress will continue. Therefore, inspect your home before commissioning the work. Most problems affect the basement so check the drainage around the foundation. Your contractor can also test the soil and assess the internal plumbing for sources of concern.
Repair Damaged Area
The presence of cracks and holes in your building could compromise the effectiveness of the waterproofing. Simply speaking, the damage will allow moisture to flow through the walls even after the application of the coating or membrane. Consequently, the moisture issues will not be resolved. Just plan for structural repairs before the waterproofing process begins. Most minor cracks and holes can be repaired by using a commercial filler. If you have larger fissures in your home, consult your contractor for the repair. The work will be intrusive and extensive.
Clean Your Surfaces
Proper cleaning will improve the performance and durability of waterproofing coatings or membranes. If the product is applied to a dirty surface, the fresh layer could experience delamination and subsequent ineffectiveness against ingress. Therefore, plan for a thorough cleaning before beginning. If your building had an old coating for moisture protection, plan for its removal. Scrubbing, sanding and abrasive blasting are efficient techniques for removing old layers on the walls and floors. Also, wash the surfaces with soap and water to eliminate grime. You can use a power washer but be cautious of damage if you have old walls. Remember to allow enough time for complete drying before proceeding. Finally, choose the right waterproofing material for your residential needs. Popular options include bituminous, epoxy-type, polyurethane-based and box-type waterproofing systems.