Why Choose Us For Domestic & Commercial Waterproofing Melbourne? Waterproofing Contractors Melbourne

At Australian Waterproofing Company, we understand that every project we work on is someone’s investment, whether it is a domestic, commercial or civil project. There is a statistic often quoted in the building industry: waterproofing is 1.8% of construction cost but accounts for 83% of building defect complaints. When you contact Australian Waterproofing Company to undertake your building’s waterproofing in Melbourne then, you are guaranteed not to become a statistic.

Australian Waterproofing Company is one of the leading waterproofing contractors in Melbourne. We make use of premium quality materials to waterproof your building. At Australian Waterproofing Company we offer body corporate rejuvenation, commercial and domestic waterproofing in Melbourne.

Our highly skilled technicians specialise in:

  • Bathrooms
  • Balconies
  • Retaining walls
  • Rooftops
  • Planter boxes
  • Lift Pits
  • Below ground tanking
  • body corporate rejuvenation Melbourne

You name it we can waterproof it, on time and on budget.

Make sure your  domestic and commercial property is waterproofed using the best materials in the industry by contacting Australian Waterproofing Company.

Contact us now !

Client Testimonial

  • What amazing service & Products! After several companies attempted and failed at fixing our leaking wall in our garden feature, Australian Waterproofing Company nailed it first time. Service from quotation to the tradespeople was brilliant and I would highly recommend them for any waterproofing requirement.

    Maryanne Lowe

  • Equus Industries Australia are proud to have the Australian waterproofing company as one of our approved waterproofing applicators. Gary and the team have always provided a high level of skill and integrity on any of the projects we have partnered with them on. The team have competed the installations with a good eye to detail and finishing. We would not hesitate to recommend and support Gary and the team on any projects they are associated with.

    Karl Wootton

  • Awesome, Awesome, Awesome I Had massive water issues in my house both in the bathroom and balcony’s and Australian Waterproofing Company fixed my issue within a week, the employees were fantastic and well presented, the trafficable membrane over my balcony tiles looks fantastic im now proud to show off my balcony to friends and family. Thank you so much guys. Jess PS – My mum will contact you soon she would like the same coating done at her place!!!!!

    Jess Benson

  • We have had issues with our balcony leaking for a number of years and finally we found a company to help. Australian Waterproofing Company provided a reliable and cost effective solution, that did not require us to rip up and retile. The team were polite and tidy, we were impressed to say the least. Our dealings with other trades have not been impressive, so having a professional service was a breath of fresh air. With the extensive rains over the weekend, there were no leaks and we will be recommending Gary and his team to everyone.

    Jason Hart

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At Australian Waterproofing Company, we pride ourselves in the professional level of service that we provide via the following:

  • Professionally trained and highly skilled technicians
  • Exceptional customer service and advice
  • Cutting edge product knowledge and application techniques
  • Diagnosing the best products and long term solutions for your project

Our technicians are passionate and professional in their approach to waterproofing and complete every project as if it was their own. With a wealth of knowledge about products and application processes at our disposal, we are committed to completing all projects to the highest standards on time and on budget. The Australian Waterproofing Company team have undertaken specific specialised training from most of the major membrane manufactures in Australia, ensuring we can offe the best long term waterproofing solution for your project.

Australian Waterproofing Company Pty Ltd has a vast range of waterproofing capabilities. Our services range from remedial rectifications and repairs to brand new builds, we are able to install membrane systems and impart technical knowledge throughout your project.

For new builds we can assist from the design stage by specifying the best long term waterproofing solution for your project, providing datasheet and safety information for architectural use. In relation to remedial works, our expert team have the experience and up to date knowledge to suggest a solution for all internal and external waterproofing issues.

Our highly skilled technicians specialise in:

  • Balconies
  • Bathrooms
  • Basement tanking
  • Below ground tanking
  • Lift pits
  • Planter boxes
  • Ponds
  • Retaining walls
  • Rooftops

You name it we can waterproof it, on budget and on time.

