Beyond the Build

Tips from the Field

Why Waterproof?

WaterproofingThe simple answer is that waterproofing, whether around openings, under decks or in the roofing membrane, is a fraction of a building’s cost, but represents about 90% of potential problems.

It’s easy not to think too much about waterproofing…Until something goes wrong. The “out of sight out of mind” mentality is easy on the front end, but with water intrusion, it’s more like, “where there’s a will there’s a way.” Leaks often happen at windows, storefronts and curtainwalls with improperly placed flashing, which is the number one reason water gets into a dry building on the vertical side.

The right waterproofing can be very expensive. Clients might not be thrilled about spending the money, but with good waterproofing, you invest once vs. possible years of frustration, tenant stress and potential litigation.

We have recently been working with a customer on the best ways to waterproof the underlayment at an exterior plaza area of a restaurant. The hotel’s lobby is under this elevated plaza, and needless to say, it is the keystone of the operation. After discussing the whole picture, we are going with the best system to greatly reduce risk.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.