Without proper water management at the worksite, the risk of water infiltration and its associated problems can significantly increase, resulting in costly repairs and potential safety hazards.
Fortunately, there are several strategies that construction site managers can employ to protect their worksites from water-related issues.
The Dangers of Water Entering Your Worksite
Damage to Materials
Water entering a worksite site can cause significant damage to materials and the overall project. When floodwaters infiltrate the site, they can carry contamination such as pesticides, industrial chemicals, debris and sewage. This can lead to the degradation of construction materials, causing them to weaken and lose their structural integrity.
The introduction of contaminants can result in chemical reactions with the materials, leading to corrosion and other forms of damage. Additionally, erosion and sedimentation can have negative impacts on the site, especially if it is already degraded or heavily modified.
Health Issues From Mold and Mildew
Uncontrolled water flow on a worksite can create an environment conducive to the growth of mold and mildew. Molds typically do not pose a problem indoors unless they find a wet spot to grow. Once they begin to grow, they can cause various health issues.
Allergens and irritants generated by molds can cause allergic reactions when inhaled or touched, resulting in symptoms like sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes and skin rash. Prolonged exposure to these allergens at construction sites is particularly damaging as they may severely aggravate respiratory illnesses such as asthma or allergies — especially in individuals predisposed to respiratory issues.
Over time, the effects of natural forces such as water can be seen in soil erosion — a powerful geological process that wears away and transports earthen materials like rocks, sediments and soil. In the context of a construction site, excessive water from rainfall or flooding can cause the displacement of soil, resulting in instability and undermining the structural integrity of the site.
Moreover, soil erosion can negatively impact the surrounding environment, contributing to the loss of fertile topsoil and increasing the likelihood of landslides or other geotechnical hazards.
Contaminated water may contain unsafe levels of germs, chemicals or pollutants. Floodwater, for example, can carry various contaminants such as agricultural pesticides, industrial chemicals, debris and sewage. If contaminants enter a construction environment, they can damage supplies, pollute the soil’s purity and potentially endanger nearby rivers, lakes or even private wells.
Contamination can affect not only the construction project but also the health of workers, future occupants and neighboring communities, as contaminated water can cause various illnesses and health issues.
Water infiltration can lead to material damage, soil erosion, contamination and mold growth, all of which can require additional time and resources for repair, replacement or remediation. Moreover, soggy conditions can impede or even endanger workers while performing their duties, thus resulting in work stoppages and delays.
6 Tips for Keeping Your Worksite Protected from Water
1. Identify Potential Water Sources
It is essential to highlight the importance of identifying potential water sources that could affect the construction site.
Recognizing sources of water, such as rain, groundwater and surface water runoff, allows site managers to anticipate and address potential water-related challenges.
Determining the direction of water flow and pinpointing areas where water may accumulate can inform the design and implementation of effective water management and mitigation strategies, ensuring that the worksite remains protected from water damage.
Additionally, understanding the water table depth and groundwater flow pattern in the area is crucial for making informed decisions about excavation depths, foundation design and dewatering requirements.
2. Plan Ahead
Adequate planning ensures that the construction site will be safe and productive.
Developing a detailed water management plan before starting construction allows for a proactive approach to addressing potential water-related issues, ensuring that necessary measures are in place to manage water flow and accumulation.
Additionally, considering the use of retaining walls or silt fences can help divert water away from the worksite, providing further protection from water infiltration and its potential negative impacts.
Finally, scheduling construction activities during dry weather conditions whenever possible minimizes the risk of water-related problems, allowing for a more efficient and productive work environment.
3. Implement Best Practices for Erosion Control
To ensure the best possible soil conservation, you should prioritize the use of effective erosion control practices at all construction sites.
Utilizing erosion control techniques such as sediment basins, sediment traps and sediment ponds can help capture and retain sediment-laden water, preventing it from causing damage and negatively impacting the environment.
Limiting soil disturbance and stabilizing exposed soil areas can further reduce the risk of erosion by minimizing the amount of loose material susceptible to being carried away by water or wind.
Additionally, using vegetation or mulch to cover exposed soil can provide a protective barrier that helps prevent erosion by slowing down water flow, absorbing excess moisture and anchoring the soil in place.
4. Use Proper Drainage Systems
Adopting efficient drainage systems will help direct water flow effectively at construction sites.
Installing effective drainage systems, such as French drains or surface drainage systems, can help remove excess water and prevent water-related issues that could jeopardize the integrity of the construction project.
Ensure that drainage systems are designed to handle the expected amount of water flow, thereby providing adequate protection against potential water infiltration.
Additionally, regularly inspecting and maintaining drainage systems is necessary to ensure they are working properly and can continue to manage water effectively at the worksite.
5. Control Runoff from Adjacent Properties
Contamination from neighboring construction sites can be a source of water infiltration.
Coordinating with adjacent property owners to prevent their runoff from entering the worksite is an essential action item for managing water effectively.
Establishing a collaborative approach with neighboring properties can help to identify potential issues and develop joint solutions for controlling water runoff.
Additionally, installing barriers or diverters can be an effective strategy to direct runoff away from the worksite, further reducing the risk of water infiltration and its potential negative impacts on the construction project.
6. Protect the Build with a Quality Waterproofer
One of the key features of DRYLOK® Extreme Concrete & Masonry Waterproofer is its breathability. All DRYLOK waterproofing formulas are breathable, meaning they will not hold or trap water in the wall and will not cause structural damage. This unique feature allows the walls to breathe just as they do, uncoated, while effectively stopping physical moisture and physical seepage from entering the construction site.
DRYLOK Extreme Concrete & Masonry Waterproofer incorporates Flexible Encapsulated Polymers, which provide a beautiful, smooth waterproof finish.
This cutting-edge technology ensures that your construction site remains not only protected but also visually appealing. Moreover, the product has been specifically formulated to resist mildew growth on the dry paint film, thanks to the incorporation of a biocide. This added protection helps maintain the longevity and cleanliness of the treated surfaces.
Work with DRYLOK for the Best in Construction Site Waterproofing
Are you ready to protect your construction site from water intrusion and ensure a long-lasting, visually appealing finish? Choose DRYLOK Extreme Concrete & Masonry Waterproofer for top-notch protection and unbeatable quality. DRYLOK, America’s top-selling masonry paint, provides you with a wide variety of specialty formulations that are specifically engineered to guarantee the utmost success for your house maintenance and repair tasks.
Contact us today for more information and to find a retailer near you!