Australian Waterproofing Company employs a team of highly-skilled, professional and dedicated technicians who pride themselves on quality of their workmanship. Our technicians continuously undertake education and training in all areas of product and industry knowledge, this guarantees we are kept up to date with the latest innovations within the industry. We aim to ensure a safe working environment with our internal and onsite training practices, which gives us an edge over our competitors.

All our team members are OH & S trained and have the current relevant qualifications with regard to working in all areas of waterproofing, confined space, working at heights and operation of specialised heavy duty plant and equipment. These qualifications make it easier to complete your projects smoothly and on time whatever the size.

We provide an industry standard warranty of 10 years on workmanship for new waterproofing works. Our manufacturers will also provide a product warranty of 10 years. We also provide warranties on remedial and rectification waterproofing, please read our terms and conditions for more information.

Efflorescence What Is It? And How To Reduce It

Efflorescence has been around since the dawn of time and is a major issue ascetically in the construction industry. Its existence is most noticeable throughout most concrete building structures and projects worldwide.

Efflorescence is not limited to any specific geographic area in the world; we are all affected by it.

Efflorescence is a white “powdery” crystalline deposit that is composed of salts, lime and other minerals. These deposits may become visible on many types of building surfaces such as concrete, natural stone, concrete precast panels, masonry blocks, grout, clay, and brick. These salts and minerals are water-soluble and generally come from the ground where alkali substances exist. These salts and minerals travel to the surface, using moisture as their way to pass through the micro cracks in the building or structure, and when the moisture evaporates what is left behind are salts and minerals on the surface or a white “powdery” substance.

These salts and minerals are generally picked up by the contaminated water as it passes through the micro cracks in the concrete substrates. This process is called capillarity. Capillarity is best explained as the movement of water or moisture in building material such as natural stone, concrete, masonry blocks, grout, clay, and brick. By definition, it is the action where the surface of a liquid, where it comes in contact with a solid, rises or falls. This attraction or repulsion is caused by capillary action. Because of this behavior, moisture may travel to both lower or higher levels within your building material and can move in all directions at the same time.

Efflorescence can be found on the oldest of installations but will frequently be created after a new tile or natural stone installation. This is likely due to a capillarity reaction. If the stone or tile is installed on a concrete substrate, or if there is moisture originating from the setting material (e.g., thin set, mortar), or if any component is mixed with water, then moisture will travel through the stone and/or grout to the surface. Sometimes alkali surfaces, like limestone, marble, concrete or grout, may be the source of salts and minerals. Just the water used in installation can be enough to trigger migration of these salts and alkalis to the surface resulting in efflorescence without the usual migration from the setting materials below. In all cases, the salts and minerals need water or moisture as the carrier to bring them to the exposed surface level. In situations where a fat mud setting mixture is used (when additional lime is added to the mortar) there may be a heightened probability of efflorescence occurring.

Moisture migration follows the path of least resistance. Therefore, with dense surfaces such as ceramic tile, it is often found that the grout lines are more vulnerable to show efflorescence due to the higher concentrations of these deposits in those areas. On the other hand, a Saltillo tile or terra cotta paver is porous enough that moisture transmission and salt or mineral deposits can be seen throughout the entire surface.

It is almost on a daily basis that we hear the cry for help regarding efflorescence. The usual comment sounds like, “I have a white powdery haze on my surface and I have used every cleaner under the sun to no avail. These cleaners appear to be working when my surface is wet, but when the surface becomes dry it comes right back, leaving frustrated. What can I do?

Some solutions that you can consider for a new tile installation would be to use a waterproof membrane beneath the installed surface. This helps minimize or eliminate efflorescence-causing salts and minerals from migrating from below. This is especially important in wet areas such as fountains, spas, steam showers, etc. This is not a foolproof solution as you are still vulnerable to exterior elements such as rainwater, sprinklers and moisture from the air penetrating your surface moving down to the cementitious adhesives subsurface. In this last scenario, the moisture transmission begins again which may lead to efflorescence occurring on your surface. This can be minimized or eliminated by applying a good, breathable penetrating water repellent to your surface. Actually many good water repellents can help efflorescence from occurring when the original source of moisture is coming from the exterior elements or from below.

