Waterproofing your commercial building should be one of your primary concerns. Water might not seem like that big of a deal, but lingering water and constant dampness can take a serious toll on your building and its longevity. Some of the most common effects of water damage include:

Softening of plaster
• Bleaching of paint
• Bubbling of paint
• Corrosion of metal
• Termite infestation and proliferation
• Warping of wooden materials
• Disintegration of tile, stone, brick
Mold infestation

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These are only a few of the things that we most often see when a commercial building has an issue with water. If you want to properly prevent water from damaging your building, you will need to know where the water comes from and how you can waterproof your building against that water.

Sources of Water

Water can invade your building from many different locations. If your commercial building is built on wet ground, it may simply be soaking upwards through your foundation, into the materials of your building. Even just rain water, splashing against the walls of your building as it cascades off the roof can be enough of a source of dampness that will seriously affect your materials. Even just condensation on the walls of the building might cause enough water damage to affect it. Leakages from plumbing and appliances that use water in your building will also be a source of water that you need to consider.

How to Waterproof Your Building

Proper finishing of your building is one of the most important ways to waterproof the entire building. If the materials are not properly finished, they will be much more susceptible to dangerous water damage. Filling the pores of porous materials like drywall will ensure that dampness does not get a chance to take hold in your building. Paint, for example, can help to seal a material against the damage that water can do. There are, however, a wide variety of other waterproofing techniques that you should consider.

1. Cementitious waterproofing – The use of cement is one of the most popular ways to waterproof a commercial building. You can usually buy the materials you need from any manufacturer that makes masonry products, and you can often apply them to a surface yourself. This is the best option for areas that are going to see a lot of moisture, such as around showers or toilets. It is a rigid solution, best used on the interior of your building, so it does not expand and contract due to the changing environment.

2. Liquid membrane waterproofing – This is another common way to waterproof your commercial building. Essentially, a membrane is applied over the material. This is a much more flexible option than cementitious waterproofing, which makes it ideal for outdoor applications. It can extend the life of the materials it is applied to by more than two hundred percent, and because it can be sprayed or rolled onto just about anything, you have a wide variety of options to choose from when it comes to waterproofing your building.

3. Bituminous coating waterproofing – Another popular choice for waterproofing a building is to use a bituminous coating. It is flexible, like the liquid membrane, but uses a different formulation that might be better for adhesion to certain materials. You might occasionally hear this type of coating called asphalt coating, and it is often used on roofs of buildings or other surfaces that get a lot of water, especially during rainy seasons. Its benefits include easy of application and its ability to be exposed to sunlight for years, without weathering. The flexibility of this coating will largely depend on what additives are used when it is formulated.

4. Bituminous membrane weatherproofing – Instead of applying the coating with a roller or spreader, bituminous membrane can simply be laid over the top of the material. Some varieties are self-adhesive, others require heat in order to adhere to the material beneath it. Both are made from asphalt, polymers, and fillers. In some instances, the membrane might also be made with resins to help the membrane adhere to certain substrates.

5. Polyurethane membrane waterproofing – This is a method that is particularly popular for flat roofs, offers a very high degree of flexibility, and is suitable for a wide variety of applications. The membrane can easily be modified to bond to a number of different surfaces, but in areas of high moisture, the membrane may actually start to peel away from the substrate. For example, if the concrete slab is very wet when the membrane is applied, it will not hold on to the membrane very well.

All of these options are great for waterproofing your commercial building. Preventing water damage should be one of your highest priorities, whether you have bought a building that needs waterproofing or whether you are building a new commercial building. While there are other types of waterproofing that you could investigate, these are likely going to be the most readily accessible to you and will be the easiest to apply. Choosing which one going to be the most effective for you will mean picking a waterproofing method that meets the needs of your building and the type of moisture you are dealing with.