Back to news

What It Means to Waterproof a Condo and Why It’s So Important

What It Means to Waterproof a Condo and Why It’s So Important

All buildings are endlessly attacked by a force that can never truly be stopped. Easily one of the stealthiest of forces, it can often be mistaken as something good since it also can quench our thirst—it’s water. Even small droplets of it can lead to large problems when left unchecked. This is especially important for condo buildings as adding condo waterproofing can make a huge difference in avoiding costly repairs in the future.

Why Water Damage in Parkades, Apartment Buildings, and Condos Is So Costly

Whereas a fire will have immediate and intense damage that is usually visibly apparent, water damage can go undetected for years. Even after leaks or water infiltration have been fixed, the surrounding affected areas can be more susceptible to water damage in future.

In addition, if left unchecked or undiscovered, water leakage can turn from standing water to mildew and mould that can cause mild to severe health problems for residents.

Plus, while fire can affect foundational pieces, it usually only affects those that can burn. Water damage will affect any components and can cause serious damage to foundations that are some of the most costly to either repair or replace.

That’s why it’s so important for a strata to understand what waterproofing measures are currently in place, and which ones will need to be replaced, repaired, or added.

Waterproofing of building being installed

What Waterproofing Does

While all buildings are designed to keep water out some level – whether that’s simply sloped roofs and gutters or something more – none of these measures truly waterproof a building. Instead, they simply make it more resistant to water infiltration. In addition, the overall quality of these measure is highly dependent on the construction of them.

Waterproofing, on the other hand, does keep all water out. However, because of the regular pounding it takes from the weather, it needs to be regularly maintained for maximal effectiveness and even replaced after 10-20 years depending on how it was installed.

Waterproofing is regularly installed with roofs since that’s regularly the first area of a structure that water can leak in through, but waterproofing foundations and other areas of buildings like condos are also possible.

What Kinds of Waterproofing Solutions Are Available to Protect Condos, Apartments, and Parkades

We just briefly alluded to it, but waterproofing can be added to more than just your roof. In fact, it’s best if you add it to more than just your roof, especially if your condo building is close to water.

The Okanagan is now well-known for having a “flooding season” so if a condo is close to Okanagan Lake or even just a nearby stream or pond, it’s best to add waterproofing not only to the roof, but also the foundation and parkade and even any decks as well.

Foundation or podium waterproofing will keep water drained away from foundations and preventing it from moving through the concrete.

TOMTAR provides a full range of parking garage and deck coating services to handle all sizes of restoration projects including fast-setting materials that allow for quick turnarounds on projects.

Regardless of what waterproofing type you choose, choosing any one of them is a good idea to add to your condo or apartment building.

What Building Owners Need to Know Before Replacing Podium Waterproofing Components

Before waterproofing a podium of a building, building owners need to consider several things that will impact the installation:

  • How materials will be removed: this includes things like landscaping, pavement, or small structures like gazebos or playgrounds.
  • What waterproofing design is right for their budget and building: not all designs work with a building so building owners need to consider the membrane type, service life, interface detailing, and accounting for any podium features such as planters.
  • If site or code upgrades should be done at the same time: with likely a large amount of excavation that needs to be done, it may also be a good idea to get several upgrades done at the same time to issues like improving drainage, upgrading pipes, or replacing any non-conforming building features.
  • What to put back on top of the podium: certain trees or plants may not be ideal to put back if their roots have caused damage to systems so considering what plant life or functionality features you want to add back or put on are good to plan for ahead of time.

Overall, waterproofing provides essential protection for buildings like condos, apartments, and many others from one of nature’s most secretly damaging forces.


Need waterproofing done for your condo? Contact us today!