Building owners and facility managers in Singapore frequently face water damage issues with their commercial properties. Regardless of the size, commercial properties encounter all sorts of waterproofing issues. A high-quality roof waterproofing is crucial. With the proper protection, you can save a lot on utility bills and later on maintenance and renovation costs. In this article, we look at why waterproofing your commercial building roof is essential.
Why is proper commercial waterproofing critical?
Commercial building managers have to comply with Singapore's regulations to ensure their buildings are safe. Just this year, in August 2021, The Straits Times reported that Rivervale Mall was ordered by the Building & Construction Authority (BCA) to carry out rectification works after large cracks appeared on the external facade of the building.
Rivervale Mall Sengkang. (Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/community/rivervale-mall-in-sengkang-ordered-to-repair-cracks-to-facade)
Many visible signs indicate immediate action is required: for example, when water stains appear on the ceiling or mould begins to grow on the walls. Aside from the aesthetic problems, there are also health implications. At first, the stains are just a nuisance, but soon they can be accompanied by the appearance of spores that can pose a severe threat to the respiratory system. Primarily due to the high humidity level in Singapore, mould can quickly develop. As a consequence, the building can become structurally unstable. In the beginning, only the plaster peels away, but over time, bricks, concrete, and wood will also deteriorate. For waterproofing solutions to be long-lasting, waterproofing concrete needs to be of high quality. Additionally, commercial building owners must also ensure that building structures do not lead to collapses that can seriously injure building occupants or passersby.
Benefits of waterproofing
What are the benefits of waterproofing in addition to decreasing health and safety risks?
Protecting the building structure Adequate waterproofing provides additional protection for your commercial building against wear, decay, and leaks, regardless of weather conditions such as rain, heat and wind. Commercial roofs with improper waterproofing may result in still water that seeps into the building's membrane. This results in damage to the building's materials and foundation that can lead to significant damages. The reflective nature of a proper waterproof membrane also reduces the effect of extreme heat and sunlight on your roof, increasing the lifespan of the building's roof.
Improve air quality Proper waterproofing provides ventilation for the commercial property. If a building is improperly ventilated, water can get trapped, causing indoor air quality to deteriorate. Commercial buildings are visited by many people, having a low air quality will decrease visitors' experience, reducing the value of the property.
Energy & Cost Savings: A properly chosen and applied roof waterproofing solution is inexpensive to maintain and keeps the need for costly refurbishments away. Identifying and repairing waterproofing issues early on will prevent more expensive repairs in the future. Cost savings are not only realised through the low maintenance costs but also the energy savings. A professional waterproofing solution reflects heat and sunlight, reducing the need for HVAC systems to work harder to compensate for climate control. In large commercial properties, these energy savings can be significant.
Types of commercial waterproofing works
Roof waterproofing is not the only task that needs to be done to avoid water getting into the building uninvited. A professional waterproofing contractor should inspect all parts of the commercial building. Common areas where commercial buildings face issues besides their roof are the external facade, individual ceilings, basements and floors. There are several popular methods used in commercial waterproofing.
Cementitious Waterproofing: The most popular method worldwide for waterproofing a building is to use cement, which is no wonder since it is easy to access and the application process is simple. However, cementitious insulation is less protected against building movements.
Liquid Membrane Waterproofing: With three layers of coatings, liquid applied waterproofing provides highly flexible protection. In outdoor applications, this method is more effective than cementitious waterproofing.
Bituminous or Asphalt Coating Insulation: Like liquid membranes, it's flexible and adheres to certain materials exceptionally well due to its formulation. Concrete foundations are commonly built using this method.
Bituminous Membrane: Traditional roofs with a low slope use this self-adhering waterproofing membrane. Materials include polymers, asphalt, and fillers. The service life of good quality 2-ply bituminous membrane insulation exceeds PVC and rubber membrane insulation.
Polyurethane Liquid Membranes: A polyurethane liquid membrane is used for flat roofs exposed to the elements and with high flexibility. This solution is sensitive to moisture. Therefore, only a professional and careful application will result in a long-lasting solution.
Commercial Waterproofing Singapore
Hydro-Seal Engineering has specialised in waterproofing and rope access in Singapore since 1995. From residential projects to large industrial and commercial buildings, our team has almost three decades of experience providing long-lasting, high-quality solutions. What type of insulation is best for your commercial building? Do you need repairs due to leaking water? Give us a call at +65 6289 6811 or send us a message, and our top-notch customer service will get back to you in no time.