Choosing the right waterproofing solution

Look beyond the warranty when evaluating waterproofing systems

You're looking at waterproofing for the roof of your new project and the sales rep is touting a 30-year, no dollar limit warranty. Sounds great, right? But it may not be the best route to go.

The goal is to avoid a failure in the first place, not to have to dig up your warranty years later to see what it covers. After all, if your waterproofing solution fails, the warranty may fix the problem but you still have the headache of cleanup, downtime and associated costs.

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Here are some helpful ways to evaluate waterproofing solutions:

Check into the product longevity

Consult with the manufacturer's technical consultant to get specifications on the performance of the entire waterproofing solution. The physical properties of the waterproofing membrane can indicate how well it will perform long term. While certain properties may be more critical than others, the combination of all properties should be considered.

Look to third parties

Check into test data from third parties such as Wiss, Janney, and Elstner or Simpson, Gumpertz, and Heger, who evaluate waterproofing solutions.

Work with an established, reputable manufacturer

This way, you'll have some reassurance that you're getting the promised performance and that they'll stand behind their warranty for the long term.

Consider the field technical services

Find out if the manufacturer has trained installers and field support. If not, it may be left to the contractors doing the work to interpret how the product is supposed to be installed, which leaves room for error. Ideally, the manufacturer should have a presence in the field to answer questions and ensure that the product is performing as intended.

Ask about product compatibility

If your deck waterproofing system is from a different vendor than your air barrier, you could run into problems if product issues arise. The last thing you want is questions about who's responsible if there is a failure at the seam where the two products meet. To avoid this problem, look into vendors who can provide solutions for the whole building envelope.

"Question on a project? Our Design Advantage experts provide technical consultation throughout project design and construction. We'll work closely with your team to get everybody on the same page, from specification to installation."