Inspection Before Waterproof System Is Installed

Obtaining an inspection before waterproof system is installed is an absolute must for many reasons. So many actual incidents, some very tragic, have occurred over the years to suggest that with a little foresight the ensuing damage might not have transpired. Though most people think of wood or even concrete when it comes to waterproofing, in reality that is just the beginning. Basement, rail lines, flooring and so much more all require waterproofing systems to preserve their structure’s integrity and to prevent the drip, drip, drip that signals trouble.

With many different waterproofing systems, and with so many people relying on the effective application and effectiveness of these systems, the pre-inspection techniques naturally vary to assure the system used provides the greatest protection to individuals and the public at large.

The focus on inspections that take place prior to the application of a waterproofing system entail determining the best system to employ to re-mediate the effect of water’s harmful presence, but also to investigate other factors that may act to undermine the system that are outside the treated area.

Since many factors impact the application of waterproofing, or non-existent waterproofing systems, looking to an example that embraces many of the considerations for inspecting before employing a waterproofing system provides the best insight. Just racing out to do the job may create troubles down the road or even totally undermine the waterproofing system.

In the USA, basements are very common from the mid-west to the east coast. Since water flows to a basement through several sources like walls, drains, roofs, driveways and yards, a holistic approach to the problem is necessary. Just inspecting the basement to determine if water intrudes through the walls or flooring (hydrostatic) is insufficient.

Determining ways that water is breaching the basement gives a clearer perspective. If the source is not hydrostatic, interior and leaching up through the soil, and is coming from the outside, then part of the inspection should incorporate the grounds and structures abutting the basement.

Inspecting the soil for clay content, the slope of the land leading to the basement, roof systems, planters, walls, gutters and other structural and topographical features may yield part of the answer. Getting a lay of the land, in other words, helps determine the complete waterproofing system to employ in this example.

To add some detail to the resolution, one inch per foot is the recommended suggestion for the slope of the ground leading away from the basement area. Inspecting the soil first provides notice of what grading will work, informing the owner of the potential cost. About 20 to 30 percent of the soil should consist of clay. Analyzing the soil will determine the amount of clay needed. Inspection of the other above components should take place too.

After these steps, then waterproofing the basement should come next. Reliance on a professional, well-established waterproofing contractor will provide the best results. (Sometimes, as it should, the inspection focuses on the contractor as opposed to the challenges presented by any particular job.)

For the expert, examining the material that requires waterproofing always proves beneficial down the road. The state of the material, the degree to which it is degraded; the type of material, such as cement, wood, or composite; the metals used in the construction of the structure, such as copper, aluminum etc. and their proximity to one another — all are factors determining the waterproofing to apply. Until careful examination is done, the contractor can only guess at the appropriate waterproofing technique.

As in the basement example, the cement could show signs of crumbling. It may exhibit a high degree of wetness. Applying waterproofing to a wet surface only promises ineffective results. The examples are endless and the smart contractor knows it. For the homeowner, an inspection by a company experienced with waterproofing challenges can provide the information regarding the right waterproofing product, whether the current structure requires partial renovation or upgrading, and whether other factors need addressing that might overwhelm the waterproofing system proposed.

Contact us, Pli-Dek Systems, to learn more about inspections and why they are so important before, even after waterproofing systems have been installed or applied.