New home waterproofing inspections Geelong

There is no denying that building a new home is a very expensive time and as a result many try to reduce their expenses wherever they can. If you are thinking of skipping an independent Waterproof/Fix stage inspection in Geelong, please think again. One of the most common problems with new homes post-handover is damage from improperly installed waterproofing in wet areas.

Waterproofing is the process of making wet areas including bathrooms, powder rooms, balconies, and shower areas resistant to water ingress, to protect the home’s sub-structure from leaks and rot. This is done using a painted-on membrane, which forms a waterproof layer. This membrane is usually hidden beneath tiles, therefore the damage from poorly installed or failed waterproofing may not show up until serious damage has occurred.

Waterproofing makes up less than 0.5% of the construction cost of a building, but accounts for the majority of issues and huge costs in rectification. Complaints related to ineffective waterproofing is the one of the most common issues heard by the Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV).

Small leaks in waterproof membranes can go unidentified for years all the while rotting plasterboard, studs, bottom plates, flooring and main structural beams in the home. Undetected water leaking into wall and floor cavities also encourages the growth of dangerous mold. Even if leaks are caught early, repairing damaged or faulty waterproofing can be complicated and invasive – especially in bathrooms, where you may need to remove tiles, replace plaster and essentially start again.

An independent waterproof inspection at this critical stage of construction could save you from stress and very expensive repairs further down the track, not to mention a huge inconvenience. A private inspection is even more vital when building a double storey house as a small water can leak can cause significant damage to many areas of the home.

It is important that waterproofing installers comply with the criteria set out in National Construction Code (NCC) and Australian Standard 3740 – Waterproofing of domestic wet areas and for balconies, Australian Standard 4654 – Waterproofing membranes for external above-ground use. During our private inspections, we check that the waterproofing has been installed in line with the NCC, AS’s and in a workmanlike manner to ensure it does not affect the installation of finished surfaces.

Common findings in our waterproof inspections:

  • Pin holes in waterproof membranes
  • Insufficient coverage of waterproof membranes
  • Substrates not prepared correctly resulting in blistering & peeling of waterproof membranes
  • Junctions between walls, floors and different surfaces not sealed correctly resulting in cracking of the waterproof membrane
  • Junctions around drains not prepared properly resulting in cracking and failure of membranes

Waterproofing and Fixing are essentially two separate elements of the build that typically occur at the same time; therefore, our Waterproof Inspection also incorporates a Fix inspection.
Fixing stage is reached when the doors, skirting boards and architraves have been fitted and joinery has been installed, which is just prior to painting. During this inspection, we identify potential re-work items for the carpenter that would cost time if not identified until the final inspection. Some common items are quirks (the gap between frame and architraves), door margins consistent (the gap between the door frame and door) and visible bows in walls/cornice lines. This stage is often the last building progress payment prior to completion, and you will likely have paid 90% of the contract sum.

At this stage of your build, you may have a good relationship with your Site Supervisor, be happy with the progress and quality of your project so far and think leaving out the Waterproof/Fix Inspection is a logical way to save some money. However, this is the last opportunity to inspect your new home prior to painting and tiling, and any defects that exist will be hidden until they become a problem.

For a small investment, an independent waterproof and fix building inspection can give you assurance for the longevity of your home and peace of mind that you’re not going to end up with a {damp, wet, soggy, drippy, moldy, smelly} nightmare.

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