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Waterproofing: preparation and vigilance

Accommodation providers often have unique difficulties with waterproofing.

Owners require advice and guidance on how to approach their waterproofing issue. Well respected contractors are able to provide them with advice and the knowledge to make informed decisions about what they may be able to do.

Water damage to buildings can cause serious consequences including the crumbling of concrete foundations. Leak damage may not be covered by insurance so owners are encouraged to regularly check bathrooms, balconies, basements and car parks, plant rooms, laundries, pools, cold rooms and tanks for leaks and signs of lime scaling and efflorescence.

It is important that owners gain a comprehensive assessment and a report on possible solutions for rectification. Careful consideration must be given to waterproofing and materials used to ensure the project is carried out to Australian standards and covered by a warranty. Salt water corrosion and below water table leakages are often seen as being problems for resort owners, as well as maintenance of wet areas, and leakage through cracks.

Most unit owners will look towards replacing their bathrooms once every ten years and waterproofing is now mandatory under local bylaws. Renovations to bathrooms generally mean that the waterproofing membranes must be replaced and there are a number of options of materials available that will suit under tile or vinyl applications.

Polyurea sprays are suitable for many applications, including large areas, tanks, planter boxes and roofs. The material is environmentally friendly, hard wearing and mostly carries an extended warranty dependant on the thickness of application. The benefits of using polyurea sprays are such that they can be walked on in a matter of minutes following application and they remain stretchy for many years without cracking or flaking. There is nothing better for protecting against salt water erosion, sand or other harsh abrasives. The polyurea material can be used for drinking water and withstanding permanent immersion.

Crack repair in basement, car park walls and swimming pools must be carried out by trained applicators and often involves a two-day system of injection of material under high pressure followed by the application of a material that is two to three times the strength of the surrounding concrete.

The technique has provided waterproofing to many hotels, resorts and heritage listed buildings and pays special attention to providing a Green Star Rating in its service; being kind to the environment and to residents alike.

Rosie Clarke

Rosie Clarke is managing editor at Multimedia Publishing.

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