Why Hire A Specialist?
by Androniki Bossonis
When WICR Waterproofing & Decking first began specializing strictly in waterproofing over 30 years ago, we were practically the only specialist in Southern California. We started with an office in San Diego, and quickly expanded to where we are now, with offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and Orange County.
As the years progressed, a few more waterproofing specialists popped up, as did new waterproofing products. When the economy crashed in 2008, it seemed that everywhere we looked, there were now roofing companies, painting companies, and general contractors adding waterproofing to their menu of services. It begs the question, “Why hire a specialist?”
Waterproofing systems are multi-layered, and must be installed according to manufacturer specifications. The major waterproofing manufacturers require installers to be trained and certified, before they can be allowed to purchase product. With the myriad of products and systems on the market, that is a lot of training and certification, which would be impossible for a company who does not specialize in waterproofing to keep up with.
Look at the samples in the photo below. If you needed repairs to a property with decks constructed by waterproofing System A, but the contractor you hired was only trained and certified to install System B, do you think the work would be adequate? Of course not; you cannot patch one system into another. Sometimes, contractors do it anyway, because they want the work. Other times, they would recommend a complete tear-out and re-installation of the entire deck, because they are unable to perform the repair. This costs the unknowing customer thousands of dollars more per deck.
Waterproofing systems for decks, planters and walkways are much more than just the waterproof top coat… the underlying structure has to be built with proper sloping to lead water away from the structure, plus the implementation of drains, weep screed, or other subdrainage provisions, metal flashing where the horizontal surface meets the wall, door pans under doors, and finally, the actual waterproofing product.
Decks are much different from roofs. Decks are meant to hold weight; roofs are not. Deck construction and waterproofing methods are very different from roof systems. Also, it is relatively easy to tell when a roof is leaking. By contrast, if even a small crack on a deck surface has been allowing water to seep in over time, the underlying wood structure and support beams can be completely damaged by wood rot and mold, while the deck surface might still look fine. This is why deck inspections every 3 years are critical, because a profession can spot a small repair and nip it in the bud, before it becomes a costly, structural issue.
We hope this brief article helps you understand why it is critical to have your decks inspected regularly, and have your repairs and reseal maintenance performed by a waterproofing specialist…not a painter, roofer or general contractor.
WICR, Inc. Waterproofing & Decking specializes only in waterproofing of decks, walkways, patios, planters, parking decks, pool decks, elevator pits, and below grade construction. We are trained and certified by over 30 leading waterproofing product manufacturers, which means that we can repair or install any system. www.wicr.net