Why do Elevator pits leak?


Why do Elevator pits leak?

There can be many reasons why water enters a pit. Usually the reasons are a mixture of the following:-

  • The existing waterproofing system has been incorrectly applied or damaged during construction.
  • The pit is too old for any effective waterproofing system to have been originally installed
  • Adjacent construction has altered or redirected the local water table.
  • A nearby water main has burst or drainage has blocked.
  • The time of year (wet weather can increase the water table)
  • Even water running into the pit, (say from a cleaner’s mop & bucket) making it look like a groundwater problem (trust us we’ve seen this regularly)

How does the water get in?

Depending on the type of construction water can enter an Elevator lift pit through several ways.

If the pit is constructed from roughcast concrete (i.e. poured concrete walls in shuttering) there will be a construction or ‘kicker joint’ as it is more commonly known. Water can enter through this weak point.

Another form of pit construction is a traditional brick or concrete block built pit where the wall acts as the earth retaining structure. Groundwater will enter through any weak points in the brick or blockwork, particularly the wall/floor joint or pointing.

A very common method of construction on newer buildings is to have the pit formed from mass poured concrete (usually as part of the foundations etc ) and to have a concrete block or brick inner face built. If water enters through this kind of construction the actual point of water ingress is hidden, historically this has proven very difficult to seal, for Vanity Technical Services however we simply use a different product and style of injection waterproofing. The end result is the same – A Dry Pit!

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