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Signs that waterproofing in a building has failed: useful insights for homeowners

October, 21 2022

As a homeowner, it is important to have waterproofing treatment for roof, basement, bathroom, balcony and terraces as these are the areas that are more vulnerable to water seepage problems. It is important to keep an eye on water intrusion as it can damage the structure and cause mould and mildew to grow. Mould and mildew are not just bad for your furniture but can also worsen symptoms of those suffering from respiratory problems. If you are not sure if the waterproofing of your house is intact, here are some signs to look out for:

1: Water marks and stains

Water marks and stains on the walls or ceiling of your home are a sure sign that water has made its way to the construction material. If you see water marks or stains, it's important to assess the situation and determine where the water is coming from. It could be a leaking plumbing pipe or a draughty window. If left unaddressed, waterproofing failures can lead to serious problems such as mould growth, rot and structural damage.

2: Cracks on the floor and walls

Concrete is naturally porous and if the cracks have appeared on the walls or ceilings, they indicate that water and moisture have got into the pores. The more pronounced the cracks are, the bigger the problem is. Since water follows the downward flow of gravity, you must check the area above the wall or ceiling for water leakage. For instance, the ceiling may develop cracks if there’s a water leakage on the floor above it. Waterproofing needs to be done for both the floors in this case.

3: Mould and musty odour

Mould and mildew need moisture to survive. A musty odour is a sign there is mould growth in the house. This happens when there is water seepage in the house. Along with the musty smell, you may also notice green and brown spots on curtains, carpets and furniture.

4: Efflorescence on the walls

Efflorescence is a common problem seen in older buildings, where the original waterproofing materials have degraded over time. In newer buildings, efflorescence can be caused by poor workmanship or the use of inferior waterproofing products. Either way, the problem needs to be fixed as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the building.

If you see efflorescence on the walls of your home, it's important to have a professional assess the situation and determine the cause. Once the source of the problem has been identified, they can recommend the best course of action to fix it. In some cases, the efflorescence may be able to be removed with a simple cleaning. However, in other cases, more extensive repairs may be necessary.

Myth 5: Bowed basement walls

The bowed basement indicates that there is a failure in waterproofing. For instance, if you notice an inward curve or a bulge in your brick foundation wall, you have to repair it immediately. Bowed walls allow more water to seep in and affect your home's whole foundation. Waterproofing solutions by Nuvoco include Zero M Acrylic Power and Zero M Latex Expert. You can check more details about waterproofing in a building, to make an informed choice.