Waterproofing Cape Town CBD commercial property – Scuderia House

Waterproofing this commercial property was a complex job for many reasons one of which was that the building was set to be occupied by Fortune 500 Top 10 company Amazon and that the client needed the project to be completed quickly and effectively. Waterproof Lab had 2-3 weeks of uninterrupted work time to cover +-1500m2 with plenty of roof detail i.e. penetrations, etc.

The client was seeking a waterproofing company and product that could offer the following:

  • Warranty of more than 10 years;
  • Product needed to be UV stable to protect the roof against the harsh African sun;
  • Minimal seams where water could risk ingress;
  • No fire or torch-on on the roof which was a big risk due to the existing substrate which was flammable;
  • A reputable company with a good application track record.

Waterproof Lab met all of the above and more.

The Problem

A half-built large commercial building, where the lightweight concrete screed on top of the concrete roof deck, had been further decreased in weight, with the addition of polystyrene beads in the mix. This made it unsuitable to apply a hot, torch-on material, which would cause melting of the polystyrene and degradation of the screed itself.

The Solution

After applying a sample of the contact adhesive which we, at Waterproof Lab use for fully adhering our EPDM to the substrate, it was found to have no significant negative effect on the polystyrene, nor on the adhesive properties of our material.

With this having been established, we were encouraged to present our material and system to the owners of the building, who were duly satisfactorily impressed.


  • Material widths: 3m, 6m and 9m wide rolls – minimal seams on large areas;
  • Material lengths: 15m and 30m long rolls – minimal seams on applications of long lengths;
  • Speed of application – labour cost saving;
  • Lightweight – 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 onto if required – versatility of finish;
  • Easily, quickly and 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 – 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 and Mutual (FM Global Property Loss Prevention), the world’s foremost authority in this category.

The Result

After much discussion and negotiation with the main contractor and with preferential endorsement by the client to have our Carlisle Syntec EPDM Rubber Waterproofing System on their building, the decision was made to award the 1500m2 roof waterproofing contract to Waterproof Lab. The additional advantage of using our EPDM is that a 20-year product warranty is supplied by the manufacturer in the USA, dependent upon the application by Carlisle-approved applicators.

Duration of Contract

We commenced our contract around the beginning of May, under general unideal circumstances:

  • The main contract was behind schedule due to numerous reasons;
  • Any number of workers from other sub-trades, together with our own and the main contractor, were busy on the roof at the same time;
  • Continuous interruptions by heavy rainstorms;
  • Numerous interruptions in our program and regular damage to our material, by others, which required immediate repair.

But finally, we satisfactorily completed our contract in time for the tenants to move into watertight premises, on schedule.


It is arguable that, given the size, complexity and difficult conditions, under which the waterproofing contract was undertaken, that it could have been as satisfactorily and timeously completed using any other system/material.

Bearing in mind the aforementioned, 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.