Water damage can wreak havoc on any co-op or condo. When it leads to serious problems like mold and structural damage, it can be a costly problem to address. To avoid the cost and hassle of dealing with water damage after the fact, it's not enough to simply trust in the waterproofing elements integrated into your building during its construction.
The exterior elements of a building are its first line of defense against the elements, leaks and water damage. In addition, interior materials serve to reinforce the exterior building envelope. Making sure both are properly waterproofed is a critical component of protecting your co-op or condo from leaks and water damage. Understanding where the most vulnerable areas of your building's facade are and knowing when to call in a professional are essential to protecting your co-op or condo from water damage.
Key Components of Waterproofing
The exterior façade and the associated building envelope elements make up the key components of a building's waterproofing system. Constant exposure to weather—and New York City pollution—over time will cause these elements to deteriorate, necessitating repairs and replacement of various parts of the system
"The building envelope consists of the façade, roof terraces, bulkheads and anything on exterior of the building," says Alan Epstein, president of Epstein Engineering, PC in Manhattan. "In addition, exterior elements are backed up by interior materials. So when you're on a terrace, typically under the walking tiles are waterproofing membranes that are part of the waterproofing system. The first line of defense is the obvious materials you see, and behind those are a series of waterproofing membranes."