Many commercial buildings include underground spaces used for parking, storage, utility rooms, communications conduits, tunnel services, etc. These areas are part of the building’s foundation, which means structural integrity and usability are vital.

Below-Grade Waterproofing/Foundation Waterproofing

Below-grade waterproofing is the practice of coating the underground foundation walls with materials to make them repel and redirect water. This practice goes by other names as well including foundation waterproofing, below-ground waterproofing, and basement waterproofing.

An effective waterproofing system and water management go together to keep below-grade spaces leak-free. As an expert waterproofing team located in Concord, CA, ATC gives you experience-powered, objective guidance when it comes to waterproofing your commercial building for safety, usability, and longevity. Feel free to give us a call to discuss our foundation waterproofing and foundation repair services further. Below, we’ll explore below-grade waterproofing some more.

Two Types of Foundation Waterproofing

There are two types of below-grade waterproofing: positive side and negative side waterproofing. The positive side refers to the outside of the foundation walls – the side that touches the soil. The negative side is the opposite side of the foundation walls inside the building. The most effective foundation waterproofing takes place on the positive side of the foundation walls because it repels water before it has a chance to permeate the structure. Waterproofing on the positive side of the foundation involves a strategic combination of waterproofing membranes applied to the foundation as well as a water management system that directs water away from the structure itself.

Drainage is a Key Element in Foundation Waterproofing

Once a structure has been successfully waterproofed, drainage must be addressed to keep as much water as possible away from the building. ATC can analyze the situation and recommend options in this regard.

French drains are often used to divert water away. Under-slab drainage systems are another option. Drainage boards and footage drains are still more options for drainage that can be used in combination with a successful below-grade waterproofing system. If the area is completely flat, sump pumps are a must to carry water away. Again, we will explain all your options and give you a recommendation for the best type of drainage for your project.

ATC and Below-Grade Waterproofing

ATC is familiar with all major waterproofing systems including fluid-applied membranes, self-adhering sheet membranes, bituminous and thermoplastic sheet membranes, and composite rubberized asphalt membranes. We also emphasize sheet metal detailing and integration into your waterproofing system because this can mean the difference between success and failure of your waterproofing system.

When Foundation Waterproofing Fails or Is Not Done Correctly

Foundation waterproofing must be done correctly for it to be effective for as long as possible. Since the below-ground areas carry such a heavy load (the entire structure!) they are subject to deterioration that can greatly reduce the usability of these areas and the structural integrity of the building itself. Some warning signs your building may need foundation repair include:

  • Blistering or peeling paint
  • Dampness
  • Dribbling water
  • Presence of mold or mildew
  • Wood rot
  • Rust
  • Cracks
  • Odor
  • White powdery deposits (efflorescence)

As soon as you notice any signs of water damage in your basement, you should be contacting a professional waterproofing company. The longer you ignore the obvious signs of a failed system, the more devastating the damage and the higher the cost to fix it. When a basement waterproofing system fails, flooding is only a matter of time.

If You Need Commercial Foundation Waterproofing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Call ATC

Airtight Construction is a team of nine professionals with more than 100 years of combined construction experience. In business for more than 40 years, we’ve worked on many large-scale waterproofing projects, giving us a wealth of experience and satisfied customers. We are dedicated to delivering quality craftsmanship and outstanding customer service every step of the way. If you want the best below-grade waterproofing services in the San Francisco Bay area for your commercial property, reach out to us today!