Waterproofing Cape Town CBD commercial property

The architects and landlords were seeking a solution for the waterproofing of this roof.

It was a complex job for many reasons but one of the most important reasons was that the building would host a Fortune 500 “top 10” company and they desperately needed to get it right and did I say quickly too. Waterproof Lab had 2–3 weeks of uninterrupted time to cover +-1500m2 with plenty of roof detail i.e. penetrations, etc.

They were seeking a waterproofing company and product that could solve these problems:

  1.  Offer more than a 10-year warranty
  2.  Product needed to be UV stable to protect the roof against the harsh African sun
  3.  Minimal seams where water could risk ingress
  4.  No fire or torch on the roof which was a big risk due the existing substrate which was flammable
  5.  A reputable company with good application track record

Waterproof Lab met all the above and more.

  1. Carlisle offers a 20-year product warranty.
  2. Product was built for Arizona and high UV areas. EPDM has passed the highest international stress tests and is MF Global approved.
  3. Waterproof Lab used 6m x 30m Carlisle EPDM membranes. Main reasons was to minimise seams on the roof and for ease of lay.
  4. The membrane was chemically adhered to the substrate and the seams were chemically welded. No fire or torch on was used at all.
  5. Waterproof Lab is an approved applicator and distributor for Carlisle Waterproofing Systems. Carlisle had their 101 year birthday in May 2018 and has proved to be an innovative, leading and reputable Waterproofing and Roofing company in the US.

 

Waterproofing commercial flat roofs and balconies

Being the proud owner of a commercial property/apartment block, how do you best protect your investment against the harsh African sun and torrential rain? The short answer: EPDM Rubber Waterproofing Membrane. And while it’s true that the waterproofing of commercial buildings is an expensive exercise, it proves to be more cost-effective in the long run, as it protects your building from the ingress of water and the adverse impact of hydrostatic pressure, which might damage the structure of the building.

Flat roofs and commercial buildings

Flat roofs are popular choices for commercial buildings for various reasons – they are incredibly durable and generally more cost-effective, when compared with pitched roofs, thus assisting businesses in reducing costs, by utilizing the extra space. It offers an additional level to a building, allowing mechanical systems such as air-conditioning units, to be supported on top of the roof, leaving more room inside the building for production or storage. Flat roofs also lend themselves to roof-top gardens which can add to the efficiency of a building as well as introduce potential areas for green spaces in urban surrounds.

 

The importance of waterproofing for commercial buildings

Increases property value

One of the biggest advantages of effective waterproofing is that it increases commercial property values. Waterproofing not only keeps the premises dry inside but prevents water seepage from ruining the structural integrity while at the same time improving the water drainage system of the building.

Prevents loss of income

The last thing you need as a building owner is to have your property uninhabitable due to water leakage, so it’s essential that your property is waterproofed properly.

Preserves structural integrity

Penetration of water into the structure can cause the materials to deteriorate over time. Waterproofing prevents the foundation from weakening and hence protects the entire building from structural damage.

Hygiene reasons

Termites, cockroaches, mice and other pests are attracted to damp areas in a building, which not only poses a health risk for the occupants, but also an ongoing cost for the owner, who must bring in exterminators on a regular basis.

Enhances indoor quality

When water is trapped inside buildings, it serves as a breeding ground for harmful micro-organisms such as mould growths, which contaminate internal air quality. Waterproofing materials, like our EPDM, prevent such situations and assists in maintaining the indoor air quality.

Increases energy efficiency

Waterproofing keeps commercial buildings warmer in winter and cooler in summer which leads to a more energy-efficient building and lower electricity bills.

EPDM Rubber Waterproofing Membrane requires little or no maintenance and Waterproof Lab is proud to offer landlords of commercial and residential buildings, architects, and contracting professionals, peace of mind that their property is protected with one of the world’s most respected waterproofing products. Contact our team today for a free consultation.

How to seal your parapet wall and gutter downpipes with EPDM

In this video you can see the end result of a gutter sealed with EPDM rubber membrane. The gutter is sealed all around with Elastoform. There’s no seams for water to disappear in the run-off. The beauty of the EPDM product is that we can really mold around a downpipe with our Elastoform on top of the EPDM. The Elastoform is easy malleable and highly adaptable to irregular shapes and surfaces.

