The PMR Blog
Waterproof Your Building
Posted 2012-02-21 by Bob Neas in Waterproofing

Just How Bad is Water Damage?

In this article we will discuss some of the dangers associated with water damage to masonry, how to waterproof your masonry building, and some things you should know about your waterproofing options. All information will be in Q and A form.

Q- What Does Water Damage Do?

A-It causes:

Efflorescence- Masonry that has been contaminated with water-soluble salts from the ground or other sources later forms a whitish residue. This occurs when water runs through the masonry facade; it forms salt and crystalline deposits on the building’s exterior.

Cracking and Spalling of the Brick and Mortar- When water freezes and thaws, it expands and contracts. As this occurs the water applies pressure on the rigid masonry causing it to crack and gradually degenerate.

Deterioration of the Overall Façade- Cracks that appear in your façade can lead to further water intrusion, the longer you let water damage go, the worse it will get. Cracks get bigger and soon small and even large pieces of brick or stone can fall off your building.

Deterioration of the Structural Components- Once water penetrates the exterior façade the metal anchors and ties that support your building beneath that façade can rust and corrode. Once this occurs, large sections of your façade can crumble and collapse. The overall structural integrity and safety of the building will be compromised.

Q- How Can I Waterproof My Masonry Building?

A- There a couple of precautions a building owner can take to waterproof their building. Such as:

Make sure that wall flashings and weeps have been installed at shelf angles, wall bases, and lintels.

Apply some sort of waterproofing sealer or coating to the exterior of the building.

Have your building appropriately caulked.

Q- How Often Should Water Sealers or Coatings Be Applied?

A- Most last about 10 years but some will last up to 20 years. Be sure to keep track of when the last time a water-repellent was applied to your building.

Q-Where Do You Need to Caulk?

A-At all doors, Windows, or other wall openings. Also where there are differential materials (I.E. where brick meets stone or stone meets wood or masonry meets glass or metal).

Q-How Often Does Caulk Usually Last?

A-Depending on the movement and location of the joint caulk will last about 10-15 years. However, the conditions that the caulk is exposed to can sometimes quicken degradation, such as full sun exposure can cause caulk longevity to decrease.

If you live in Philadelphia, PA, NJ, or DE contact us to discuss how you can waterproof your building.

Servicing Commercial Projects in PA, NJ, NY, DE and CT.