Waterproofing the home or office is becoming an essential part of general building maintenance, especially with the rise in freak weather occurrences across the globe. Below we discuss the benefits of waterproofing, and the possible effects when it has been left too late.

St. Mary Parish

St. Mary Parish is a small parish located in the state of Louisiana, U.S. When hurricane Isaac passed through earlier in 2012, none of the residents could have anticipated that one of the most prominent contributors to property damage would be roof leaks.

“We experienced a wide variety of roof leaks across the parish. Some of these roof leaks are reoccurring, some wind driven and several were new leaks, ” St. Mary Parish Superintendent of Schools, Donald Aguillard, told the daily-review.com. Five schools and one stadium sustained costly damage to their roofs, incurring a cost of more than R4.6 million.

Small Leaks

Even small leaks can cause problems. Home and business owners often don’t realise that roof leaks are not restricted to the roof, but spread throughout the building, and are capable of weakening walls, damaging electrical equipment, causing the onset of mildew, and even accumulating below the building when the leak is frequent or sustained over a long period of time. This can pose a number of potentially dangerous structural problems, and also can create a breeding ground for insects and other pests capable of carrying disease.

Waterproofing

Waterproofing a home is a preventative measure that can actively contribute to cost savings in the long run. It effectively increases the sustainability of a structure, which can help upkeep costs down, and adds to the overall value of the building. Since it keeps pests at bay by eliminating potential breeding environments, it actively benefits the health of the building’s occupants, thereby eliminating unnecessary medical costs.

In addition to reduced maintenance costs, there is yet another important benefit: reduced consumption of maintenance resources means a reduced impact on natural resources, thereby making the structure more environmentally efficient.

Solutions

A number of solutions are available to home and business owners to safeguard their buildings. U.T. Blue / White is a polyethylene membrane laid over rafters under tiling battens to help eliminate potential roof leaks. While this is a solution which can be implemented by the intrepid DIY enthusiast, help may be required when waterproofing walls and basements.

It’s especially with walls and basements where expert advice can come in quite handy, since different building materials will often require different solutions. In some instances, for example, a membrane might be sufficient protection. In other situations the solution may be a bit more extreme, and could include epoxy injection into crevices and cracks, or the laying of waterproofed cement or concrete. Nevertheless, once your building has been waterproofed, you’ll be safeguarded against seasonal wet weather extremes, and have a better chance of surviving freak storms with minimal to no damage sustained to either the building, its contents, or its occupants. It is an essential part of building maintenance, and will become more important as time and climate change progress.

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