With the rainy winter season starting soon, it’s an excellent time to upgrade your gutters. But why go through the expense and hassle of removing and replacing serviceable box guttering, when you can get another 20-30 years of use out of them?

As long as the box gutter still has structural integrity, we can clean, measure and line the gutter with EPDM, and it will work as good as, or even better than new!

Please contact us about any rain water management issues.

Sealing rusty gutters with EPDM and water-flow control

 

Waterproof Lab was asked to seal a gutter located in a commercial area that was very badly rusted. The water was filtering down through the rust holes onto the machinery – which can be disastrous for the business owner.

Waterproof Lab has done previous projects for this specific landlord which has been highly successful and was approached by the landlord to seal these gutters with EPDM membrane.

But rusty gutters are not the only issue here; water-flow control also needs to be addressed. In the video, Themi shows how the downpipe is blocked. The downpipe has been sealed meaning that there’s no place for the water in the gutter to go. The gutter is running at an angle but because the downpipe is blocked, the gutter is going to overflow into the building.

Waterproof Lab is excited to tackle this project and to find a solution for this business owner’s particular needs.

The benefits and gains of using Carlisle EPDM

Waterproof Lab are commercial waterproofing specialists and approved agents, distributors and installers of Carlisle EPDM products in the Western Cape.

EPDM is an exceptionally strong and resilient roofing system that can last 30 years or longer when installed and maintained correctly. It can be used as an overlay for existing roofs, or to waterproof new builds or new flat roofs.

Benefits of Carlisle EPDM

  • Material widths: 3m, 6m and 9m wide rolls – minimal seams on large areas;
  • Material lengths: 15m & 30m long rolls – minimal seams on applications of long lengths;
  • Speed of application – labour cost saving;
  • Light weight – 1.3kg/sq.m – often important when applying to lightweight or under-designed structures;
  • Elongation of > 400% ─ able to accommodate excessive movement of substrate;
  • Fully adhere or loose lay, depending on circumstances – greater flexibility of usage and cost;
  • Does not require protection – UV and abrasion resistant – initial and on-cost savings; also adds to insulation (r) rating;
  • May be painted, screeded over, or tiled if required – versatility of finish;
  • Easily, quickly & effectively repaired if accidentally damaged, at any time – time and cost saving;
  • No fire, heat or noxious gas emissions during application – safe to applicator, substrate and surrounds;
  • Fire-resistant – built-in environmental safety;
  • EPDM is a “green” material with no toxic or harmful additives – safe for use in water-retaining structures containing potable water for human consumption or wildlife, such as fish, etc.;
  • In addition to all these benefits and gains, let us not minimise the cost angle – this product is comparable with any similar, locally available material in the country!
  • Carlisle Syntec EPDM Rubber Waterproofing Membrane is backed by a 20-year product warranty and has been fully tested and successfully used for well in excess of 50 years, all over the world;
  • It is also supported by Factory & Mutual (FM Global Property Loss Prevention), the world’s foremost authority in this category.

Keeping these benefits in mind, there can be little doubt that the Carlisle Syntec/ Waterproof Lab system is the system of choice, for every discerning architect, engineer, contractor, manufacturer and storage facility owner, where the integrity and longevity of the water tightness of their buildings/box gutters/basement/balcony/water containment facility, is of paramount importance.

Send us a mail or call us in 083 573 8866 if you have any queries or if you would like to arrange a free personal consultation.

Why waterproofing fails and how to fix it



Waterproof Lab has been asked to waterproof a specific section of a commercial property. Waterproofing was done in the past but the product was failing. The main reason for this happening is the fact that the African sun is incredibly harsh and if the waterproofing is not maintained regularly, it basically dries up and cracks and crumbles.

Waterproof Lab’s proposed solution to this commercial client is to remove the old waterproofing and to line the area with EPDM membrane (with least seams as possible). The EPDM will be adhered to the surface with bonding adhesive and not flames.