Sealers that are topical coatings and are not vapor permeable (breathable), can also contribute to or aggravate an efflorescence problem. If moisture gets trapped underneath the coating, it has a longer time to saturate the material and collect minerals. This is combined with hydrostatic pressure created as the moisture is rising to the material surface for the purpose of evaporation. At this point, the moisture will escape buy traveling to an opening in the topical coating or will delaminate the topical coating due to hydrostatic pressure. This moisture is now fully loaded with minerals, and as it is slowly evaporating through compromised coating, efflorescence occurs. Efflorescence cannot easily be cleaned when it is developed beneath a topical coating without first removing the coating.

If efflorescence exists on an installed surface, the best method of cleaning or removing it would be to use an acidic cleaner. These salts and minerals are reactive to most acidic cleaners and will usually dissolve upon contact. This remedy has some problems because with acidic cleaners you often have to use acids which are not so user-friendly and even can be dangerous for human use. The less dangerous acid products are often not strong enough to solve the tough efflorescence problems.

Occasionally, on very porous surfaces, the efflorescence cleaning and removal process can become more difficult if latex or chemical transmission occurs at the same time as the salts and minerals have migrated to the surface. These latex components, or comparable chemicals, are often found in the more modern and advanced cementitious adhesives and grouts being used. The latex acts as a protective barrier around the efflorescence and defends the deposits from direct contact with acidic cleaning products. To help solve this problem; it is best to select an acidic product that has cleaning agents in it (acid and cleaner in one single product). Another recommendation would be to use strong neutral cleaner to break down the latex, rinse well and then proceed with the acidic cleaning.

A word of caution–Some natural stone products and other surfaces may adversely react to acidic products and using an acidic cleaner may cause problems. These problems may include the etching of a stone’s polish, opening the face of some surfaces creating a more porous surface, potentially causing other problems such as dirt attraction and dry soiling issues. On acid-sensitive surfaces where efflorescence is present, and using an acid cleaner would damage the surface, you may use abrasion to remove the salts and minerals. They will break loose form the surface using a rotary machine attached with a nylon pad by using abrasive pads.

When using an acidic cleaner test in an inconspicuous area to determine if the desired results are achieved.

Efflorescence as mentioned in the technical article, is acid-sensitive. Lime, salts and mineral deposits will usually dissolve when in contact with acidic liquids. Since efflorescence is sensitive to acid, a strong but safe acidic cleaner, works well in dissolving and removing the substance in most instances.

Follow the application instructions below:

1) Mask off and protect any surrounding areas that will not be treated

2) Apply mixed solution at the light duty dilution level as listed on the product label, mix stronger if needed.

3) Apply to the surface using clean mop, towel, sponge, or sprayer.

4) Agitate with a stiff white nylon scrub brush, white nylon pad, or appropriate floor machine.

5) Rinse area with a lightly dampened clean mop, sponge, towel or wet vacuum. Do not over apply rinse water. Moisture is one of the key factors in the development of efflorescence. Rinse well enough to remove any cleaner residues only. DO NOT OVERWET.

6) Allow the surface to completely dry to determine the desired results.

7) Using an approved sealer will greatly minimize or eliminate efflorescence from recurring.

If there is a continuous moisture problem beneath the surface, the efflorescence will probably still occur.

Efflorescence removal on acid sensitive surfaces such as most marble, limestone, travertine, masonry brick, concrete and stucco, etc.:

EP is an acid based product which when applied to acid-sensitive surfaces will react with the surface and may alter its appearance. If an acid-sensitive surface is already textured, this may not cause a problem that is noticeable. If this is the case, you may follow the efflorescence removal process detailed above.

To remove efflorescence from acid-sensitive surfaces follow these application instructions:

On flat surfaces you can sometimes remove the efflorescence using agitation by using a white nylon pad, dry. Agitate using a hand applicator or rotary sander with the white nylon pad attached. Often the lime, salts and minerals will come off with just this process. If this process does not completely remove the efflorescence, and on textured surfaces where the above step is not possible, additional treatment is required.

