Did you know that typically building owners spend about 1.8% of a building’s construction cost on waterproofing resources? However, water related damages account for a whopping 83% of all building defect complaints. In fact, water intrusion is the most common cause of construction related lawsuits. Among the many weather exposed surfaces that a building has, it is the roof that receives the blunt of a rain’s potential damage. In this article, we look explain how metal roofs can be especially vulnerable to water penetration and the consequent related damages to the building’s infrastructure.
Intuitive, we should be able to predict that a roof sustains the most amount of water contact during a rainfall. Additionally, roofs often contain several other installations such as vents and solar panel installations, this is dictated by the needs of the building. As such, the waterproofing integrity of metal roofs are often compromised, especially where penetrations and drilling takes place. Roof modifications that are not water tight will enable a path for water to penetrate and ingress along the underside of the roof. At which point, water is actually capable of travelling long distances before accumulating in a deposit spot. This makes it difficult for owners to ascertain the actual point of entry. Over time, the deposit of water weakens the integrity of the building by corroding the its strength and dealing structural damage. Such damage places inhabitants and users of the building space in a dangerous situation.
How then can we prevent such a situation from occurring? For starters, it is important to understand that rainfall does not constantly flow downhill, instead elements such as the wind may cause rainwater to take diverging and unpredictable paths. Hence, no exposed area should be overlooked in your waterproofing efforts. Next, to prevent actual penetration, liquid membranes should be applied to all surfaces, giving them a watertight seal. Typically applied using a brush or spray, liquid applied membranes are actually high performance elastomeric coatings that are capable of creating a leakproof roof. Additionally, since it is by its very nature a liquid, the membrane can be easily applied to any surface regardless of shape or size.
It should be noted that a one off application of a waterproofing membrane is insufficient. Rather, regular reapplication is required to ensure that the roof continues to be waterproof. Similar to wear and tear from friction, pollutants and UV rays from the sun do weaken the membrane over time which thus potentially exposures portions of the roof to water penetration.
If you are looking for metal roof waterproofing services, certification, experience and proposed plans should be key to picking the right company for the job. Top waterproofing companies will be able to advise you on the appropriate waterproofing coatings as well as to detect areas of vulnerability in your building’s structure that would need to be addressed.