<- Back<- Back<- Back

3 Commercial Waterproofing Challenges

Steve Thompson
October 7, 2022

One of the biggest commercial waterproofing challenges is that there are many more waterproofing issues to worry about for a building than a home. As a commercial building owner, you have greater responsibility to ensure tenants are safe from flooding and other disasters. Another huge challenge buildings face is that up to 80 percent of a building's damage can result from water leaks and moisture.

Improper Waterproofing

Building damage can be caused by improper construction or waterproofing methods. Local building codes have dramatically changed over time, as many older buildings were not constructed with sustainability or waterproofing in mind. The choice of waterproofing method depends on the type of structure.

The two main types of below-grade waterproofing solutions are the positive side and the negative side. With positive side waterproofing, the solution is applied outdoors directly to the structure surface that comes into contact with moisture. Negative side waterproofing, by contrast, is for existing interior construction like walls and basements. Blindside waterproofing is used when there are space limitations.

Lack of Maintenance and Expertise

When a structure is not maintained well over time, it can become vulnerable to environmental elements and degrade more quickly. A basement is particularly vulnerable to flooding if preparations are not made. For a basement, you'll need a below-grade waterproofing solution.

It's crucial to get your waterproofing done by an experienced contractor rather than a handyman trying to make a little extra money. Improper maintenance or waterproofing can lead to bigger and more expensive problems in the future. So try to resist the friendly neighbor or employee who offers to help but isn't knowledgeable of all the proper steps to take. Another way buildings end up with poor waterproofing is when a building manager contracts with an incompetent contractor that isn't familiar with any modern waterproofing solutions.

To avoid severe water damage, it's imperative to conduct building inspections regularly to look for developing leaks. Resolving leaks early is the key to mitigating massive damage from moisture. That means inspecting drains, plumbing, and irrigation regularly is crucial. Professional inspectors will also make sure window and door seals are maintained.

Dealing with High-rise Ceilings and Walls

Many high-rise buildings, such as apartment complexes, have a buildup of water seepage if they are not maintained properly. You can areas of moisture on interior walls and water dripping in the basement. When you see these conditions, it's a sign the building owner isn't aware of proper waterproofing. For sunken bathrooms, improper waterproofing can mean removing the tiles so the surface can be cleaned with a mechanical grinder.

Roofs and terraces on high-rise buildings often require modern chemicals and polymers for sufficient strong waterproofing. Any surface cracks should be repaired with an acrylic, epoxy, or polymer sealant and coated with protective plaster.


Overcoming commercial waterproofing challenges is a job for an experienced waterproofing contractor. Choosing the right waterproofing method and materials is critical if you want the best results. Contact us at West Coast Deck Waterproofing for more information on getting waterproofing done properly.