What's the Deal with Waterproofing?

What's the Deal with Waterproofing?

Reading time: 5 mins

Have you ever wondered why contestants on The Block seem to hit a roadblock during "Waterproofing Wednesday"? It's not just for dramatic TV; waterproofing is a critical step in any renovation process. Let's dive into why it's so important and what you need to know to help ensure a smooth renovation journey. We've broken this article down into three parts; where waterproofing sits in the reno process, why it's important and lastly, what questions to ask your tradie for a successful install. 

Where Does Waterproofing Sit in the Renovation/Building Process?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of why waterproofing is vital, let's briefly understand where it fits into your renovation timeline. Renovations typically follow these steps:

Step One: Plan - This is where you envision your dream space and decide what changes you want to make, tools like our 3D planner Imagin3D are great to help with this step!

Step Two: Get the Team Together - Assemble your team of tradespeople who will bring your vision to life.

Step Three: Disconnect and Demolition - This is when the old fixtures and finishes are removed.

Step Four: Rough In - Plumbing and electrical work is done to prepare for the new fixtures.

Step Five: Install Wall and Floor Finishes - This is where waterproofing comes in!

Step Six: Fit Off, Clean, and Decorate - The final touches are added, and your space starts to take shape.

The Block 2023: Kristy and Brett's Downstairs Bathroom

Why Is Waterproofing So Important?

Waterproofing isn't just another item on your renovation checklist, it's a crucial step that can make or break your project. Here's why it deserves your utmost attention:

1. Protecting Your Investment: Waterproofing is like an insurance policy for your renovation. It ensures the longevity of your home by reducing the possibility of structural damage. Without proper waterproofing, water can seep into walls and floors, leading to mould growth, decay, and costly repairs.

2. Legal Requirement: According to AS374 of 2021, all wet rooms, including bathrooms, ensuites, laundries, and water closets, require waterproofing. This legislation covers floors, walls, junctions, penetrations, and specific areas like showers and adjacent spaces. Compliance with these regulations is not optional but mandatory.

3. Cost-Efficiency: The smallest amount of water seepage over time can result in considerable damage. Investing in proper waterproofing during the initial build phase is far more cost-effective than dealing with the consequences of moisture-related issues later on.

Questions to Ask Your Tradie:

Now that you understand why waterproofing is crucial, here are some essential questions to ask your tradespeople to help ensure you get it right:

1. How Long Has Your Business Been Running? - Experience speaks volumes. A trusted waterproofing business with years of operation indicates efficiency, expertise, and a track record of successful projects.

2. How Much Experience Does Your Team Have? - While the company's experience is vital, make sure the team members working on your project have the necessary expertise. You don't want to pay for experience that doesn't translate to the team on-site.

3. Have You Ever Had a Failed Experience? - Everyone makes mistakes, but it's crucial that your waterproofing team learns from them. Transparency about past mistakes and lessons learned demonstrates their commitment to quality work.

4. Are You Licensed? - Ensure that the company holds the necessary trade licenses required by your state. Proper qualifications are non-negotiable when it comes to safeguarding your home's integrity.

5. Are You Insured? - Waterproofing companies should have insurance, including liability and workers' compensation. This protects both you and the workers in case of accidents or errors.

6. Do You Have References for Me to Call? - Don't rely solely on the company's word. Contacting references allows you to gauge the quality of their work and their customer service.

7. What Are Your Recommendations for My Problem? - Different contractors may have different solutions for waterproofing. Ask about their proposed solutions, timelines, and materials to ensure you make a well-informed decision.

8. What's Included in Your Warranty? - A reputable waterproofing company should offer a warranty for their service. Understand what it covers, including materials, labor, and the duration of the warranty.

So you see why waterproofing is such a vital step in bathroom week on The Block and of course, in your renovation journey! By asking the right questions and ensuring you have a skilled and experienced team on board, you can increase your chances of a Keith approved space!