Published December 8th, 2020
What is Waterproofing?
Waterproofing is the construction method of making building surfaces water-resistant and waterproof to protect structures from water ingress and prevent water penetration. It is crucial for structures to be waterproofed from basement to roof to prevent damages such as insect infestation, mold, and other structural defects like concrete cancer caused by water infiltration.
In this article, we will briefly discuss the following:
- What is a waterproofing inspection?
- What should you look for during a waterproofing inspection?
- What tool and resources can you use to make waterproofing inspections efficient?
Waterproofing inspection is an assessment conducted by a qualified building inspector or a waterproofing specialist to check on the workmanship quality of waterproofing works and to determine that a structure complies with waterproofing requirements and standards (e.g., Australian Standard AS 3740, and BCA Performance Requirement for Wet Areas). Waterproofing inspections are conducted through visual inspections of building structures to help identify any damages caused by improper waterproofing installation.
Waterproofing failures are not always easy to spot. In some cases, waterproofing issues can seemingly be a small one masking a larger issue. These types of issues can be overlooked and undetected. Catching these defects too late can result in complicated and invasive repair. That said, below are some warning signs to look out for that may indicate a waterproofing issue:
- Blistering or peeling paint
- Bubbles in the paint that hold water
- Mold, mildew and vegetative growth
- Rust stains on the concrete facade
- Cracked walls
- Internal and rising damp
- Sagging floors
- Wood rot
- Water in crawl space
Waterproofing failures can happen anywhere in a building. Below are some key areas that are crucial for building inspectors or waterproofing specialists to inspect:
Roofs bear the brunt of bad weather. Buildings with flat roofs are especially at risk of puddles which in turn can potentially seep into the ceiling space causing a leak. Without proper waterproofing on the roofing of a building, water remains on the roof can cause damage to the building structure through wear and tear. When inspecting the roof, check for areas where water is ponding, blocked drains, and areas/spots that water is getting into when it shouldn’t. Internal areas are also worthwhile to check to see if there are seepage issues in the ceiling spaces.
Drains, Plumbing, and Irrigation
Structures should have proper plumbing, drains, and irrigation in place to prevent structural difficulties during wet weather. Ensure that there is proper plumbing on the roof. There should be downpipes fitted to the gutters to direct the water collected from the roof to the ground. Check for blockages, drips or leaks.
Window and Door Seals
Aside from roofs, other obvious ways of water entering buildings are through windows and doors. Windows and doors should have seals to prevent water from coming in. Ensure all seals are maintained and free of cracks or any type of damage.
Ensure that wall/floor surfaces throughout the wet area rooms of a building structure are properly waterproofed as required by relevant building standards. Without proper waterproofing, there is a risk of water leaking into the frames causing possible future damage to the structure. Inspector should thoroughly check if there is a waterproof installation for wall/floor junctions of all the wet areas.
There are many factors that contribute to why waterproofing issues occur, it could be workmanship quality, choice of material, design, and more, but with thorough waterproofing inspections, you can catch issues early before they worsen.
iAuditor by SafetyCulture is a versatile checklist and inspections app that can support building inspectors and waterproofing specialists in the inspection and reporting process. With iAuditor, building inspectors can:
- perform inspections with ease without compromising quality using your mobile or tablet device;
- efficiently document identified waterproofing defects during an inspection and instantly provide the corrective actions to rectify issues found instantly; and
- cut the hours time spent in creating a report and still provide a comprehensive report of the inspection.
To help building inspectors and waterproofing specialists, we have provided 5 waterproofing inspection checklists below that you can review and use. Download for free, and customize where you see fit.
Featured Waterproofing Inspection Checklists
Fix and Waterproofing Inspection Checklist
This fix and waterproofing inspection checklist is used when conducting checks on the progress of works and the quality of workmanship at a specified construction stage. Download and use this checklist to identify defects or faults in the project that do not comply with the building code standards in your region. Maximize the use of this template by following the points below:
- Fill out details on the title page and indicate construction stage in the ‘Inspection Notes’ field.
- Perform a visual inspection of the waterproofing in the construction site with this template using your mobile or tablet device
- Take or attach photo evidence of areas/items that requires attention by the builder and assign the appropriate corrective action to the appropriate personnel.
- Sign-off with digital signature at the end of the inspection.
Waterproofing Inspection Checklist
A waterproofing inspection checklist is used to guide assigned workers or supervisor in assessing waterproofing installs. This checklist ensures that waterproofing work complies with the required records and documentation, and standard for materials, substrate preparation, waterproofing membrane application, water test, and more.
A waterproofing checklist is a tool that contractors can use as a guide in waterproofing buildings or surfaces to ensure proper application. This checklist includes a step-by-step guide in concrete work, design and selection of system, and application.
Waterproofing Inspection Report
Use this ready-made waterproofing inspection report for assessing internal wet area waterproofing. This template was created based on the standards of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). Download and use to prevent damages from improperly installed waterproofing in wet areas.
Waterproofing Quality Assurance Checklist
This waterproofing quality assurance checklist is used to ensure that materials, site preparations, and other procedures for waterproofing are all accounted for before beginning the work. This is to ensure that waterproofing installs are done properly to avoid faulty waterproofing.