Why waterproofing wet areas is extremely important

Waterproofing wet areas are extremely important for a number of reasons, and following Australian waterproofing standards is essential to ensure that the waterproofing is effective and meets the necessary safety requirements.

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Why waterproofing of wet areas is important with Australian waterproofing laws

Some of the reasons why waterproofing of wet areas is important with Australian waterproofing laws include:

  1. Preventing water damage: Waterproofing areas such as bathrooms, showers, floor and walls, and laundries can prevent water from seeping into walls, floors, and other areas, which can cause extensive damage over time.
  2. Protecting against mold and mildew: Moisture in wet areas can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which can be harmful to health and cause structural damage to buildings.
  3. Improving safety: Wet floors in bathrooms and showers can be slippery and increase the risk of accidents and injuries. Effective waterproofing can prevent water from accumulating and make wet areas safer for occupants.
  4. Compliance with building codes and regulations: Australian building codes and regulations require that wet areas be waterproofed to specific standards to ensure safety and prevent damage to buildings.
  5. Enhancing property value: Effective waterproofing can protect against damage and prevent the need for costly repairs, which can increase the value of a property over time.

By following these standards, builders, architects, and property owners can ensure that wet areas are effectively waterproofed and meet the necessary safety and quality standards. This can help to protect against damage, enhance safety, and increase the value of properties over time.

Waterproof Bathrooms & Wet Area

What are Australian standards for waterproofing?

The Australian standards for construction follow a few rules for residential buildings. The standards of waterproofing are known as the “Australian Standard 3740” or “AS 3740”.

If these standards are not followed, even the concrete can get eroded because of moisture. If there are metal frames under the concrete are affected by moisture, they may rust and cause damage to the structure. Moreover, it is also essential to ensure the drainage and other water outlets are good enough to carry water without dropping a single drop.

The essential stipulation is to comply with these standards and the Building Code of Australia rules. The regulations essentially define the subsequent minimal demands:

  • In adherence to these standards, it is mandatory to waterproof shower floors and shower walls measuring at least 1800mm.
  • For other walls such as the laundry wall, waterproofing up to 150mm is required.
  • In case the bathroom floor is constructed with particle boards or wood, or if it is situated on the second level, complete waterproofing of the entire bathroom floor is essential.
  • Additionally, any step-downs to floors measuring about 100mm must be waterproofed too.

It is better to fulfill the minimum requirements. However, if your situation allows you to act, you can waterproof the areas around the toilet, bath, vanity units, etc.

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What is Waterproofing in Australia? Why use a waterproof membrane?

When constructing areas like bathrooms, laundries, or balconies, waterproofing is typically the first step taken to prevent moisture from penetrating the structure of the home. This involves the installation of waterproofing barriers on walls and floors to ensure they are fully compliant with waterproofing requirements. The process of waterproofing can be accomplished in three straightforward steps.

  • The first step involves applying primer to the walls and floors while ensuring that there are no significant gaps.
  • Next, a bond breaker made of rubber or fabric is used to seal gaps in critical areas such as corners, drains, or round drain fittings.
  • Finally, two coats of the membrane are applied horizontally and vertically to lock the membrane layers in place.

What is a waterproofing membrane? What about its design and installation?

A waterproofing membrane is a layer of installed material around the structural foundation to fight off the water.  Basically, there are 2 types of membranes –

  1. Liquid
  2. Sheets

For example, a Polyurethane liquid membrane is the best for exposed areas. In the case of a basement sheet systems are the best.

Types of membranes for waterproofing bathroom, shower base, and other renovate parts

Water-based epoxy and resin system- Fibreglass is used as a removable tub. Moreover, it is root-resistant. It is best for any masonry or concrete and saves the property from moisture. It must be installed according to your need. Whether for a full renovation, temporary fix, or external waterproofing.

Flexible Systems- Acrylic liquid systems like water-based membranes are low in toxicity and are UV stable. Also, they are not root resistant. It is best for small roof areas, ridge caps, flashings, parapets, and around skylights.

Flexible Sheet- Torch-on modified bitumen is UV stable with high durability. It is root resistant. It is best for sealing rooftops, box gutters, decks, and planter boxes.

Elastomeric Systems-  Solvent-based polyurethane is very flexible and not suitable for a damp substrate. It is not UV-stable or root resistant. It is best for bathrooms, kitchens, etc. If an Elastomeric system in the bathroom is installed, your shower would need not to worry as it assure the waterproofing that meet the Australian standards.

Elastomeric Sheet- This includes TPO, rubber, Butynol, and PVC. These are root-resistant, durable, flexible, and UV-stable. These are best for tunnel, foundation, and roof waterproofing systems

Why can’t I do the waterproofing installation myself?

Generally, it is advisable to hire a professional to conduct waterproofing since it is often more convenient and cost-effective in the long run. This is because there are specific standards that must be adhered to, and in some states, only licensed professionals are allowed to perform the work, as they are certified and well-equipped to handle the task. Additionally, in other states, the work must be certified to confirm that it meets the Standards.

The reason for this is that incorrect application of waterproofing can lead to significant damage to your home, which can be both expensive and time-consuming to fix. Water damage can weaken the structure of your home and create mold issues that are challenging to resolve. However, if you hire a professional to wet seal your bathroom, they will provide a guarantee for their workmanship for an extended period. This means that if anything goes wrong, you will be covered, giving you peace of mind.

Who is qualified to do waterproofing in Australia?

Only trained professionals who have Australian waterproofing licenses are qualified to do this job. These professionals must issue a compliance statement once their job is done.

Only trained professionals who currently carry an Australian waterproofing license, especially in NSW and QLD are qualified. Said professionals must provide a statement of compliance once the job is done. This indicates that the work performed by them is in accordance with the standards, which specifies the requirements for waterproofing of domestic areas. Moreover, in most instances, a licensed holder or a qualified person would have obtained an approved III-level course certification in waterproofing.

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Why waterproof a bathroom and bathroom area?

Installation of the waterproofing and choosing from different types of waterproofing, you need to take care of Australian standards as3740-2010 waterproofing. As the standards as3740-2010 waterproofing of wet areas in residential buildings are important, if you do not follow them, then I must say, your bathroom hasn’t been waterproof correctly. It is then better to demolish the bathroom and make a new one.

For domestic wet areas, specifically, bathroom waterproofing must be installed to prevent water deterioration from the floor and wall.  Insufficient waterproofing sets out the requirements of a home to renovate completely.

If the waterproofing has been installed in your bathroom, the bathroom is on the second position of your “favorite rooms” list. (HaHa)

Conclusion on Australian waterproofing standards

In conclusion, waterproofing is a crucial aspect of construction. Waterproofing bathroom, laundry, and balconies are highly important. Adherence to these standards is mandatory, and failure to comply with these standards can lead to significant damage to your home. While the process of waterproofing from buildings and structures can be accomplished in three straightforward steps, if it is done by a qualified professional, it is much better.

Hiring a licensed waterproof professional to perform the task is advisable, as they are equipped with the necessary skills, experience, and certifications to ensure compliance with the standards. If you engaged with a licensed professional, he/she will ensure that you are covered in case of any damages resulting from the incorrect application of waterproofing. Many renovators may just tell you vocally that they are licensed, however, you can see their compliance certificate.

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