If you own or manage a commercial property that has an elevator, then you’ve probably wondered about elevator shaft waterproofing. It’s common to hear people talk about it, but you may not know a lot about the process and what benefits it offers. You may even wonder if it’s necessary — and the answer is a resounding yes. Waterproofing your elevator shaft is actually much more important for safety than you might think.
At Edens Structural Solutions, we see this issue all the time, and we know how much it matters to your property’s long-term performance. That’s why we’re committed to helping Tulsa area commercial property owners and property managers make smart decisions that preserve the structural integrity, safety, and investment value of your buildings. This includes the vital, protective process of elevator shaft waterproofing.
Here’s what you need to know about this essential part of your property maintenance.
Can My Elevator Shaft Really Leak?
It’s tempting to think of moisture problems and leaks as an exterior problem only— one that applies only to your roof or foundation. But moisture can creep into your elevator pit in a variety of ways, from roof leaks and basement leaks to broken pipes and other problems.
For this reason, elevator pit waterproofing is an important preventative measure that saves you problems down the road.
Why Is an Elevator Leak Dangerous?
Yes, you read that right. An elevator shaft that is exposed to water isn’t just inconvenient; it can be dangerous.
The elevator shaft and pit play a role in how well your elevator functions. This is where vital elements like mechanical parts and electrical wires are housed. When exposed to moisture, these elements can rust, malfunction, or break down, exposing people to danger every time they step into the elevator.
The longer the elevator shaft is left unaddressed, the more likely it is that the shaft is at risk of a complete collapse. This creates dangerous situations, and also puts your property’s value at risk.
Because electrical elements play such an important role in how an elevator functions, any unwelcome leaks into the shaft and pit of the elevator can threaten to affect the wiring. And this means you can end up with a fire.
In addition, bits of trash, oil, and other debris can end up collecting in the elevator pit, especially if it is not waterproofed and properly protected. These bits of waste can build up, become combustible, and cause fires.
In addition to the obvious health hazards caused by fires and elevator shaft structural damage, moisture in an elevator shaft and pit can breed harmful mold and mildew, threatening your building’s air quality. Tenants and visitors alike can suffer headaches and breathing problems as a result, and as the building owner, you can be liable for the health issues they suffer.
Moisture that is untended also provides a breeding ground for mosquitoes, ants, and rodents, putting your building at even more risk.
What Causes Leaks in the Elevator Pit?
It may surprise you to learn this, but there are many common causes of moisture leaks in your elevator shaft. This is an issue that happens more than people realize. Leaks can result from:
- Large amounts of rain that result in building leaks
- Breakage of a water main or pipe, either inside your building or leading into it from outside
- Nearby construction that has affected the flow of water to and from your property
- Old building codes that didn’t require waterproofing
- A poorly constructed building that failed to adequately safeguard the elevator shaft
- Elevator pit and shaft waterproofing that has become damaged or is failing
How Do I Protect My Elevator from Costly, Dangerous Leaks?
The short answer is — invest in elevator shaft waterproofing installed by structural professionals who know how to give you reliable results.
Here’s a look at the process we use at Edens Structural Solutions to protect your elevator shaft and pit, and safeguard your building from damage.
The first step is to have your elevator evaluated. Our team comes out to see what’s happening. We’ll check for cracks in walls and joints to find where the leak is coming from. Our team is experienced in finding even hard-to-spot sources of moisture, so you can relax knowing we have your needs covered.
Next, we remove soil away from the elevator pit and clean the area so we can perform our structural work.
Once the area is clear and prepared, we install a sturdy, protective waterproofing membrane that guards the elevator shaft and pit.
We also add a French drain around the elevator shaft wall. This ensures any further moisture is directed away from the elevator pit instead of pooling and causing potential damage.
Hydrophobic Grout Injection
If the elevator wall isn’t easily accessible from outside, we can use a grout injection to seal leaks and create a watertight seal.
Protect Your Investment with Long-Lasting Elevator Shaft Waterproofing
Your elevators are an essential part of doing business, so don’t let this vital building feature go untended. Whether you have a leak already or want to prevent a future leak from risking your building’s safety, our team will help ensure you get strong structural performance out of your commercial property for years.
Contact us to learn more about the elevator pit waterproofing process, or to learn more about the other services we provide to protect your building’s structural integrity. Our consultation process is free, and will help you safeguard your property’s performance and value.