Mask off and protect any surrounding areas that will not be treated

Apply the EP to the contaminated surface.

Agitate with a stiff white nylon scrub brush, white nylon pad, or appropriate floor machine TILL IT FOAMS.

Rinse area with a lightly dampened clean mop, sponge, towel or wet vacuum. Do not over apply rinse water. Moisture is one of the key factors in the development of efflorescence. Rinse well enough to remove any cleaner residues only.

DO NOT OVERWET. Allow the surface to dry completely to determine the effectiveness of the process. Repeat if necessary.

Torch-On Waterproofing Membrane Systems

Allow me to explain exactly what torch on waterproofing is and how can it benefit your project and protect it against the harsh Australian climate.

Torch on is a sheet membrane system, generally packed in 1m x 10m rolls. This innovative product has been in the Australian waterproofing market for well over 40 years and the changes in the manufacturing of the product is all ways evolving making torch on one of the premium membrane systems.
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Where is Torch-On Waterproofing used?
Torch on membrane is typically used on flat roofs and decks, balcony’s, planter boxes and below ground. The torch on waterproofing systems are made of sticky, viscous organic liquids and Bitumen, essentially it’s a hydrocarbon made from crude oil, this is the one key components of this membrane system no matter who the manufacture is. It’s non-harmful to the environment, highly effective against water and has a number of unique qualities; bituminous torch-on is widely considered to be one of the most reliable membrane systems for qualified waterproofing contractors.

This product can be used on both commercial waterproofing and domestic waterproofing projects.
3 Layer Torch-on Membrane System
There are 2 types of torch on membranes APP and SBS?
APP is a Atactic Polypropylene Plastic modified asphalt. It melts well when heated with a torch. this is the most commonly use torch on membrane in Australia.
SBS Styrene Butadiene Styrene is a rubber modified asphalt. It doesn’t torch well. Heavily used on built up wall flashings or areas that need a highly flexible sheet.

When installing torch on its important not to combine these 2 very different systems they are not compatible.

Can anyone install Torch-On Waterproofing?
The simple answer to this is NO, some distributors or manufactures of the torch on membrane system will sell the product to anyone off the street that wants to buy it and in some cases offer an accreditation course. a sale is a sale is how they justify it; And when the project leaks they simply blame the applicator who installed it and walk away.

Other or more reputable distributors and manufactures won’t sell it to just anyone, they generally have their own installers they have known for a number of years or will train the applicator over a period of time doing site inspections at every stage of every project until they are confidant the applicator can install this system without inspections this should take years.

Installing the flat sheet is easy, it’s the detail work that catches the inexperienced applicators out every time. It takes experienced applicators such as Australian Waterproofing Company to install this product.

There is no real training program for this product in Australia, but there is in the UK, Canada and NZ that’s why applicators from these parts of the world are so sort after in Australia.

What makes up a torch on system?
The best aspect of this product is its versatility; depending on the architectural design the system can be adapted to meet the needs of most projects.

I have listed below just a few ways the system can be used; there are 4 components that can be used to make up this system.
Liquid primer
vented base sheet (not commonly used)
3mm base sheet
4.5mm mineral cap sheet (the mineral chips make this product UV Stable and highly trafficable)

A primer must be use if your installing the torch on over plywood, concrete (this is the most common sub-straight) compressed cement sheet or brick and blocks.

System 1, torch on Primer with a single layer of 3mm base sheet torch on – typically for under decking or under tile and planter box systems.

System 2, torch on Primer with single layer of 3mm base sheet and a cap sheet with mineral chips torch on – typically use on commercial rooftops, open air plant equipment rooftops and garden rooftops.

This system can also be mechanically fixed as well, eliminating the need for a primer and making the rooftop breathable.

What is Torch-On Waterproofing made of (APP)?
Torch on is a flexible waterproofing membrane consisting of a mixture of penetration bitumen, modified with Atactic Polypropylene (APP), and reinforced with a layer of non-woven polyester, The upper surface can be finished with a mixture of talcum and sand or mineral chip depending if it’s a base sheet or cap sheet. The under finishing consists of a thin layer of Polyethylene foil. This membrane is flexible and resistant to tears as well as punctures.

