What Is Blindside Waterproofing?

When protecting below-grade structures, waterproofing contractors are sometimes limited in the type of waterproofing they can provide. In a perfect world, contractors would enjoy easy access to the exterior below-grade areas of a building, but that’s not always the cases which is why blindside waterproofing may be necessary.

Why Is Waterproofing Necessary?

Whenever a structure comes into contact with soil, proper waterproofing is needed to protect the structure from hydrostatic pressure. The soil around a structure is compacted, but it still maintains the ability to soak in water. When rainwater or perhaps water from irrigation systems seeps into the soil, the soil expands, and this exerts pressure on the walls of a building.

Without proper waterproofing, this hydrostatic pressure will force moisture and water through the walls, which can damage the integrity of the structure, as well as potentially cause water damage to anything in the subterranean structure and foster the growth of mold.

Positive-Side Vs. Negative-Side Waterproofing

When it comes to below-grade waterproofing or foundation waterproofing, we have two options to consider in general – positive-side waterproofing or negative-side waterproofing.

Positive-side waterproofing is applied to the outer wall of a structure creating a watertight buffer between the soil and the structure. Negative-side waterproofing is applied to the interior walls.

In general, positive-side waterproofing is the best option to consider because it prevents water from seeping into the walls in the first place. However, in some cases, such as when positive-side waterproofing was poorly installed or perhaps not utilized at all, we must use negative-side waterproofing systems.

When Do We Need Blindside Waterproofing?

Blindside waterproofing is a type of positive-side waterproofing that we use in special circumstances. When we apply positive-side waterproofing, we typically have easy access to the exterior walls of the slab or subterranean structure. This is because enough soil has been excavated around the walls to make them accessible for contractors to apply the waterproofing materials or systems.

However, in some cases, we won’t have access to the exterior walls of the building. For instance, in tight urban areas, it’s often impossible to excavate enough to allow for typical positive-side waterproofing. In other cases, excavating the soil around a structure could be contaminated, and, in such cases, the builders will want a minimal amount of soil disruption.

With blindside waterproofing, the waterproofing systems are installed before the actual foundation is built. We apply waterproofing to the soil support rather than the exterior foundational walls of the structure. Blindside applications are more difficult to apply than traditional positive-side waterproofing, which is why it is crucial that you use a high-quality waterproofing company to ensure that waterproofing is applied correctly. If applied below-grade waterproofing fails, there’s no way to access it and repair the issues.

Blindside Waterproofing Materials

With blindside applications, the below-grade waterproofing is installed before the concrete is poured for the walls. We apply the waterproofing materials against the soil retention system, such as a lagging wall or shoring walls. We have many different materials that could be used for this process.

For instance, we might begin by adding a drainage mat to the retention wall and this will allow water to flow in between the soil and wall and run down to the drainage system at the base of the structure. Then we would add a high-strength waterproofing membrane, these are often bentonite sheet membranes or perhaps spray-applied membranes. Once these are in place, the structural walls a built against the waterproofing materials.

Keep in mind that blindside waterproofing can be tricky because the lagging walls or retaining walls are not a completely flat surface. At Thome Waterproofing, we have extensive experience with blindside applications as well as experience with a wide range of waterproofing materials and systems and will select the options that best suit the conditions at your specific construction site.

We can provide you with any type of foundation waterproofing you might need, from smaller construction projects to large-scale projects such as the construction of an office building or apartment complex. We also can provide services such as crawlspace waterproofing, basement waterproofing, retaining wall waterproofing and planter waterproofing.

Additionally, we also provide quality deck coating services. We can provide you with decorative coatings and non-skid pool deck coating for your home or apartment communities, community pools and more.

Areas We Serve:

We can provide quality waterproofing throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties including Bel-Air, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Canoga Park, Encino, the Hollywood Hills, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Studio City, Thousand Oaks, Van Nuys and beyond.

Whether you need blindside waterproofing or another type of waterproofing service, the team at Thome Waterproofing can help. Give us a call at (818) 899-1234 or click on the Contact Us tab on our homepage. We will gather some information about your project and provide you with a free cost estimate.