Moisture is among your commercial property’s greatest enemies. Wind-driven rain, leaky gutters and downspouts, old, deteriorated caulk or glazing, plus improperly painted substrates are all factors in moisture penetration. The result of water getting into unwanted places include peeling paint, damaged substrates, and—worse yet, mold and mildew. This is why you want to keep your commercial building waterproofed.
While no one can prevent unwanted weather, and leaky gutters and downspouts are outside the scope of this article, proper preparation and a good quality paint job can go a long way in preventing moisture penetration. The following will contribute to a watertight building:
Caulking. It is surprising how much damage a little water can do and how small an area allowing access will allow a lot of water in. Gaps in building materials, open joints, holes, plus splits and cracks may seem insignificant, but they’re a major entry point for moisture. This is easily solved by installing a good quality caulk. Since building components vary, caulks vary as well. They can be as simple as latex caulk, acrylic, siliconized acrylic, polyurethane, butyl, and pure silicone. The key is to seal up points of entry.
Painting. Your commercial building is properly painted when all the paintable substrates have an adequate and cumulative amount of coating on them. I say adequate and cumulative as typically one coat of paint applied too thin will typically not do the job. Every substrate, that needs to be protected from moisture penetration, must have the right amount of millage installed. The proper mill thickness can be found in the manufacturer’s product data sheet (PDS).
Of particular concern are those commercial buildings comprised of concrete masonry units (CMUs), or block. Concrete block is extremely porous, and unless coated properly will allow a huge amount of water into the walls of your building. The most important aspect of waterproofing a masonry building is filling the pores of the CMU. This is done by applying a block-filler as a first coat, with no more than ten pin-holes (the pore) per square foot. Once this is achieved, a good quality topcoat of any sort will provide water tightness.
Best for CMUs are elastomeric coatings. These are rubber-based paints that, once dry, form an impenetrable rubber film over the substrate, and are the best for preventing moisture penetration—even wind-driven rain. Another advantage to elastomeric coatings is that they expand and contract, and will actually bridge small cracks in the masonry that may develop over time.
There are other options for waterproofing—actual waterproofing sealers, stains, and cementitious coatings, all of which we have applied over our 36 years in business.
In summary, to keep your commercial building looking good and free of moisture damage, keep it sealed up and make sure it is properly painted. Here at T. L. Hart, Inc. our goal is to ensure your commercial property is always in excellent condition. Our team of professional painters stands ready to keep moisture out of your property. Contact us today to request a quote.