Businesses need to do a lot of things right to keep revenue flowing and their workflow proceeding smoothly. Rarely do business owners consider that one of the biggest roles in their success comes down to their building and how well it continues to hold up. Your commercial buildings need just as much care as the rest of your team, or you could be faced with significant costs down the road. Repairs are just the tip of the iceberg; your business could also face slowed production or even a complete halt in services until an issue is repaired.
The good news is that one of the simplest ways to prevent many future problems is by keeping out a building’s greatest danger: moisture. Commercial waterproofing is a viable maintenance task no matter the underlying material your structure is made of. Here’s what you need to know.
Do You Really Need Waterproofing?
As a business, you are already faced with myriad important decisions, from who to hire to how to sell your products or services. Budgeting may not include waterproofing just yet, and many companies wonder if the process is worth the expense. After all, aren’t things like stone and brick already waterproof?
In reality, they’re not. Water can easily creep in through the cracks and gaps of a stone facade or the mortar between bricks, entering into the inner walls of the building. From there, you might not notice a problem for some time-but when you do, it will already be severe, as dangerous issues like wood rot and mold have had a chance to grow uninhibited for some time.
Waterproofing is an economical and powerful way to prevent these issues and keep your structure in good repair for as long as possible. However, the type of waterproofing that’s best for your needs will depend on what your commercial building is made of.
Materials to Suit a Variety of Waterproofing Needs
You don’t need to decide which type of waterproofing would best suit your needs on your own. A professional can help you make that assessment. However, it’s still useful to understand the basics of the most common types of materials for waterproofing:
- Polyurethane – Perhaps the most effective choice for buildings, polyurethane coatings are favored because they are so good at penetration. They’ll seep evenly and deeply into materials like concrete, with all of its small holes and inconsistencies, and keep the material protected from not just water but also other spills like oil or chemicals. However, polyurethane is more expensive than other waterproofing options.
- Bituminous membranes – Bitumen (a tar-like substance) and specialized waterproofing products can be mixed to make this type of membrane, which goes on dark and is common for areas like roofs. It can last for a very long time and is highly affordable at an average of $3.50 per square foot. However, bituminous membranes are made from oil, which means that they’re not sustainable for the environment.
- Cementitious coatings – If flexibility is not a concern, cementitious coatings can be an inexpensive waterproofing option. This material starts as a powder that’s mixed by professionals prior to application. At about $3 per square foot on average, cementitious coatings are some of the most affordable, and they’re durable and a neutral color that makes them suitable for many applications.
- PVC membrane – While this product is most commonly used on roofs, it may be effective in other locations as well. The thin membrane is vapor permeable, which means that as your building puts out its own evaporation, this moisture will not be trapped underneath the waterproof layer. PVC membranes can last for many years, but they come with a price tag to match at about $55 per foot. However, if you have one particularly problematic area, PVC might be able to remedy the issue.
These are just a few of the many potential materials that can be used to waterproof a commercial building. Thermoplastics, asphalt or specialized types of rubber might suit your needs based on the type of commercial work that you do and the climate in which you operate.
Trust the Pros to Help You Waterproof Your Commercial Building
Waterproofing materials come in all shapes and sizes, and as a business owner, you already have a lot to think about without the added pressure of figuring out which solution is right for you. The experts at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration can evaluate your building and help you understand the options that will keep your structure in good condition for years to come. Reach out to learn more about the services we offer or to schedule an appointment to start your waterproofing conversation.