Avoiding Water Damage to Your Home or Commercial Building

The damaging effects of flooding, water, and mold surpass all fire emergencies as one of the leading causes of property damage to US homes and commercial properties.

Despite advances in building construction and high-tech materials, it doesn’t take much to do extensive damage to the unfettered structural support or interior of a building or home. No matter the type of structure, your residential or commercial property is waging a constant battle with the outside elements, and no element presents such a constant threat like ordinary water.

In humid and rainy Florida, waterproofing issues are particularly common and need expert care. Moisture that can seep into the interior of your commercial building or home is a major concern throughout the entire Southeastern United States.

What is Waterproofing and How Does It Protect Your Commercial Building or Home?  

Waterproofing is essentially a process that ensures water can’t penetrate the inside of any building, whether commercial or residential. It’s an important but delicate process, so make sure you bring in experts to provide firsthand knowledge and understanding of waterproofing – not just painting.

The risks are high, because any kind of water damage, whether seepage from rain and flooding or a buildup of humidity, has the potential to cause significant damage to a structure. It also sets the stage for mold and mildew development, which can even cause respiratory illnesses.

Water can also erode the very foundation of the building and create hazardous conditions. Wooden buildings are particularly at risk for major structural damage, but water can even deteriorate concrete.

Peeling or ‘bubbling’ paint is a good indication that water damage has already occurred and that waterproofing needs to be done.

ocoee inside bubbling paint
Peeling or bubbling paint pictured next to window sill, Florida bank

 

 

With this knowledge in mind, the following things should be considered on all painting and waterproofing projects:

  • All caulking should be inspected and, if needed, should be removed and replaced with a high-quality urethane caulk. The Florida sun is very hard on anything that allows elasticity for waterproofing. All stucco should be inspected. It is typical of all stucco to show some signs of cracking, however the size and severity of the damage will help to decide whether a normal elastomeric patch followed by a high-quality sealer and paint will work, or, alternatively, if it needs a high-build product designed to bridge these stucco cracks in order to fully waterproof the envelope of the property.
  • A determination needs to be made on whether the commercial or residential structure needs any additional repairs such as wood repair, concrete restoration, or waterproof membrane installation.

Interior and exterior walls, pipes and joints, roofs and foundations are most likely to need waterproofing. Adequate waterproofing requires more than a commercial sealant that comes in a tube, or just another coat of paint. These measures are more cosmetic than anything else and don’t address the underlying problem of why there is dampness in the first place. Waterproofing should not only sort out the cause of the problem, but prevent its recurrence in the long-term.

How to Prevent Water Damage to your Residential or Commercial Structure

Make sure all of the structure’s gutters are clear and that you have good runoff around the exterior of the home or building. There should be no pools of stagnant water against, or near the base of exterior walls.

Waterproofing walls on the exterior is one of the tasks that’s particularly important for having surface walls that last.

Don’t forget that:

  • Not all coatings are waterproof
  • The waterproof coat serves as another layer on the surface wall and as a preventive measure
  • This waterproof layer fills in gaps and spaces where moisture and water will likely seep
  • Waterproofed exterior surface walls are longer-lasting
  • These surface walls can withstand different weather conditions
    • concrete waterproofing coating, is a cement-like product that adheres to concrete and masonry permanently; it can be applied to any surface, including painted walls;
    • silicate-based concrete sealer, reacts with the ingredients in masonry and concrete to form a waterproofing coating; this sealer can only be used on unsealed/unpainted walls;
    • waterproofing paint, is similar to acrylic wall paint, with the main difference that it delivers better waterproofing performance. It’s very important to choose a breathable formulation that is especially designed to allow walls to breathe and eliminate moisture. The product can be applied to surfaces previously painted.

In this regard, not all paint manufacturers produce waterproof coats. Furthermore, not all commercial painting services include waterproofing walls. Dulakis Painting does – both commercial and residential.

Putting it all together – The Water Test

Property managers and homeowners can conduct a water-tightness test to evaluate the effectiveness of the products used for waterproofing exterior walls. For this test, water should be sprayed on the wall surface for a couple of hours, keeping the nozzle at a 30-degree angle. The structure passes the test only if a moisture meter shows there is no moisture. By waterproofing exterior walls, you’ll not only prevent serious damage, but also boost the value of your home or building.

Does your home or commercial property have water damage? We can help. Contact our experts today to get a free quote.

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