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Don’t ignore water damage

The rainy season, especially in the Western Cape, with its accompanying high winds and excessive sea spray, should never be brushed off lightly, according to painting, waterproofing and construction company, Indawo.

Not only does water leaking result in ugly-looking interior and exterior structures, with unsightly stains; it has the tendency to rapidly cause serious damage to roofs, walls and floors, says Indawo managing director, Geoffrey Jäck.

“Water damage has far-reaching effects and can ultimately result in a condemned building. Wooden window and door frames swell up, the accumulation of moisture in walls could result in the deterioration of electrical wiring creating fire and health hazards, water ingress attacks the integrity of walls, causing spalling, which is the rusting of the steel reinforcing bars within walls and the threat to the integrity of walls can even place you in danger of physical harm.

“On top of this, there is little doubt that water damage can seriously affect the investment value of buildings. It is critical to waterproof buildings and homes properly or face enormous costs of repair and ultimately a below average return on investment in the property.”

Jäck suggests focusing on preventing water damage rather than opting to repair after the damage is apparent. Preventative and effective building maintenance strategies put the spotlight on preserving and growing investment value and not on restoring value. This means using the right product for the right job. Reputable, compliant waterproofing companies will be able to advise on the best solution and also understand the intrinsic value of long-term property preservation.

With the downpours so typical in the Western Cape winter months, inadequate or lack of waterproofing can leave building owners biting fingernails and hoping for the rain to stop. For waterproofers to accurately assess the damage and potential risks to the building, there has to be a break in the rain. If the break is long enough, a temporary solution may help to limit the damage.

Although it is never advisable to use temporary solutions, as the manufacturer’s guarantees are not valid if the product is not applied according to their specifications, waterproofers may be able to reduce the risks until a lengthy dryer period allows for the job to be completed properly.

It is best not to wait until the damage is done. Consider the progressive damage that can result in leaving a leak until the rainy period is over. Consult a qualified waterproofer to ensure that your building is adequately waterproofed before excessive rain causes significant damage.

Jäck says the Western Cape, especially, is susceptible to building damage as a result of the persistent winter rainfall. Waterproofing in this region has to be robust and its effectiveness is critical for the sustainability of our city’s structures. Key to this is the correct application of waterproofing products to ensure the safeguarding of buildings.

Never take water damage for granted. Maintain your property adequately to preserve and grow its investment value.


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