Waterproofing Design Services
NEW L.A. Area Office Location
DTR Consulting Services has moved our Los Angeles Area Office to better serve our A/E Clients in the Southern California area. The new location provides for future growth and easier access to area freeways.
Overseeing this office is the Firm’s Managing Principal, Thomas Berger, RCI, CSI, CDT, SCIP. In addition to running the new Phoenix Area Office, he is overseeing the expansion of this office. DTR Consulting Services continues to work with Architectural and Engineering Clients in the Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego Area since early 2006. This move allows DTR to build on our current client base and to expand our Firm to better serve our current and future A/E Clients.
Tom will be evaluating and recruiting the best new staff, the area has available. He will be in charge coaching new staff members into the existing DTR Culture and provide training for both experienced and junior members in the DTR approach to serving our Architectural Clients. DTR will be looking to hire both Building Envelope Engineers, Specifiers and Quality Control Staff.
Please help us Celebrate this new Office Location…
Updated: Sept 2013
Waterproofing Design Services
What’s at Stake
Water infiltration is one of the most terrible things that can happen to a building. When water infiltrates the structure of a building, it can be quite insidious. The structural integrity of a building can be severely compromised when water damage occurs in addition to environmental consequences. Therefore, building waterproofing is of the utmost importance, particularly in areas that are prone to heavy rains and flooding conditions.
Building waterproofing can and should be designed, specified and observed by a qualified waterproofing professional.
Waterproofing is defined as the resistance of the passage of water under hydrostatic head pressure. Hydrostatic head pressure means water is present from underground water buildup. This pressure is greater in soils that don’t allow much water to flow away from a building, like clay and solid rock. Waterproofing Materials are available to suit the varied building site conditions:
Below Grade Walls – Walls of a building’s basement levels are sometimes protected against water seepage as the space may be used as storage, parking, or other occupancy use allowed by code.
Above Grade, Buried Plaza Areas – In many cases, plaza waterproofing located above occupied spaces is buried under pavers, grass and other plantings. These applications are referred to as waterproofing projects in most cases, and may have different assembly configuration and detailing methods than a conventional roofing assembly.
Above Grade, Surfaced Waterproofing Systems – Many types of coatings are applied to deck assemblies for auto and pedestrian traffic, sports surfaces and other applications. These coating systems are applied by CRCA Member Roofing and Waterproofing Contractors.
Underground Buildings – The roofs of underground buildings are considered waterproofing applications because they are usually buried under some amount of insulation, drainage systems and soil or other topping. As such, waterproofing materials, systems and details are used instead of typical roofing details. This is due to the unknown direction of water travel. Once a structure is underground, water may seep from above or be driven by water pressure upward towards the ground surface. Special Flashings and other procedures are necessary to produce a successful waterproofing project.
Dampproofing Dampproofing is defined as the resistance of water in the absence of hydrostatic head pressure. Dampproofing materials typically will not bridge cracks in concrete that may occur during the life of a building. Dampproofing Applications Dampproofing can be used on either Residential or Commercial / Industrial / Institutional Applications. Most Dampproofing products are spray applied very quickly and applied at around thinner in some cases than waterproofing. Therefore, Dampproofing may be significantly less costly than waterproofing.
In construction, a building or structure is dampproofed or waterproofed with the use of membranes and coatings to protect contents underneath or within as well as protecting structural integrity. The waterproofing of the building envelope in construction specifications is listed under ’07 – Thermal and Moisture Protection’ within MasterFormat 2004, by the Construction Specifications Institute, and includes roofing material as well as waterproofing materials.
In building construction, a structure needs waterproofing since masonry or concrete by itself will not be watertight on its own (but can be sometimes waterproofed with additives). The conventional system of waterproofing involves ‘membranes’. This relies on the application of one or more layers of membrane (available in various materials: e.g. bitumen, silicate, PVC, EPDM etc.) that act as a barrier between the water and the building structure, preventing the passage of water. However, the membrane system relies on exacting application, presenting difficulties. Problems with application or adherence to the substrate can lead to leakage.
Over the past two decades, the construction industry has had technological advances in waterproofing materials, including integral waterproofing systems as well as more advanced membrane materials.
Integral systems work within the matrix of a concrete structure, giving the concrete itself a waterproof quality. There are two main types of integral waterproofing systems: the hydrophilic and the hydrophobic systems. A hydrophilic system typically uses a crystallization technology that replaces the water in the concrete with insoluble crystals. Various brands available in the market claim similar properties, but not all can react with a wide range of cement hydration by-products, and thus require caution. Hydrophobic systems use fatty acids to block pores within the concrete, preventing water passage.
New membrane materials seek to overcome shortcomings in older methods like PVC and HDPE. Generally, new technology in waterproof membranes relies on polymer based materials that are extremely adhesive to create a seamless barrier around the outside of a structure.
Below Grade Waterproofing
Below grade waterproofing once completed becomes very difficult since the water pressure is from the negative side (from outside coming inside), the difficulty arises when a membrane cannot withstand hydrostatic pressure from within the substrate and therefore fails. Water may enter below grade through various means including through joints, walls, or floors.
Various below grade waterproofing systems address these problems. There are many systems available of varying cost, effectiveness, and installation invasiveness. Specially used membranes in this field are protection board sheets. Basement waterproofing may be done internally and externally. Because basement foundations can be brick, block, concrete, and even wood, it is important to pick the right waterproofing system for the right foundation. One effective way to waterproof cracks in poured concrete walls is by epoxy injection.
Our technical involvement in the building specifications and product selection assistance services enables us to keep current with the many advancements and new products being introduced by product manufacturers. We maintain an ongoing review program of testing and analyzing new products and procedures in order to evaluate their usefulness to our clients needs.
This knowledge of the industry enables us to provide the most applicable specifications for our clients. In addition to providing the best specifications, our experienced technical staff can assist you in the design of the most appropriate and effective details for our A/E client’s projects. These designs are communicated by means of plans and details. Specifications are prepared using Microsoft Word, plans and details are prepared using AutoCad software.
Our documentation (specifications, plans, and details) are suitable for the Architect/Engineer to incorporate into thier bid documents. No matter how extensive the details, or how applicable the specifications and drawings, the success of any project is largely dependent on the execution by the contractor.
Because of the importance of the execution, we encourage our A/E clients to utilize our on-site quality control inspection and other Contract Monitoring services.