5 Facts About Retaining Wall Waterproofing
On just about every type of property, you will find retaining walls, and all of these walls need proper waterproofing. At Thome Waterproofing, we can provide you with high-quality retaining wall waterproofing as well as offer some helpful information about these important structures and how to protect them.
There Are Several Types Of Retaining Walls
If you are new to the world of construction, retaining walls are constructed to hold back soil, this can include basements and subterranean structures of buildings (parking garages, etc.) as well as decorative planters and garden walls.
Because soil is moist (or should be) and most building materials are at least somewhat porous, moisture from the soil can seep into the retaining wall. With proper retaining wall waterproofing, you can protect your retaining wall from water damage and moisture.
Waterproofing Protects Against Hydrostatic Pressure
Imagine a brand-new planter and this planter is filled with healthy moist soil and then the plants and small trees are added to the soil. Over time, the planter is irrigated and also affected by rainwater. As roots grow and more water builds up in the soil, this creates water pressure that pushes on the retaining walls. This is known as hydrostatic pressure.
This pressure can push the water into the walls of your planter, which can weaken the structure of the retaining wall. To protect against this pressure, you need proper waterproofing, and you need adequate drainage.
The waterproofing helps repel the water and the drainage provides this water with an escape route. Waterproofing alone and drainage alone won’t be enough, these are components that must work together to protect your retaining walls and prevent water damage.
Water Damage Is Costly To Fix
Water damage can affect the integrity of your retaining walls, but even if the damage is minor and the structure stays secure, it can still cause issues such as mold. Mold is toxic and if you begin to notice mold on your planter or basement walls or even your crawl spaces, this can be a huge issue as what you are seeing is just the visible mold and there is likely mold growing and spreading behind walls and in areas you cannot see.
Mold remediation is expensive to fix, but the costs to repair the actual structure of your retaining wall could cost tens of thousands of dollars. When it comes to below-grade spaces, such as basements, sub-structures and subterranean garages, the cost to repair, add drainage and properly waterproof these structures can be astronomical, especially for commercial buildings.
Waterproofing Should Be Added Prior To Construction
The best time to handle retaining wall or foundation waterproofing is during the construction process. We have more options for waterproofing and have the opportunity to ensure that proper drainage has been added throughout the project.
With house construction and commercial structure construction, the best approach is typically positive-side waterproofing. This is when we add waterproofing materials to the positive side or external side, which is the portion of the structure that would rest directly next to the soil.
In some cases, such as when access to the positive side is limited, we might have to opt for blindside waterproofing. With this method, we apply the waterproofing materials before the concrete walls of the structure have been poured. This can be a good option in tight construction areas, such as high-density urban areas.
We also can provide negative side retaining wall waterproofing and this is applied to the interior side of the concrete rather than directly next to the soil. While this is less desirable, in some cases, it’s the only option available and there are certainly tough, durable waterproofing materials that withstand heavy hydrostatic pressure.
We Can Use Many Waterproofing Materials
At Thome Waterproofing, our team of experienced waterproofing contractors can provide you with quality retaining wall waterproofing and below-slab or below-grade waterproofing, as well as crawlspace waterproofing.
If you are a homeowner looking to add decorative retaining walls to your property or perhaps a planter, we have extensive experience with these types of projects, but we also have plenty of experience with large-scale construction projects.
Our team will study your construction plans and structures and the soil carefully to determine the best types of materials to use to waterproof retaining walls. We can use a variety of drainage systems and waterproofing membranes, including liquid-applied membranes.
Proper evaluation and implementation of the correct waterproofing system for your needs requires an experienced professional, and the team at Thome Waterproofing has extensive knowledge of many waterproofing systems and materials, which ensures that our services will protect your structure for many years to come and prevent the need for costly repairs.
Call Thome Waterproofing Today!
If you need any type of retaining wall waterproofing or below-grade waterproofing, contact us at any time to schedule a free cost estimate. We have many years of waterproofing experience, and our team services the greater Los Angeles area as well as Ventura County.