The Benefits of Commercial Roof Waterproofing

What Is Commercial Waterproofing?

Most people don’t think about how the roof over their heads keeps them dry — but we do. Along with the many other aspects of a successful and long-lasting roof, waterproofing is a viable application to not only keep the space dry but to transform the space into an outdoor living space. Douglass Colony Group developed our approach and strategy over the 77 years we’ve been in business, and after all that time, it’s safe to say we know our way around a roof.

Waterproofing safeguards your building against leaks and water damage. It’s a process that involves applying what we call a waterproof system, typically 215 mils, 3 times the standard roof membrane. Commercial waterproofing contractors, like us, will work with you to develop a strategy to ensure your building remains dry and lasts well into the future. Lack of a proper waterproofing system can lead to a variety of problems.

Unfortunately, waterproofing is a part of the roof-building process that often gets overlooked. But we at Douglass Colony Group understand it to be one of the first lines of defense against natural elements like rain and snow. It is essential to ensure your roof is sturdy and durable against any and all weather conditions. We also understand it to be very different from roofing. Not all roofing contractors have the equipment, knowledge, or expertise to provide a leak proof waterproofed deck, but we do.


The Benefits of Roof Waterproofing

The pros of waterproofing might seem obvious — you stay dry, but there’s much more to it than that. One of the biggest pieces of advice we give our clients is to think long-term. If your roof contains gardens, pavers, or pool decks, they can be costly to locate and even repair leaks, so it is imperative to select the right system and contractor. Ask yourselves — What can this waterproofing job do for my building now, and what can it do for the building ten years from now?


Prevents Water Damage

Starting with the most obvious, by waterproofing your building’s roof, you’ll prevent water damage. Water is tricky, it can seep through even the smallest of cracks in your building structure and cause major damage to your building’s walls, ceilings, and floors. Water damage weakens your building’s structure over time and can lead to issues in the future like mildew and mold growth and a weak building.


Energy Efficiency

All types of commercial roof waterproofing help prevent heat transfers, some types more than others, but generally, any way you go about it, you’re helping improve your building’s energy efficiency. Essentially, the waterproofing layer helps keep your building cool in the summer and warm in the winter, reducing the energy and cost it requires to cool and heat your building. Not only that, because waterproofing systems are typically buried below gardens, pavers, or topping slabs, the membrane is protected from the elements and UV rays.


Longevity of Building

Extending your roof life goes hand-in-hand with preventing water damage. Roof exposure to the elements and natural weather can cause a roof to deteriorate and become weak. With weakness comes leaks and other aspects that negatively affect the durability of your roof. Preventing damage extends the life of your roof and a well-maintained roof can last for many years.


Reduces the Need for Repairs / Maintenance Costs

Less damage to your roof means less need for repairs. This saves you money, impacts the longevity of your roof, and also avoids unnecessary interruptions in your day-to-day operations. Waterproofing systems are monolithic, meaning there are no seams. It’s applied as a continuous coating at a higher thickness, reducing the potential for voids or breaches in the assembly.


Saves You Money

Stronger roof? Less damage, less money on repairs, and certainly no money spent on a total roof replacement. Less heat transfer? Cooler or warmer buildings, less costs for man-made temperature control. Waterproofing affects so many aspects of your building’s financial efficiency and will save you money in the long run.


It’s Sustainable

By reducing the need for repairs or replacements, and conserving waste, energy, time, and resources, your company will significantly decrease your carbon footprint.


As you can see, all the benefits intertwine with each other, working together to prove that waterproofing your commercial roof is extremely beneficial, important, and most of the time necessary if you want to save money and ensure your roof is working for you.


Waterproofing Services & Styles

Vertical Versus Horizontal Waterproofing

Horizontal waterproofing is a crucial component of maintaining a watertight seal. It includes any horizontal service of your building with finished space below that you want to remain leak-free. It’s the most common form of waterproofing for roofs and foundations. Typically this type of waterproofing involves a contractor installing a 215 mil monolithic hot rubber reinforced membrane over a finished space.

Vertical waterproofing, or below grade, is not always needed and varies widely depending on the water table and the foundation’s structural system. It involves using a membrane or sheet membrane for protection from all sides. Below-grade waterproofing allows for complete protection of below-grade spaces from moisture infiltration.


How Douglass Colony Waterproofs a Roof

There are several factors to consider when approaching a waterproofing job: the intended use of the space, the finishes below the space to be waterproof, and the access to the space. Once a roof contractor, like us, assesses your needs and works with you to determine a plan of action, they’ll determine an appropriate plan of action.


Fluid Applied

This is the most popular choice for commercial roof waterproofing because the membranes are durable, monolithic, and easy to perform detailing. Fluid-applied waterproofing provides a seamless barrier over your roofing system. Their flexibility allows for expansion and contraction when the temperature changes which reduces the appearance of cracks and the need for repairs.

At Douglass Colony, we provide hot fluid-applied rubberized asphalt waterproofing services for roof and terrace decks, gardens and green roofs, plaza pavers, split slabs, and foundation walls.


Sheet Membranes

This is another popular option for commercial roof waterproofing. Sheet membranes can be made of rubber, PVC, and modified bitumen, among many others. They are installed by overlapping layers on the roofing system to create one barrier. They are the most durable option because they are resistant to punctures, tears, or any other damage. We recommend this type of waterproofing for roofs that are exposed to high foot traffic.

Often at Douglass Colony, we’ll use HDPE, bentonite, or thermoplastic membrane systems for foundation waterproofing. Our services also include PMMA, traffic, and roof coatings for areas of all shapes and sizes.


Waterproofing at Work

In 2020, we completed a construction project for Lakehouse Denver, a Sloan’s Lake area 12-story condo tower. As a residential building, it is essential that our clients spend time with us to ensure the roof and building are structurally sound and safe for future residents. Our waterproofing work consisted of utilizing hydrotech waterproofing on their pool amenity deck, garden planters, and terraces. Check it out.


Finding the Best Commercial Waterproofing Contractors

We are waterproofing specialists. For the last 77 years, we’ve protected the buildings of our neighbors and clients throughout Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region. Chat we us to learn more about our roofing services, how we approach waterproofing projects, and all of the other services we have to offer your building.

Give us a call if you don’t know where to start, we’re happy to help you out.

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