Waterproofing is crucial for preventing spalling in concrete structures because spalling, which refers to the chipping, flaking, or breaking off of the outer layers of concrete, is primarily caused by water infiltration and the subsequent freeze-thaw cycle.
When water penetrates into concrete and then freezes, it expands, creating internal pressure within the concrete. This expansion can lead to a host of problems, including concrete spalling.
The hidden culprits, imperceptible but costly, are often the ones that catch us off guard. This is precisely why waterproofing needs to be done properly to prevent homes and buildings from concrete spalling.
What exactly is waterproofing?
Waterproofing is the application of a protective barrier or waterproof membrane designed to thwart the infiltration of moisture.
The Building Code of Australia (BCA) mandates the waterproofing of specific “wet areas.” These encompass spaces like showers, the areas surrounding baths, tubs, laundry troughs, as well as floors, walls, and ceilings.
Waterproofing is not limited to interior spaces. It finds its utility in external applications as well, such as swimming pools, parking lots, and retaining walls. Its versatility is truly remarkable
Why is waterproofing an imperative?
According to the Building Code of Australia (BCA), the practice of waterproofing wet areas within buildings is of paramount importance in ensuring the well-being and comfort of its occupants. The ultimate objective of this endeavour is to prevent water infiltration, a problem that can result in a myriad of detrimental consequences.
First and foremost, allowing water to penetrate these areas can lead to adverse and hazardous conditions, significantly compromising the quality of life for those inhabiting the space.
Mould growth, in particular, poses a serious health risk and can be a direct consequence of inadequate waterproofing. The last thing you want is water seeping into your building or structure.
Furthermore, the unchecked ingress of water can usher in the onset of dampness, which, over time, can lead to the gradual deterioration of integral structural components. This deterioration can jeopardise the safety and longevity of the entire building.
In light of these potential repercussions, it becomes abundantly clear that investing both time and resources in waterproofing is a judicious and forward-thinking measure. By doing so, property owners can fortify their premises against prospective issues and damages that might otherwise arise in the future.
This proactive approach is not just a safeguard for property but also a commitment to the well-being of its occupants.
Who performs waterproofing?
Waterproofing is a critical aspect of construction and building maintenance. This process safeguards buildings from water damage and moisture infiltration, which can lead to structural issues, mould growth, and health hazards. The importance of waterproofing has led to a diverse range of professionals engaging in this field.
Some professionals dedicate their entire careers to waterproofing, honing their skills and staying updated on the latest techniques and waterproofing materials. They possess a deep understanding of various waterproofing methods and can provide tailored solutions to specific needs
On the other hand, there are those who offer waterproofing services as an auxiliary skill, often combining it with their primary trade. For instance, tilers, plumbers, carpenters, and builders may offer waterproofing services in addition to their core offerings.
However, when it comes to the critical task of waterproofing, it’s typically preferable to hire dedicated waterproofing consultants and professionals, ensuring a high-quality job that protects your property effectively.
Can you undertake waterproofing as a DIY project?
Anyone who’s watched renovation shows like The Block knows that DIY waterproofing can be a challenging endeavour. From understanding building permit requirements to ensuring compliance with Australian Standards, waterproofing is more complex than it may appear. It is highly recommended to seek professional waterproofing consultants and services.