What Does It Mean to Waterproof Your Building Envelope?

Any building you own is going to be constantly exposed to the forces of nature, including wind, water and other elements, as well as exposure to pests and debris. If you do not take the proper steps to waterproof your building envelope, you could find your building susceptible to some significant damage.

What exactly is the building envelope? There are several main components: the roof, the siding and your gutters. Let’s take a look at each of these components in a bit more detail so you can learn what types of industrial waterproofing in Indianapolis, IN you can perform.


The roof is the most important part of any building with regard to protecting it from water. If you have a poor roof, there are going to be a lot of problems when rain and snow fall, and when ice melts.

If you’re going to make your roof water tight, you’ll need several layers. There is an underlayment that goes on top of the rafters, which is usually either a tar paper (with a felt base), a synthetic felt or a moisture barrier. You’ll also need flashing metal and caulking that can strategically keep water out of cracks, as well as a layer of shingles, metal, tile or other material that serves as the top layer and first layer of protection against the elements and the ultraviolet rays of the sun.


The siding on your building protects it from rain and snow that get blown against your structure, rather than the rain and snow that falls straight downward. Siding works similarly to shingles in that it is the first layer of protection, above the waterproofing system located behind it. The siding also protects against water and wind penetration. It is what takes the brunt of any storm.

Below the siding there is a layer of tar paper or building wrap, which allows a small amount of water that blows through joints and along the eaves to flow down to the ground and then dry out.

If the siding fails, the water can get through the walls, causing leaks that compromise the integrity of drywall or plaster and potentially damaging items inside your building.


The gutters divert water that flows off your roof to a strategic point on your property where it won’t have any impact on your foundation. Without having these gutters in place, water would simply run off your roof and collect around the foundation, where it could potentially cause it to crumble and crack, making flooding in your basement or crawl space much more likely. These cracks can open up into larger spaces over time, causing the soil around your building to erode and compounding any issues you have with your building settling over the course of time.

This should give you a good overview of why it’s so important to make sure you’ve waterproofed your building envelope. For more information about building waterproofing in Indianapolis, IN, contact the experts at Knauss Property Services, LLC today.