Waterproofers are sealing up their skills to end Australia’s leaky building problem

Australia's best waterproofing professionals are enhancing their sealing skills to tackle the nation's building challenges head-on.

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
4 Min Read

Australia’s best waterproofing professionals are proactively enhancing their sealing skills to tackle the nation’s building challenges head-on.

Dodgy waterproofing has long been the most common new-building defect across the country, leaving properties uninhabitable and everyday Aussies needing a home.

And despite years of watchdog interventions and constant media attention, waterproofing issues are still responsible for 80 per cent of all building defects.

In fact, more than 1000 defective bathrooms were ripped out of new apartments in NSW alone last year after more than half of NSW strata buildings have defects – with leaks being the most common issue.

But the industry’s top tradies are putting an end to the nation’s waterproofing woes by seeking out quality training programs to brush up on the latest waterproofing rules, tips, and tricks in a bid to boost industry standards.

By standardising knowledge through additional training, waterproofers are repairing the trade’s association as a hit-and-miss industry.

This will ultimately improve consistency on how to adequately prepare surfaces, correctly apply sheet membranes, and making sure they abide by the latest changes to the national construction code to meet Australian waterproofing standards.

Common waterproofing mistakes

The most prevalent waterproofing problems in homes have occurred due to faulty installation or a lack of quality waterproofing product systems.

Examples of such problems include:

  • Applying the waterproofing in the incorrect sequence.
  • Not choosing the correct waterproofing product.
  • Not allowing enough time for the waterproofing to cure.
  • Not installing waterproofing in mandatory areas.
  • Skipping waterproofing in areas.

Reasons to consider additional training

Even the most innocuous waterproofing faults can lead to catastrophic consequences.

Already one of the most expensive parts of the house to renovate, poorly installed waterproofing will often mean demolishing the entire bathroom to fix it correctly.

Waterproofers must get it right the first time by ensuring they’re confident in their skills and up to date on the latest industry standards.

Poor workmanship and simple mistakes can quickly dampen a waterproofer’s career, with contracts leaving tradies liable for the errors.

Water damage is often a result of a waterproofing membrane being installed incorrectly or failing to meet Australian waterproofing standards.

All waterproofers must remain current with the Building Code of Australia and Australian Standards AS3740-2010 waterproofing of wet areas in residential buildings.

This often means staying aware of the latest changes in construction regulations, using only trusted waterproofing product systems and enrolling in educational courses.

The small additional investment in a quality training program to brush up on the latest waterproofing rules, tips, and tricks can save waterproofers thousands in the long run and even lead to more work through consistently positive customer feedback in a hit-and-miss industry.

Why renovators should seek an up-skilled waterproof

Even if your location permits you to waterproof a wet area yourself, it’s highly recommended to use a licensed waterproofing specialist who can demonstrate they’re educated and trained on the latest industry standards.

A new bathroom may not meet Australian waterproofing standards when done as a DIY job or by a waterproofer who lacks the correct certification, training, insurance or guarantees.

It’s always okay to request copies of a waterproofer certification, licences, reviews and even evidence of additional training before proceeding with a waterproofing project.

Going the extra mile to seek out a waterproofer who has up-skilled their workmanship can save thousands of dollars in the long run by ensuring the job is completed correctly the first time.

Share This Article
Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.