Waterproofing is like playing on the offensive line in football: If you do your job right, no one notices you. If you fail, the result is usually disaster.
At the upcoming International Roofing Expo (IRE) in San Antonio, waterproofing will be the subject of a seminar led by three principals at WJE Engineers and Architects, P.C.: Christopher Giffin, Richard Koziol and Douglas Stieve. Titled “Evaluation of New and Existing Decks for Plaza and Green Roof Waterproofing Systems,” the seminar will be held Thursday, Feb, 7,from7:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Douglas Stieve gave me a preview of the session and answered some of my questions aboutthe importance of the substrate in the performance of a waterproofing system.
“The substrate or deck of a waterproofing system can be likened to the foundation for a building. It should be robust and stable,” Stieve said. “Most waterproofing systems are intended to last the life of the structure to which they are installed. It is not a system that will be recovered or replaced in 15 to 20 years, like a roofing system might be. Therefore, the substrate needs to be matched with and conducive to the intended service life of the membrane.”
Here’s a portion of the interview:
RC: How can contractors evaluate the suitability of a concrete deck prior to application of the waterproofing system?
DS:The structural components of the deck should be evaluated by a qualified and competent person knowledgeable in structural systems. For new buildings, the deck needs to be dry, sound, and have the proper surface profile for the selected waterproofing system.