Too often we forget that buildings need care and attention as urgently as we do. The partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condo Building in Surfside, Florida serves as a reminder of how vital steps to preserve the safety of buildings are. While the full extent of the cause of this tragedy is still unconfirmed, it has come to light that the deferred maintenance of deck waterproofing played a major role in the collapse.


The Evidence

According to CNN, “A structural field survey performed in 2018 by Morabito Consultants Inc., found several things wrong with the building, including major structural damage below the pool deck, according to the report. ‘The failed waterproofing is causing major structural damage to the concrete structural slab below these areas,’ the report says.” 


According to the BBC, “The report said the waterproofing below the ground floor pool deck and decorative planters was ‘beyond its useful life’ and causing ‘major structural damage to the concrete structural slab below these areas.’ Failure to replace the waterproofing in the near future would, it said, cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to ‘expand exponentially.’”


The Cause

As you can see, deck waterproofing is far more essential than many people may realize. The building collapse is a result of a lack of waterproofing. This allowed water to get into the structure, destroying the rebar. When this occurs, the concrete will fail and the building will collapse. This is an undeniably tragic example of why it is crucial that buildings are waterproofed and maintained. 


The Solution

An undeniable solution to this horrific problem is routine building inspections. But as we know, it is not enough to have the building inspected. Likewise, we must take the results of inspections very seriously. If there is any cause for concern, call in specialists for additional opinions. So, it is imperative that any areas of the building that retain water regularly receive deck waterproofing and maintenance. 


As waterproofing specialists, it is our duty to inform the public about the dangers of neglecting maintenance and safety precautions. Whatever inconvenience these steps for safety may cause now, pale in comparison to the horrific results of deferred maintenance. To conclude, if you have any questions about deck waterproofing, building construction, or maintenance, do not hesitate to reach out. At WICR, we are committed to helping our community stay safe and, wherever possible, prevent a tragedy like this one from happening again.