Leaks and waterproofing issues aren’t limited to older buildings. Even newer buildings can suffer from these problems. They may be the result of errors made in construction or from using poor materials. Regardless of why they appear, you need to know how to spot a waterproofing issue before it becomes an expensive problem.
Signs of Waterproofing Problems
Unfortunately, waterproofing or water damage problems can be difficult to spot. Oftentimes, you may only notice the problem once the damage is done. A sagging roof, bulging wall or tiles falling off your shower are pretty clear signs of advanced water damage
However, there are some other signs to look for that might suggest the early stages of water damage. Some things to look for include:
- Unexplained stains on walls or ceilings
- Visible signs of mould or mildew
- Musty or mouldy smell
- Efflorescence – white streaks left on porous materials like concrete and brick due to water dissolving the salts in the material
- Bubbling, blistering or peeling paint
- Dripping ceiling or roof
- Damp or condensation on walls
- Damage to grout or tiling in wet areas
If you notice any of these signs, contact a repair service as soon as possible. These could be signs of water leakage or problems with your waterproofing.
Common Problem Areas
To make looking for these signs a little easier, it can help to know where you’re likely to find waterproofing problems.
- Bathrooms, kitchens and other wet areas
It’s normal to see some excess water in wet areas like kitchens, laundries and bathrooms. It could be nothing more than splashing from washing the dishes or the kids’ bath. However, if these areas always seem to have some moisture or standing water, then you might have a problem. Common problems areas include under sinks and basins, behind toilets, shower tiling and grouting and in the walls around faucets. If you suspect any issues in these areas, you should call a plumber immediately.
- Roofs, guttering, attics and ceilings
Standing water can do a lot of damage. It’s a great breeding ground for mould and it can slowly dissolve and seep through seemingly solid material, like roof tiles. Once it’s penetrated your roof, it can start to do damage to the internal roof structures.
If you spot any moisture in your internal roof cavity, the source should be traced and repaired immediately. Minor leaking roof repairs are quick and inexpensive and can prevent major structural repairs down the road.
Your guttering handles all the water drainage for your roof, so if your gutters have a problem, your roof has a problem. If you have water pooling in or overflowing from your gutters, then this could result in serious water damage and should be addressed immediately.
- Basements and cellars
If you don’t regularly use your basement or cellar, you may not see a waterproofing issue before it’s too late. As with roofs, water under your house can cause structural damage.
Some of the biggest waterproofing problems can be found in basements and cellars. Drainage issues around your house or improper or damaged waterproofing around your foundations can lead to water seeping into your foundation materials. Over time, this can lead to foundation weakening, cracking and sagging and can be hugely expensive to fix.
Some common signs of waterproofing issues in your basement include efflorescence (mentioned above), moisture or condensation on basement walls, rising damp, excess humidity and mouldy or musty smells. If you notice any of these signs, you should call in the experts straight away.
- Drains and plumbing
Blocked drains and leaking pipes can quickly damage your home if left alone. Even the smallest leak can lead to a big problem. Always attend to any plumbing issues, no matter how small, as quickly as possible. Any drains that are slow to drain should be fixed before they get blocked or become a recurring problem. Unblocking drains at home is usually easy enough, although sometimes you may need a plumber.
You should also keep an eye on the external drainage around your home. Make sure all down pipes direct water away from the house. Take note of any recurring drips or standing water around your property and try to identify the source as soon as possible.
Balconies and terraces need to be properly waterproofed. Like flat roofs, they are a great place for standing water to gather. This standing water can then quickly get inside your home, seeping under the door or dripping through to the ceiling below.
- Door and window seals
Without proper doors and window seals, water can seep or flow in even when the doors and windows are closed. Take note of recurring moisture around doors and windows whenever it rains. It’s not enough to simply block up the cracks to stop the water getting into the house. You’ll still have water seeping into window and door frames and other structures and over time this will do serious damage. In most cases, installing window and door seals is pretty simply and will save you having to replace damaged frames down the road.
Staying on top of waterproofing issues by looking for signs of problems in high-risk areas can save you money in the long term. Always treat waterproofing issues seriously. To know more about Waterproofing Read Here..