Torch-On Waterproofing Advantages

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Some of the benefits offered by torch-on bitumen waterproofing include the following:
Suitable for full water immersion as well as sub-soil applications, it an ideal application for sealing rooftops, decks, balconys, box gutters and planter boxes. It’s able to protect buildings while retaining harmony with the building’s environmental surroundings thanks to a range of mineral finishes offered.

Torch on used for Green roofing solutions offers a simple way to seal your project and reduce carbon footprints; torch on membranes have an extremely long life span, with the majority of membranes offering global standards in quality. Fumes released during installation are not harmful to humans and there is low noise pollution during application.

Torch on membrane system will Protect insulation and have the potential to reflect harmful sun rays (some products even contain photovoltaic cells that can produce solar energy) it’s also Non-water soluble, non-biodegradable, non-carcinogenic and non-toxic.

As a qualified waterproofing applicator who always strives to offer customers the latest in technology, Australian Waterproofing Company is excited to offer torch on waterproofing to our customers who want to take advantage of this eco-friendly, highly effective solution.

Surface waterproofing vs Concrete Additives

Waterproofing is one of the most problematic issues when it comes to the building industry in Australia. There is a statistic often quoted in the building industry. Waterproofing and water ingress issues is 2.8% of total construction cost but accounts for 83% of building defect complaints.

Basically there are two systems namely additives to concrete and surface treatments (waterproofing or tanking). Both have advantages over the other as well as unique situations where the other will not be a suitable application.

Concrete Additives:

The capillary crystalline waterproofing reacts in the presence of moisture to form a permanent, non-soluble crystalline structure that grows deep within a concrete mass filling its pores, hairline or micro cracks and capillary tracts to make it waterproof. In the absence of moisture, the crystalline components will lie dormant indefinitely. Should moisture become present at any time, the chemical reaction or healing process starts and will repeats itself automatically and advances even more deeply into the concrete and to the source of the water ingress. It also saves time and labour as backfilling can begin immediately eliminating the wait time and additional excavation associated with traditional Surface “waterproofing” products.

Crystalline additives can be applied as a surface treatment as a remedial fix if there are leaks which cannot be accessed from the leaks origin. This has proven to be extremely cost effective and successful.

The biggest architectural advantage is that it is now easy to create architectural off shutter concrete elements such as thin floating slabs or polished roofs and decks and balconies, suspended pools, giving you that industrial look. But keep in mind if the concrete cracks more than 2mm the crystalline products wont bridge the gap.

Surface waterproofing

Polyurethane waterproofing membrane system
These include bituminous (bitumen based) sheet membrane, butynol (rubber) sheet membrane, modified acrylic urethane membranes, polyurethane and Bitumen liquid membrane systems, and cementitious (cement based) products and they all have specific uses where they perform best.

Bituminous (bitumen based) (or more commonly call torch on) sheet membrane applications are best for external tanking, roof tops, garden beds “green roofs, planter boxes and with a mineral cap sheet are UV stable and are suitable for high traffic areas, but they do soften slightly on very hot days. They can be mechanically fixed down allowing the under lying surface to breathe or they can be torch applied directly into the surface. Note: When directly applying torch on into the surface in lager areas its wise to install a vent to allow the surface under the membrane to breathe this stops the membrane from delaminating.

Modified acrylic urethane membranes are best for internal bathrooms and concrete roof or deck coverings as most of them on the market are UV stable, I would still recommend a top coat or wear coat for heavy trafficable areas. Also I recommend a good primer on top of the concrete or compressed cement sheet. we use a full blown epoxy as a primer this eliminates bubbling if there’s any moisture in the concrete it gives us a better chance of adhesion, all ways reinforce any cold or movement joint.

Butynol sheet membrane is one of the best membranes on the Australian market, one of the main reasons I like it is because you have to get qualified to install it prior to the manufacturer selling it to you. 95% of waterproofers don’t know how to install this product. At Australian waterproofing we install it in bathrooms, rooftops, balconies because it is such a specialised product it will cost you a little bit more but the results are incredible.

