The Basics of Positive vs. Negative Waterproofing

If you’re a commercial building manager, you know that unexpected leaks are a huge hassle. Part of preventative maintenance includes making sure that your building is fully waterproof so the occupants of your building are able to conduct business as usual. Preventing leaks in a commercial space is much easier said than done, since they can be the result of flawed building design, unexpected weather patterns and many other factors that are beyond your control.

One thing you can control, though, is how you waterproof your facility. The best thing you can do is contact the experts in caulking sealants and waterproofing in Indianapolis, IN, to make sure that your building is protected from future leaks. Read on to explore the difference between positive and negative waterproofing and how they can keep your building free from leaks.

Positive waterproofing

Think of positive waterproofing as a moisture barrier around your building. It’s applied to the outside face of your foundation or slab on or below grade. Typical positive side waterproofing systems include sheet membrane systems and fluid-applied membranes. When installed correctly, these systems protect the inside of your building from moisture infiltration. Most importantly, this type of waterproofing protects your building’s main structural components like steel and concrete.

Positive side waterproofing systems have advantages when installed by a professional. They prevent water from entering your substrate surface, and they also keep it protected from freeze-thaw cycles. Keep in mind that positive side waterproofing systems are inaccessible one they’re in place. If any adjustments need to be made to the system, you need to remove everything above it—this could mean concrete hardscape, utility elements and any surrounding landscaping would need to be removed. Even if you’re just repairing a small area, it can turn into a costly process.

Negative waterproofing

Negative waterproofing, meanwhile, is applied to the inside of your building. When negative waterproofing products, such as polyurethane grout, are injected directly into concrete or masonry cracks, they instantly fill the cracks, bond with the surface and work to repel water. You also have the option to create a “curtain barrier,” which is a complete membrane that protects the entire interior side of the wall.

The best feature about negative waterproofing is that after installation, the area is still accessible. If you need to touch up your facility’s waterproofing in the future, an installation professional won’t have to deal with any surface removal or disturb the substrate. Unlike positive side waterproofing systems, you don’t need a sub-slab or any well pointing to waterproof your building’s foundation. Not all below-grade leaks are good candidates for negative waterproofing, though. Get the advice of a skilled caulking sealants and waterproofing expert to discover the right waterproofing system for your needs.

If you manage a commercial facility in Indianapolis, IN, you have a duty to keep the building and its contents protected from the elements, especially water. Waterproofing your building requires the expertise of a caulking sealants and waterproofing professional. Contact Knauss Property Services, LLC to make sure your facility stays leak-free for years to come.