It’s the little things we can’t see that can end up costing us the most money. That’s why it’s so important to have a quality tradesperson install waterproofing when renovating your property.
In this article, Chisholm Waterproofing Teacher Stephen Beaumont explains why waterproofing is so important and how to choose the right person for the job.
What is waterproofing?
Waterproofing involves applying a physical barrier or waterproof membrane to prevent moisture penetration.
The Building Code of Australia (BCA) says that certain “wet areas” must be waterproof. Examples include showers, floors and walls adjacent to baths, tubs or laundry troughs, basins, sinks and urinals.
“We also use waterproofing externally in areas such as swimming pools, carparks, retaining walls – there are many different applications,” Stephen says.
Why do you need waterproofing?
According to the BCA, waterproofing of wet areas in buildings is important for health and amenity. The aim is to prevent water penetration that could cause:
- Unhealthy and dangerous conditions or loss of amenity for occupants; or
- Dampness and deterioration of building elements.
“Put simply, you don’t want water to enter into a building or a structure,” Stephen says. “If you don’t waterproof, it could actually be a health hazard, for example it could create mould.”
When you think of the harm leaking water could cause to your property, you can see why you’re better off to spend the time and money on waterproofing to avoid future issues or damage.
Who does waterproofing?
Some tradies do waterproofing as their sole occupation. Others do waterproofing in addition to other trades. Examples include tilers, plumbers, carpenters and builders.
Is it better to hire a full-time waterproofer as opposed to someone who does it on the side?
“Definitely, no doubt about it,” Stephen says. “You want someone with the right knowledge-base to do a great job.”
Can you DIY your waterproofing?
Fans of The Block will understand the challenges renovators can face when trying to DIY waterproofing. From being across building permit requirements, to ensuring waterproofing complies with the Australian Standards, there’s more to waterproofing than you may think and this may be an area where you’re better off to outsource the work.
Stephen says if you are planning to DIY, make sure you understand exactly what’s involved and the type of product you’ll need. “There are waterproofing products that are easily available from hardware stores, but these may not be good enough,” he says. You need to do the appropriate training to understand the product and how to use it. You can’t use some of these products without training – the membrane may need to be applied at a certain thickness, for example.”
Stephen has another tip. If you are going it alone, use reputable companies to source information. For example, if you’re after online tutorials, head to the websites of bigger names that manufacture waterproofing equipment (he suggests Gripset Industries as an example).
Tips for finding a quality waterproofing tradie
- Check they’re qualified
- Ask friends and family for recommendations
- Investigate the tradie’s online reviews
- Ask about their insurance
- Find out whether they’re members of an association (The Australian Institute of Waterproofing)
- Ask to see examples of their previous work
- Don’t be afraid to ask for references and reach out to them.