Liquid Bitumen is not regarded as a green building product since it is derived from crude oil and the fumes produced whilst it is being applied are harmful to the environment. Most are not UV stable; there most common use is on below ground basements, retaining walls and planter boxes.

Cementitious membrane applications are ideal for areas where there no movement expected between building materials which need to be waterproofed. Cementitious based waterproofing is very easy to apply and polymer additives can be mixed in to add to its waterproofing capabilities. This system is widely used by tilers as it is part of a complete tiling system (screed, self-levelling compounds, membrane, tile adhesive) manufactures push for these systems in specifications as it means more sales, An acrylic additive is usually used as a primer to achieve better adhesion or bonding. The main disadvantage is that because it is cement based it does not have any degree of stretch so it may crack over time.

The design and installation of any waterproofing systems for your project is one of the most important things to consider when starting any project. You must use a membrane fit for purpose followed by expert application and consider protection of the membrane system and long term maintenance, using these membrane systems its usually easy to maintain and leaks if they ever happen are easy to repair but a bit more difficult to find. Most leaks are caused by mechanical damage or different degrees of movement and sometimes the age of the membranes as all membranes have a lifespan.

You decide for yourself witch system is better but at Australian waterproofing company I would nearly always choose Surface “waterproofing” over Concrete Additives 98% of the time.

If you need anything relating to the design, installation of waterproofing for your project contact Australian Waterproofing Company, we give you the best advice, best product, competitive pricing and fantastic customer service that will best suit your project.

Failure in Waterproofing: Substrate Moisture

Believe it or not the Australian Standards for waterproofing (AS 3740 / AS 4654.1) has not defined or specified any methods for determining the substrate dryness or moisture content prior to installing waterproofing.

As we all know failures due to residual moisture in the substrate will cause adhesive failure or delaminating of the membrane system and in some extreme cases the membrane can re-emulsify.

From the research available the following Australian Standards all make provisions for moisture content for various materials over concrete and mortar screeds and specify the substrate dryness:

tiling (AS 3958.1)

painting (AS 2311)

textile floor coverings (AS/NZS 2455.1)

vinyl flooring (AS 1884)

timber (AS/NZS 1080.1, AS 2792.2)

plywood (AS/NZS 2269)

These standards above represent the materials or finishes around, over or under the waterproofing, so why can’t these same provisions or specifications be included as part of the most critical trade involved Domestic or Commercial waterproofing?  There are no Australian Standard specifically detailing moisture content testing in various substrates and materials for our industry.

As a professional waterproofing company, “Australian waterproofing company”.  we have taken the time to educate ourselves on this critical part of our trade, we have brought the best possible moisture meters available at a cost of around $1000.00 dollars each, but it’s not enough we as contractors need the specifiers and the builders to be educated as well, I urge the committee members of the Australian Standards for waterproofing (AS 3740 / AS 4654.1) to put a guideline, specification or make it apart of the core standard.  We need to put something in place so we can correct this part of our industry.

Can you believe residual moisture is the 3rd major cause of waterproofing failures and there is still no provision to stop it under our current Australian Standards for waterproofing (AS 3740 / AS 4654.1) it is unbelievable?

Every concrete area or screed substrate should be accurately tested for moisture content before the application of any waterproofing products or system. Thoroughly document all readings this should be made compulsory and form part of the Certificate of Compliance so everyone knows how and when it’s been tested.

As there is no provision for testing it’s critical for the architect, Builder and the Waterproofing Contractor to test the concrete or screed substrate before the application of any waterproofing membrane system, whether your using sheet or liquid membrane system testing first will reduce the current amount of failures in our industry.

My Rooftop your Balcony who foots the bill if it leaks?

Balconies are one of life’s little luxuries. Especially if you’re living in the middle of the city, they’re a delightful place to hang out – great for a BBQ, a few beers or just to relax and enjoy the sun. But problems can arise, for example, if a balcony’s waterproofing membrane is damaged or deteriorates, causing water seepage into the room or dwelling below.   The question is who pays?

