Waterproofing Penetrations 101

June 5, 2023
Waterproofing Penetrations 101

Utilities, signage, lights. Penetrations through exterior building enclosures are unavoidable. These penetrations serve critical functions for facility owners and occupants but can cause water intrusion. If a penetration is coordinated, detailed, and installed properly, it will achieve its desired result without creating unintended performance issues.

Since penetrations are unavoidable, all waterproofing manufacturers have a standard penetration detail (Figure 1). The waterproofing concept illustrated in Figure 1 for below-grade penetrations is very straightforward: lap the waterproofing membrane onto the penetration to create a seal between the waterproofing membrane and the penetration. While Figure 1 is an illustration for below-grade waterproofing, the same concept applies to exterior walls when rotated 90 degrees, and to roof, podium, and terrace waterproofing when rotated 180 degrees.

(Figure 1) Conceptual detail for penetration through below-grade waterproofing membrane.


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