As proof, experts say water damage at the construction site is the second leading cause of loss. One prominent insurer pegs water losses for about 13% of all construction insurance claims. The average claim? A margin-wrecking $140,000.

Water is the natural enemy of construction. Excessive moisture risks debris removal, lost workdays, rework, property and materials damage, not to mention a water-drenched reputation.

Your project may not require a sophisticated dewatering strategy with pumping solutions. But it does deserve your best effort to keep moisture at bay. Here are seven ideas to consider for your next project:

1. Scope the site. Where are the water threats? Is it rain? Groundwater? Surface runoff? Melting snow? In what direction? Also, check out the water table depth and groundwater flow. That intel will help guide excavation depth, foundation design, and any dewatering needs. Standing water is not only slip-and-fall hazard, it’s also a catch basin for contaminants.

2. Where’s the material? Even if you plan just-in-time deliveries of building materials, stuff happens. Your team may take longer than scheduled. Maybe they finish faster. Or your supplier is delayed in receiving or shipping the materials. Anything can happen and usually does in construction.

A safe, dry staging area is the safe bet. Ideally the materials are under cover, on pallets, wrapped in tarps or plastic. Afterall, what do you do with wet drywall?

3. Barrier relief. Erosion control may be mandated by local code. Silt fences help divert water away from the work area. A positive backfill at the foundation is an obvious technique to push water away.

4. Foundation formula. Once the finished height is determined, mark the waterproofing line as close to the grade as possible. Just make sure you don’t go lower than six inches below the finish grade. Pay special attention to structures with complex foundations and varying grades.

5. Below grade control. Set perforated pipe – usually PVC or corrugated plastic – on a stone bed and backfill with rock to encourage water drainage. Hydraulic wall pressure is relieved … water now has a home beyond the foundation wall.

6. How about next door? The neighboring property could be a surface water speedway. Take care to understand water flow. Work with the neighboring owner to mitigate spillover with barriers or diverters to temporarily help safeguard your project.

7. Sealed foundation wall. Make sure the masonry foundation wall is fully cured before waterproofing the surface. Asphalt-based bituminous membranes are often specified, applied with heat. The membranes are typically torched-on or applied as a self-adhesive.

Many contractors prefer a cold, fluid-applied, ready-mixed waterproofer. A latex-based product like DRYLOK Extreme Concrete & Masonry Waterproofer works great. The finish can be applied above or below grade and is guaranteed to stop water up to 15 psi, resists cat 4 (140+ mph) hurricane winds and reduces radon gas penetration.

No construction site is free from potential water hazards. Observe a few common sense steps and let gravity work its magic. It will go a long way to a dryer, safer, and more productive worksite.

Learn more about fluid-applied waterproofers guaranteed for up to 15 years of continuous moisture protection.