Groundwater Levels And Risks To Underground Car Parks
With the well-known heat experienced in Dubai, more and more structures are being built inside away from the sun. It is far more common now for city centre facilities such as carparks, to be built underground, particularly underneath new hotels and shopping complexes.
An important factor with underground facilities is the surrounding ground’s water table. In essence, this is the amount of water in the ground which mixes with the soil and fractured rock and creates the stable surface which we walk and build on every day. The water either comes from underground sources nearby, such as rivers and streams or, alternatively, from rain or installed irrigation systems.
If the subterranean water levels increase, due to leaks or heavy rainfall, the water table rises, effectively causing flooding and the groundwater will look for drier areas or a point of entry through which to drain. This can cause issues for underground structures, particularly if the waterproofing to boundary walls is poorly installed or experiences leaks, a common problem for old and new buildings alike.
Whilst there are many ways that an underground structure can be waterproofed, including proofing applied to the exterior of the boundary walls, or a concrete structure with an integrated waterproofing system; there is always the risk of small cracks or gaps that can appear, allowing groundwater to seep through the boundary walls. It would be difficult to detect if water was seeping through, but the most common indicators would be cracked and damaged concrete to the interior floors and walls.
Car park owners will want to ensure their facilities remain in a good, clean and tidy state, encouraging customers to return. If water leaks create ugly and hazardous looking cracks and damage, the car park will lose business. In addition, leaking water can cause slippery floors, posing risks to pedestrians and, alkaline salt drips onto car paintwork, all of which could result in expensive damage claims on top of the building’s repair bills!
Luckily there are now ways in which leaks can be accurately located from either above ground, or inside the structure. The creation of a new innovative technology using a combination of damp-testing, ground penetrating radars and thermal imaging, allows problems to be swiftly and economically resolved, keeping your car park, clean and safe for busy city life.
For information on how we can help if you suspect a leak, consult LeakDTech’s professionals now!