Essential Elements of Your Building's System Benefits of Waterproofing

Water damage can wreak havoc on any co-op or condo. When it leads to serious problems like mold and structural damage, it can be a costly problem to address. To avoid the cost and hassle of dealing with water damage after the fact, it's not enough to simply trust in the waterproofing elements integrated into your building during its construction.

The exterior elements of a building are its first line of defense against the elements, leaks and water damage. In addition, interior materials serve to reinforce the exterior building envelope. Making sure both are properly waterproofed is a critical component of protecting your co-op or condo from leaks and water damage. Understanding where the most vulnerable areas of your building's facade are and knowing when to call in a professional are essential to protecting your co-op or condo from water damage.

Key Components of Waterproofing

The exterior façade and the associated building envelope elements make up the key components of a building's waterproofing system. Constant exposure to weather—and New York City pollution—over time will cause these elements to deteriorate, necessitating repairs and replacement of various parts of the system

"The building envelope consists of the façade, roof terraces, bulkheads and anything on exterior of the building," says Alan Epstein, president of Epstein Engineering, PC in Manhattan. "In addition, exterior elements are backed up by interior materials. So when you're on a terrace, typically under the walking tiles are waterproofing membranes that are part of the waterproofing system. The first line of defense is the obvious materials you see, and behind those are a series of waterproofing membranes."


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  • Waterproofing a house is a very smart idea, and makes sense to do it during construction, or renovation. I think that is smart since you can get to areas you normally can not, also it can be done correctly. When I build a house I will have to look into that.
  • Thanks for helping me understand more about waterproofing. It's interesting to think that it's ideal to have an inspection for a building twice per year, both before and after the winter season. I can definitely see why this would be important, especially because water damage can be really bad. That being said, I wonder if this is the case for warmer climates. Perhaps their inspection and waterproofing needs should be done before the summer starts due to summer rain and flooding.
  • Thanks for bringing to my attention that the foundation is a critical area of your home that can benefit from waterproofing. I've noticed a few cracks in the walls of my basement, and I want to make sure I don't have problems with leaks or flooding. Perhaps it would be wise to have a professional come and waterproof the basement so I don't even have to worry about it anymore.
  • Aleshire Mueller on Monday, May 28, 2018 8:31 PM
    It was nice to know that foundations have specifics that actually helps in dictating how it must be waterproofed. I will mention this to my brother since the crawl space that he wants to be waterproofed is connected to a part of the foundation. He needs to know this to make sure that he does things the right way and avoid needing to redo the waterproofing thing. Thanks.