Water leaks can cause elevator pits to harbor as much as two feet of water, especially in poorly maintained elevator pits. Elevator pits are mostly situated at or below the water table with concrete poured to create them. Seasonal changes can cause the water table to rise or fall, causing the soil to move and create issues with your building’s structure. There are numerous reasons why these pits may leak, and one of them is faulty or improperly installed waterproofing systems.
Faulty waterproofing can allow joints around the elevator pit to leak due to imperfections or cracks in the walls or base joints. Elevator pits may also begin to leak as the waterproofing material naturally ages. The waterproofing systems can wear down over time and allow leaks.
What You Can Do To Stop the Leak
The solution will depend on the type of structure you’re dealing with, which can either be poured concrete walls, masonry walls, or block walls.
Poured Concrete Walls
For concrete walls, water often seeps through cracks in the wall or at the base joints. You can counteract this issue through a urethane injection which works great in wet conditions. Another approach is to apply a fluid applied, sheet membrane, or bentonite-based membrane under the slab as well as on the exterior of the elevator pit walls. These waterproofing membranes act as barriers on the surface of the concrete to prevent water infiltration.
Positive side waterproofing or below-grade waterproofing requires access to the exterior wall surfaces and adequate space for workers. In some commercial buildings, however, it’s not possible to use this approach due to restricted access to the leaking area. It could be because garages, roads, driveways, or property lines adjoin directly with the leaking wall.
Negative side waterproofing provides a more economical approach when site restraints don’t allow for the excavation of a larger area around the elevator pit to waterproof the exterior walls. As a consequence, the waterproofing system will be applied from the inside to prevent water from seeping into the elevator pit. Common negative side waterproofing options include crystalline technology waterproofing, cementitious waterproofing, and urethane injection.
Block and Brick Walls
In the case of block or brick walls, soil movement due to water table changes can cause individual blocks or bricks to slightly shift, causing gaps to occur. Such gaps can result in issues such as leaking wall/floor joints or expansion joint failure. You can stop these leaks by injecting urethane grout directly into cracks and/or failing joints.
Ultimately, you need to work with an experienced waterproofing expert to effectively seal the leaks in your elevator pit and mitigate potential water damage and mold growth in your building. KPost Roofing & Waterproofing is your trusted waterproofing contractor in Dallas, TX, and surrounding areas. Contact us today with any questions about waterproofing solutions for commercial and industrial properties.