Top Tips to Outsmart Water

Water can have a devastating effect on buildings; the smallest misstep when installing waterproofing can cost millions of dollars. Even worse, water can deteriorate buildings components and cause mold, resulting in significant health concerns.

Last week, Simpson Gumpertz and Heger (SGH) conducted a training session for all Tocci employees on waterproofing, flashing, and envelope sequencing – primarily in large scale residential construction. Alan Battistelli, Assistant Project Manager, shares the highlights of the presentation:

  1. It’s the nature of general contracting or construction management to have several trade contractors involved with building envelopes. To have a successful system, all trade contractors must be brought together to agree on where one trade ends and the other begins. It’s the five P’s of construction…Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
  2. It’s almost impossible to talk about waterproofing without talking about costs. This is where builders and engineers need to educate the owners on the importance of waterproofing – and where to spend money. I believe that real estate developers should witness the same SGH presentation. Owners of buildings need to have a clear understanding of the importance of building envelopes and risks involved when designing systems.  Everyone involved with a project should always keep in mind that the money spent during construction to properly waterproof a building is miniscule compared to costly litigation and repairs that occur if something was not done correctly.
  3. The use of outside consultants and mockups are valuable tools. There is no substitute for a physical mock up that can be examined by all members of the construction team at the same time.  If this is done early enough then all possible techniques can be discussed and a best course of action agreed upon.
  4. SGH taught us an easy way to validate waterproof details. Trace the waterproofing details on the drawings and note when you have to pick up your pencil. Those are the unprotected areas of the building – where water could find its way in.
  5. SGH showed us flexible pan flashing which can be installed in one continuous piece. It rolls up the corners of openings, eliminating the need for soldering metal corners or using multiple layers of peel and stick flashing.
  6. Ultimately, flashing is only as good as the person installing it. It takes patience and experience to do it properly. Since the smallest defect could cause failure, make sure you have a robust quality control program.

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