Once you consider how much water is used in the bathroom, you quickly realise the importance of keeping it waterproofed. A poorly waterproofed bathroom can result in water slowly seeping through the structure, causing serious and permanent damage in the long run. While it is necessary to waterproof, it doesn’t mean a homeowner automatically knows how to do it. A professional can help with the process. Read on to learn the most important details about this vital home improvement task.
Definition of Waterproofing
First off, what is waterproofing? It’s the process of waterproofing a surface by applying a specific product to it so water cannot get through or penetrate it.
Bathroom Waterproofing Is Vital
Waterproofing the bathroom isn’t a project you can or can’t complete. It’s necessary to do in order to avoid costly water damage and related problems. If you put off or choose not to waterproof, you’ll be faced with warped or rotting weight-bearing timbers, decayed plasterboard, mildew and mould, peeling paint and rusted metal.
Bathroom Areas to Waterproof
When you begin planning your waterproofing project, make sure to review the minimum standards of your local building codes. While these are required, you may wish to waterproof even higher if you want. These are the areas that will need to be waterproofed:
- Bathroom floor
- Shower walls (up to a certain height as determined by the building code)
- All other walls, generally to a lesser height
- The area where the shower floor and/or tub meets the bathroom floor
Waterproofing: The Details
While products that are painted or sprayed on tend to be the most common, there are other types of waterproofing products as well, including membranes and sheeting. When considering how to waterproof, keep these tips in mind:
- Waterproofing longevity: Most products used to waterproof have a warranty — typically for 10 years — but the longevity of the product can be lengthened considerably if it is applied correctly.
- Leaks in the bathroom: Pre-existing bath or shower leaks don’t have to prevent you from waterproofing. Look for waterproofing products that are designed to be applied directly over the leaking tiles, and you will fix two problems at once.
- Curing time: Plan ahead, since you won’t be able to use the bathroom until the waterproofing products dry completely. The drying process will vary depending on your climate, but it can take up to five days.
Check with your local government to see if waterproofing is something you can do yourself or if you need to hire a licensed professional. Even if they do allow you to perform the work yourself, you may want to get a qualified waterproofer to do the work. This isn’t a project for the weekend DIYer.