90% by 1% Rule in Waterproofing

The 90% by 1% Rule in Waterproofing

Neglecting proper attention & substandard implementation of waterproofing measures can result in significant consequences, compromising the integrity of a project and leading to extensive damage. This can have far-reaching implications and cause dissatisfaction among stakeholders, such as property owners, occupants, and investors.
There is a substantial flaw in our approach to addressing the waterproofing concerns of our structures. As a responsible waterproofing company, we recognize the importance of addressing certain crucial points for careful consideration. To help prevent these issues, we have provided a comprehensive checklist at the end, offering guidance to avoid such mistakes.

According to Michael T. Kubal’s 90% / 1% rule,
“As much as 90% of all water intrusion problems occur within just 1% of the total building structure or exterior surface area.”

This statistic highlights the significance of specific areas within a project that require focused attention and effective protection.

This prompts important questions:
1) How can we effectively protect these critical areas or components, comprising just 1% of the project?
2) Do we fully understand the scope and significance of this 1%?

To address these questions, there are two crucial aspects to consider in relation to this phenomenon.

Firstly, despite the awareness among architects, developers, and waterproofing contractors, pre-construction planning often overlooks the importance of waterproofing. It is typically given lower priority compared to other project aspects or only addressed when damage has already occurred. This oversight can have severe consequences, as preventative measures are more effective and cost-efficient than remedial actions.

Secondly, even if the vulnerable 1% is properly identified, execution often falls short due to various reasons. These reasons may include inadequate product selection, poor workmanship, lack of attention to detail, or insufficient understanding of waterproofing principles. It is crucial to address these challenges and ensure a high standard of execution.

So, what falls within this vulnerable 1%?

Here are some key components that belong to the Zone of Vulnerability:

1) Penetration areas that are susceptible to water ingress, such as pipe or cable openings.

2) Intersections of walls and floors, where water can easily find its way through gaps or improper sealing.

3) Overlapping areas where different materials meet, such as roof edges or window frames.

4) Tie holes and construction joints, which can become potential weak points for water infiltration.

It is important to note that every project will inevitably include one or more of these components, or it may introduce entirely distinct Zones of Vulnerability based on its design and construction.

To ensure successful waterproofing in future projects, we recommend following this easy-to-use checklist:

1) Prioritize the identification and attention to components falling within the critical 1% during the pre-construction stage.

2) Select fit-for-purpose products designed specifically for waterproofing, considering the project’s unique requirements.

3) Document detailed specifications for each vulnerable component, outlining the necessary materials, installation methods, and quality standards.

4) Entrust the execution of the job to an experienced and well-trained team, ensuring they possess the necessary expertise in waterproofing techniques and best practices.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your waterproofing efforts and minimize potential issues. It is crucial to consider waterproofing as an integral part of the construction process from the outset, emphasizing its importance alongside other project considerations.

We hope that this article serves as a valuable resource in highlighting the importance of addressing waterproofing concerns appropriately and taking proactive measures to ensure the long-term durability and performance of structures.

We would like to conclude with the follow quote;
“In the realm of construction, waterproofing is not merely a choice; it is a responsibility. Neglecting this crucial aspect can lead to a cascade of consequences, eroding the foundation of a project. By recognizing the significance of waterproofing and taking proactive measures, we ensure the preservation of integrity, safeguard against damage, and create a solid foundation for long-term success.”

Waterproofing & Restoration Contractor