A Quick Overview of Waterproofing

You might wonder what waterproofing requirements you need to worry about if you're planning a home renovation. While your builders will be familiar with what is required, it's helpful to have an overview yourself. Here's a quick overview.

The Purpose of Waterproofing

Waterproofing protects the structural integrity of your house. It's required in spots around the house where water is used freely, such as the bathroom, laundry and kitchen. Without waterproofing, water can seep through walls and floors, and the moisture could rot timber beams and other building parts inside. Excessive moisture can also cause mould and mildew to fester and provoke rust in metal elements.

How it's Done

Once a shower is waterproofed, water running on the tiles daily will flow off the tiles and down the drain. Moisture won't get past the waterproof barrier. Usually, waterproof solutions are applied underneath the floor and wall cladding (such as tiles) using a roller. Like paint, a couple of layers will be needed for a complete cover, and a waterproof membrane will be laid and painted over. Silicone around the floor and wall edges and joints between basins, showers and walls helps seal all the vulnerable spots. Waterproofing can also be applied over tiles if water gets past them in an existing bathroom. However, you may also need to fix problems inside the floor and walls caused by moisture.

Where is Waterproofing Needed?

You might wonder what specific areas need waterproofing and who decides where. Building codes regulate the specifics. For example, rules state that a shower floor needs waterproofing and that the shower walls should be sealed up to a particular height. A certain radius of the floor around the shower also needs waterproofing. If the flooring is laminate or timber, the entire surface needs to be sealed. The lower wall areas also need to be sealed. The building regulations define a minimum, and many builders recommend being more extensive with the waterproofing. They might seal the wall area around a basin, for example, to stop splashing water from damaging the wall.

What Rooms are Relevant?

Of course, the bathroom is not the only place where water is part of daily life. What about the kitchen, laundry room and balconies? In the kitchen, the splashback and sink area need protection, as do the areas around the laundry sink. Anywhere that uses plumbing and water should be considered in terms of waterproofing. Outside spaces, such as balconies, may not have plumbing pipes, but they will be rained on at times. So the flooring will need to withstand that moisture without becoming damaged. Many types of waterproofing can last for decades. Your contractors can advise on a timeframe.

For more information on waterproofing, contact a company near you.