May 4, 2015

Other than burning down, probably the worst thing that can happen to a residential structure is a foundation problem. The foundation is literally what the house is built on, what keeps the building where it was built, transferring the dead loads and the live loads into the ground.

The source of the vast majority of foundation problems is water. Wet soil beneath a foundation can swell or lose strength.

And that's only the first reason to keep the foundation dry. Then there's the little problem of wet damp basements and crawl spaces that can breed mold and make below-ground interior spaces generally unpleasant. The problem is that typical concrete is not waterproof. It will typically keep out liquid water, but water vapor can still penetrate quite easily. Keeping water drained away from concrete foundations and preventing it from moving through the concrete are essential to a successful structure.

There are three components of any system designed to keep water out. These are, from the bottom up:

  1. Drains to move water away from the bottom of the foundation
  2. Wall treatment to prevent moisture from moving through the wall and to route water down to the drains
  3. Ground surface treatment adjacent to the building to direct surface water away

Because the foundation will be underground when the building is complete, waterproofing before the dirt is filled in is critical, thus preventing what will be an expensive undertaking and a major headache in the future. Waterproofing is needed anytime a structure is built at ground level or below ground. Waterproofing and drainage considerations are especially needed in cases where ground water is likely to build up in the soil and raise the water table. This higher water table causes hydrostatic pressure to be exerted underneath basement floors and against basement walls. Hydrostatic pressure forces water in through cracks in foundation walls, through openings caused by expansion and contraction of the footing-foundation wall joint and up through floor cracks.  A leaky foundation in a residential building can damage finishes and furnishings, even the structure itself. In a commercial building, water can ruin expensive equipment and disrupt vital work.

In construction, a building or structure is waterproofed with the use of membranes and coatings to protect contents as well as protecting structural integrity. New technology in waterproof membranes relies on polymer-based materials that are extremely adhesive to create a seamless barrier around the outside of a structure.

Weatherseal uses a water-based product called Mar-flex to waterproof new-construction foundations. When it comes to choosing a waterproofing membrane, quality is everything. Buildings with dampproofing or inferior waterproofing membranes risk being damaged by the ever present danger of water. Mar-Flex 5000, a product years in development, was designed to remove the risk from choosing a waterproofing product. It can be applied to any wall foundation and provides industry-leading waterproofing technology at an affordable price. In keeping with Mar-Flex’s commitment to providing environmentally friendly building materials, Mar-Flex 5000 is produced from 20% recycled content.

For more information about our waterproofing services, please contact us.

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