Waterproofing has been part of the broader construction industry for a long time. The need to protect structures from the harmful effects of exposure to water and other environmental elements has been important dating back when wooden boats needed special sealants to keep them afloat. Over time, specialization in the waterproofing industry has taken root, and one of the areas of expertise that has emerged is the one dealing with decks.
These structures are usually the most vulnerable regarding exposure to environmental elements as well as human traffic. Professionals in this field, therefore, face a unique set of challenges viewed from perspectives below.
1. Design and Installation Challenges
When taking up a new deck waterproofing assignment, the first challenge faced by a contracted specialist is figuring out the best way to execute and complete the task. Unfortunately, most property owners usually contact the experts after the deck has already started succumbing to the effects of exposure. A wooden deck, for example, would be displaying noticeable defects such as chipping and cracks. The specialist has to figure out what parts of the structure need complete replacements and the parts that need repair before even applying the protective waterproofing membrane.
Ideally, installation of the waterproofing materials should not alter the original design of the deck. It becomes a challenge if the core structure itself needs some modification to improve the drainage slope so as to prevent water pools on top after the installation.
It is important to involve deck waterproofing experts right from the initial construction stage so as to minimize design and installation challenges.
2. Environmental Challenges
Environmental issues facing the deck waterproofing industry are several. The actual working environment is usually outside the building, and this means that the weather, as well as the usual human traffic, can hamper progress. The specialist, therefore, has to install temporary protection on top of the area they are working on. The materials used for waterproofing, whether epoxy injection, membrane application or any unique form of coating – has to take the shortest time possible to bond with the deck surface and permit continued usage.
There is also the issue of the effects of waterproofing systems on the environment such as when applying loose-laid thermoplastic membranes. There might be fumes generated during installation of chemically cured or hot-applied membranes, and this may cause discomfort to the building occupants.
You can mitigate the impact of these challenges by ensuring waterproofing tasks are well planned in advance and carried out during hours when there is minimal human traffic. It is also important for you to complete these tasks during the non-extreme season of the year to avoid harsh weathers such as snowing and blizzards.
3. Information Gap
Just like most other industries, there is still a huge need to disseminate the right information on waterproofing in the market. While every engineer understands importance of waterproofing as far as core structural integrity goes, auxiliary building extensions such as decks and balconies have not received much attention. Most property dealers and homeowners (with little to zero engineering background) are therefore oblivious of the need for deck waterproofing and only find out when the damage has taken place. This makes repairing and installation of proper waterproofing quite expensive and thus many people end up viewing it as an unnecessary expenditure.
There is, therefore, a great need to integrate all waterproofing tasks with the whole construction process. Building contractors, property dealers, and homeowners need adequate information on importance of waterproofing just as they are aware of other critical safety and maintenance issues in the construction industry. Get in touch with us now for more details.