With a 20-year material warranty on the EPDM product – the landlord will be protecting his/her business by choosing Waterproof Lab

Removing old waterproofing and applying an EPDM balcony wrap

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

A balcony adds value to your property especially in a city like Cape Town which offers such incredible views. However, Waterproof Lab is often contacted about problems relating to leaking balconies.

In the first video, Themi from Waterproof Lab is examining the balcony of an apartment situated in the Southern Peninsula. This balcony has been leaking consistently; the water going through the balcony into the downstairs flat. This has led to tension between the neighbours.

Waterproof Lab’s first step to solving this problem was to remove the tiles as well as the existing waterproofing on the balcony. In the video Themi shows how the current waterproofing was badly done; it was not sealed properly, it was uneven, and there were various holes. Around the detailing it was also not sealed properly.

In part 2 of this series you can see how the Waterproof Lab team has screeded the balcony to the fall by a couple of degrees so that water can run off neatly. Particular attention was paid to the placement and sealing of the wrap around the detailing.

The edges of the balcony was wrapped with EPDM membrane which goes over the edges and terminates using an aluminium termination bar.

In part 3, Themi is back at the property after the balcony wrap has been done. ElastoSeal was applied into the corners and the EPDM rubber wrap was placed right over the edge of the balcony. The rest of the balcony was fully covered with EPDM membrane including underneath the sliding door.

The result is that the landlord now basically have a brand-new balcony that will not leak in the future.

Waterproof Lab can add value to your property as well. Contact us today and let us discuss what we can do for you

Water containment in drought-stricken Cape Town

The Western Cape province is experiencing the worst drought in decades and even if we would receive good rainfall this winter, we’ll still experience the effects for years to come – this is why proper water containment is crucial.

A recent substantial once-off donation by the fruit growers of the Groenland Water Users Association (GWUA) has allowed the City of Cape Town to push out Day Zero by about 20 days. These farmers, located in the Elgin and Grabouw areas, have built private dams over the years and after reasonable winter rainfall, were able to make 10 billion litres of water available to the City. The farmers have thrown the City a lifeline which would not have been possible if they did not have a water containment solution in place.

The City plans to make use of groundwater, desalination, and recycling to meet the requirements of residents. Corporate companies are also looking at what they can do to meet demands. Waterproof Lab, who specializes in water containment solutions, in conjunction with Waterbrothers, recently completed a massive project in the port of Cape Town where an old reservoir was lined with EPDM so that it can be used as part of a desalination plant.

 

While not all of us are owners of big corporate organizations, we can all make use of water containment solutions in one form or another. Waterproof Lab specializes in flat roofs, box gutters and roof gardens as well as reservoirs, eco pools and dams. We only work with the EPDM product. Our waterproof system is unique and unlike any other product currently on the market and gives professionals like architects and engineers the peace of mind that they have the best waterproofing system in the world.

Waterproof Lab’s EPDM membrane comes with a 20-year warranty. The EPDM rolls come in workable sizes like 3 x 15 m, 6 x 15 m, and up to 15 m x 60 m, making it possible to line any size surface with almost no seams.

Benefits of using EPDM for water containment include:

  • EPDM is extremely durable – the rubber membrane will not tear, crack or split.
  • EPDM is flexible and can accommodate cracks and movement – the membrane is highly elastic and can stretch up to 400% without damaging the membrane.
  • EPDM is unaffected by extreme temperature variations – the membrane can withstand temperatures varying from -40 to 110 degrees Celsius.
  • EPDM offers long life expectancy – 50-year minimum proven life expectancy, as well as a 20-year guarantee for roofing and waterproofing works.
  • EPDM offers efficient installation – rubber membranes are made to measure in the workshop under ideal working conditions and quality control is applied consistently, ensuring minimal onsite joining of the EPDM breather membrane.
  • EPDM is very resistant to punctures – membranes are resistant to root penetration.
  • EPDM is environmentally friendly – membranes are completely recyclable and less energy is used in the manufacturing process compared to bitumen products.

But what does the future hold for Capetonians, and what does the Cape Town mayor mean we she says: “Climate change means there is no more normal – we have seen that the rains will not come as it used to with our lowest rainfall on record in 100 years over the past two winters”?

