Most people agree, proper waterproofing is the most important element of an entire bathroom renovation.
Poor waterproofing can easily lead to an ENTIRE bathroom renovation.
The single biggest cause of waterproofing failures is……
Workmanship. Poor workmanship accounts for 90% of all failures in waterproofing.
Even though modern waterproofing techniques are far move advanced then they were 15 years ago, the waterproofing membrane is only as good as the applicator installing the product.
Most manufacturers specify the surface conditions and preparation required for the application of their waterproofing membranes.
The reality is, many tilers fail to provide the optimum conditions for the performance of waterproofing products.
These are the 7 biggest causes of faulty Waterproofing.
1 – Poor surface preparation and priming.
The waterproofing surface must be free of dirt and dust or the membrane will not bond properly, causing it to peel off. Many tilers skip the priming step altogether to save a few hours and you find it hard to tall if priming has been applied.
2 – Poor application of waterproofing product.
Even the slightest spot missed can allow water through. The waterproofing membrane needs to be applied to every millimetre of the area with no render visible. The membrane also needs to extend beyond the wet area.
3 – Only applying 1 coat when 2 coats are needed.
This is probably the biggest shortcut tilers take when it comes to waterproofing. Many tilers swear one coat is enough, when it just isn’t.
4 – Membrane failure.
Low-quality waterproofing can fail. Many tilers opt for the lowest cost waterproofing, especially if you’re a one-time job.
5 – Insufficient drying time between screed an coats.
When tiling a bathroom, a new bed of “screed” (mixture of sand & cement) needs to be laid on the floor. The screed needs to dry before before any primer and waterproofing is applied because the moisture in the screed won’t allow the primer/membrane to bond. Many tilers will waterproof the next day even if the screed hasn’t dried so they don’t lose a day of work.
6 – Poor design and construction.
Another common mistake, not always the tilers fault. “Pooling” or insufficient drainage can occur because of a poor design such as having a walk-in shower where you shouldn’t or a drain being in a bad location.. Poor drainage can also occur if the tiles are too large for the area, the tiles should have been split or the tiler hasn’t allowed sufficient fall to the drain.
7 – Waterproofing not applied far enough into wet area.
If an effort to save time and money, tilers can stop the waterproofing membrane short of the wet area, allowing water to penetrate through getting behind the membrane.
Just one of these problems could result in your having to renovate you ENTIRE bathroom all over again! .
Imagine having to pay for you bathroom all over again, just because the tiler missed just one of these important elements.
There are no easy fixes. You’ll be forced to remove all the tiles in the shower area which has a follow on effect on every part of the bathroom.
The harsh reality is, you won’t really know if the tiler has done a proper waterproofing job until months or years down the track. By this time, the tiler is long-gone with your money and what the chances of getting the tiler to pay for a new bathroom?
Next to impossible.
He can always blame the plumber or someone else who worked in the bathroom. Maybe even you!
Before you consider letting anyone waterproof your bathroom ask them these questions:
- What waterproofing do you use?
- How many coats are applied?
- What written warranty is given?
- Does the manufacturer back-up this warranty?
If you ask Dream Bathrooms this is what we’ll say:
We use ARDEX waterproofing, considered the best on the market. It’sNot the cheapest, but we only use the best.
- We apply 2 coats of membrane, plus an additional primer coat before application.
- We give a 10 year written warranty, plus a certificate from Ardex backing-up the warranty.
- We also get all of our tilers to send us images of their waterproofing once it’s applied for proof.
The best way to full-proof your waterproofing is to have it done by a bathroom renovation company that has been in business for several years and to have it guaranteed in writing. This way, you know their waterproofing methods work and you have a company to fall back on should any problems arise in the future.