A common recurring building defect reported by property owners in newly acquired or renovated homes is the waterproofing. Bathroom areas with insufficient waterproofing is a headache just waiting to unfold.
The quality installation of waterproofing of a bathroom will determine its longevity in the home.
A bad waterproof job can cause an array or problems, but the most troublesome is the premature renovation of a bathroom. It costs money and time to fix – and bathrooms aren’t the cheapest rooms in the home to renovate.
The only way to fix a bathroom with significantly leaking floors or walls is often to do a full renovation. This may involve removal of debris, and then getting the room back to square one where the waterproofing can be installed to Australian standards.
A poor waterproofing membrane is often due to it not being installed according to Australian standards by a licensed waterproofer.
So what is the Australian standard for waterproofing and how can you prevent the upheaval of a bathroom renovation to rectify waterproofing issues?
WHAT IS WATERPROOFING?
Many renovators may not be familiar with waterproofing but it’s the most important aspect to protect the home from structural damage should water find its way into places it shouldn’t be.
The first step when building or renovating a bathroom is to have a waterproof barrier installed around the walls and floors. This barrier protects the structure of the property from moisture.
The installation of waterproofing must abide by the Australian standards. It’s not a DIY project for the unfamiliar.
WHAT ARE THE AUSTRALIAN STANDARDS FOR WATERPROOFING BATHROOM AREAS?
Waterproofing a bathroom must comply with the Building Code of Australia and Australian Standards AS3740-2010 Waterproofing of wet areas in residential buildings.
While your licensed waterproof specialist will know these Australian standards, it’s good for the property owner to know the minimum requirements.
It can’t hurt to go above the minimum requirements too, if the property owner is wary of water damage. The cost of installation compared to the costs of water damage can be significantly less.
If a bathroom is installed on a ground floor, the shower floor and walls must be waterproofed up to 1800mm. The walls encasing the bathroom must be waterproofed up to 150mm. Hobs should be waterproofed up to 100mm.
Wet room bathrooms (bathrooms with frameless showers) will need to have the whole bathroom floor waterproofed as well as the walls up to a 1500mmradius. The same minimum requirements for a shower would need to be installed for the shower space in a wet room bathroom.
Please consult IBC Property Inspections for specialist waterproofing inspections.