If you live in an apartment complex run by a body corporate, the waterproofing is not installed for the benefit of the owner with the balcony. It is installed to protect the property underneath. Often the problems caused by water ingress issues from a balcony are through no fault of either owner.  It is however, often a result of poor design or workmanship by the developer or building contractor trying to reduce costs at the time of construction, rather than any neglect on the part of the owner or end buyer.

Faulty waterproofing can cause the timber within the walls holding the balcony up and balcony floor to rot and encourage mould to rapidly grow.  Dampness in the walls can ruin finishes like ceilings and carpets, plaster and paint leaving water marks and then there’s the smell.

Fixing the problem often includes lifting all the tiles on the balcony floor and walls if there is a boarder tile (many of which will break in the process so there is no reusing them), removing the old waterproofing and installing a new one that’s fit for purpose.  Then reinstalling new tiles, grout and caulking. Or you can install a product like Glass Deck, a heavy duty trafficable waterproofing membrane system that can be installed over the tiles.

But all of that costs big money. The question is who pays? 

The answer ought to be simple and fair if it’s my rooftop and your balcony the cost should be evenly shared right. “most people would think that’s the most logical solution and fair to all parties involved” – NO in Melbourne Victoria it’s the sole responsibility of the “owner “of the balcony to make good on the repairs, and good luck trying to claim it on insurance as it may not be covered….

You can find out more about that by reading my post Insurance & Waterproofing

Glass Deck Balcony


Insurance & Waterproofing

The weather is always a “hot” topic in Melbourne.  This winter the weather was unpredictable and extreme to say the least. Raining most days, high winds, flash floods in both rural and city areas, thunder, lightning, the odd hail storm followed up by some of the coldest temperatures recorded in Victoria and Melbourne.  I must say it was one of the wildest 3-4 months we have had weather wise.  I looked forward to spring and heading into summer, but we have experienced extremes once again. It has already been a very windy and wet one so far with the occasional 3-5 day heat wave just to keep us on our toes.  With these conditions it’s no wonder our business is busy dealing with lots of damage to property. That is what has inspired this blog update.

The combination of strong winds and heavy rain can cause extensive damage to property!

The good: Many home owner insurance policies will cover damage to the building caused suddenly, unforeseeably and directly by wind, hail, storm, snow, lightning and sudden water damage from a flood.

The bad: Damage caused over a period of time may not “ordinarily” be covered. Therefore, damage as a result of water penetration by failing waterproofing; water damage occurring “whenever it rains” due to leaking balconies from the apartment above; rain damage when a windowsill is not waterproofed properly; and resultant damp may not be covered by insurance.

The good: Most insurance companies will however pay for any miscellaneous issues “plastering and painting” once you have proven to them you have fixed the initial water ingress issue.

For example: if you have a leaking balcony and the water is causing damage to the room below (let’s say plaster board wall/ceiling), once you have the balcony fixed you should receive a Certificate of Compliance & Warranty. When you pass the certificate on to your insurance company assessor they will often either replace the effected walls and ceiling or repaint them.  But remember, sometimes repairing that damage may be less than the excess on your insurance policy, it could be cheaper to hire and co-ordinate these trades yourself. For example to repaint and plaster small amounts of wall and ceiling damage may only cost $350.00 but you excess maybe $500.00 – not really worth the hassle with the insurance company and you save yourself $150.00 – food for thought.

A body corporate has a duty to maintain the common property. Keeping it in a state of good and serviceable repair. If rising damp is caused by a failure or defect in the common property, then the body corporate may be responsible for the cost related to repairing that consequential damage. It is therefore important that the body corporate be mindful that certain areas of the building will need to be checked regularly for wear and tear that could result in water damage after heavy rains.

I have listed the below areas for maintenance checks,  a quick look at these areas every 3-6 months could save you thousands of dollars in repairs:

  • Rooftop;
  • Exposed Common area walkways;
  • Planter Boxes;
  • Box Gutters;
  • Windows and Windowsills;
  • Exposed doors;
  • Balconies;
  • Down pipes.

Please remember: drains and gutters should be cleared of any leaves or other debris that could cause blockages and result in water damage.