According to researchers at the Climate System Analysis Group of the University of Cape Town, every projection is different. There are different patterns of succession of wet and dry years. In some projections, there are many years of drought. In some, there are few. The important thing is that no single projection is likely to represent the actual future. But all together they represent what the future is likely to be like.

Not a permanent drought. Dry years and wet years. And “moderate” years in between. But the chance of dry years increases as we go towards the end of the century. And the chance of wet years decreases as we go towards the end of the century. That’s our new normal, at least on the rainfall side.

At Waterproof Lab we are preparing for anything that the future might bring; will you be doing the same?

EPDM waterproofing of reservoir for desalination plant

Water restrictions have had a great effect on industry in the Western Cape with nurseries, swimming pool installers and car washes some of the more obvious examples of sectors being influenced together with the food, wine, mining, power generation and construction industries. Agriculture is one of the hardest hit with farmers planting and harvesting less which leads to workers being laid off. Water is literally embedded in everything that is produced and consumed and if you, as a business owner, want to keep your doors open, you need to come up with your own solutions to address the water shortages.

Waterproof Lab in collaboration with Waterbrothers recently completed a large-scale waterproofing project for a corporate client (located in Cape Town port) that’s taking initiative to meet the water demands of their business. Project engineers wanted to resurrect an old unused reservoir that’s to be used as part of a desalination plant ̶ supplying fresh water for industrial use.

 

The waterproofing process

The project engineers were looking for a solution to clean out the reservoir and line it with a waterproofing product and opted to use EPDM. Waterproof Lab and Waterbrothers joined forces to line the entire reservoir with EPDM membrane.

EPDM has many benefits but what made it the clear choice for this project was the following:

  • The EPDM membrane comes out in 9 x 30m rolls, meaning fewer seams.
  • EDPM has excellent stretching ability and can adjust to any cracks or shifting substrate.
  • EPDM is safe to install; no flame torches or hot boilers are required to install EPDM rubber systems. It’s chemically applied directly to the surface of the reservoir, which means there’s no risk of fire to the premises.
  • The EPDM will be submerged under water for many years and will be exposed to the harsh African sun. This is not a problem as the EDPM is exhaustively tested to withstand temperatures varying from -40 to 110 degrees Celsius.
  • The manufacturers offer a 20-year product warranty.

 

The effect of water restrictions on businesses

The drought has had a severe impact on South Africa’s economy. Most provinces are facing challenges of crumbling infrastructure, rampant corruption, lack of financial resources and crippling skills shortages. As citizens we can’t just be looking to government to get us through this crisis – corporates, businesses, and small, medium (SME) and large enterprises have a social duty to play their part in saving water – we all need to take steps to keep our industry and economy going.

The real risk of water to a business has less to do with the cost of water reflected on the balance sheet and more to do with the cost of not having water. Regardless of how much rain falls in the Western Cape over the coming months, interventions are necessary. Tight restrictions can be expected to remain in place until dam storage capacity returns to well over 70%, so businesses might as well get their act together!

Waterproof Lab and Waterbrothers joined forces to waterproof this reservoir effectively and professionally, offering their client one of the best waterproofing systems that the market has to offer. Soon this reservoir will be functional, aiding the city in their massive task of eliminating Day Zero.

Waterbrothers and Waterproof Lab are proud to have participated in this project and are looking forward to assisting other businesses in their social responsibility of saving water to aid our beautiful city.

Contact Themi Stergianos on 083 573 8866 or Robert Brooke on 079 885 5558 for a consultation.

Waterproofing flat decks with EPDM rubber membranes

 

Waterproof Lab was asked to quote on this flat deck. It is quite a large flat roof with a little bit of detail with the railing and it was cracking. When the plaster cracks even more, it’s going to leak through the concrete, and this expensive building is quickly going to lose its return on investment – obviously a big concern for the landlord. 

The solution is to seal it with our EPDM rubber so that we can offer a 20-year product warranty. This means that when the landlord sells the property he can give a decent solution to the prospective new owner.

After we place our rubber over this large space we can tile on it, or put loose stones or ballast on it keeping the building cool in summer and warm in winter. The client has a lot of options, they can even do decking over it.

 

If you are a landlord that would like to protect his/her investment, contact us to discuss your options.