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How DIY waterproofing can cost thousands to repair

This homeowner decided to do his own waterproofing and has caused $'000's in damage to their property. This is why it is critical to get a qualified, licensed and trained waterproofer or bathroom renovator to do your waterproofing.

See how DIY waterproofing damaged this property

We love people who do their own DIY plumbing. Sounds weird right for a plumbing company in Sydney to even write such a sentence. Although DIY plumbers help to keep the industry in business because so many of the jobs have to be repaired by a licensed plumber.

Yes, we realise there are thousands of great videos on YouTube that you can watch to learn about what is required. Although how can a few minute video replace the years of licensing, trade qualifications and experience that a professional plumber has?

This property owner found out the hard way with failed waterproofing in their Sydney home. 

What is waterpoofing in a bathroom?

So just what is waterproofing? Imagine taking a big plastic bag and filling it with water then holding it in the middle of your house. You’ll be hoping the bag doesn’t have any little holes right? If it does have any holes or even weak points, as you hold the bag, water will eventually start to leak and then go into your home.

Guess what?

That is what waterproofing a bathroom is all about & you need a bathroom plumbing company like Nu-Trend to make sure it is done properly. It is creating a watertight membrane in the rooms of your house that will be dealing with any type of water entering or waste leaving. It protects the structure of your house from moisture. Any type of water that can escape into the floor, carpet, walls, studs, timber floor beams or building foundation can create all kinds of long term damage. Worst still, the problem may not be detected until many weeks or months down the track and sometimes is hard to locate the source depending on how or where it is coming from.

Waterproofing is the process of making an object or structure waterproof or water-resistant so that it remains relatively unaffected by water or resisting the ingress of water under specified conditions. Such items may be used in wet environments or underwater to specified depths.

Is doing DIY waterpoofing a good idea?

In the photos above you can see the home owner tried to save some money and do DIY waterproofing. Although as you can see, it wasn’t done properly with the paint bubbling on the wall & ceiling. Water has been leaking into the roof and through the floor, luckily in this situation there was a car park below, but imagine if it was another floor in an apartment block, the owner would be liable for damages for his property and the one below.

Waterproofing is a critical part of renovating bathrooms and is a construction step that is required to prevent water from damaging the structure of a building. For bathroom renovations it is done at different stages of a project depending on the situation. The aim is to protect from water damage caused by rain, moisture or water leaks. As we said before, water damage can result in serious issues to a building’s structure to walls, floors and more. 

You will need a qualified and licensed waterproofer to check your bathroom. While you can get a tradesperson who specialises exclusively in waterproofing, in some instances other tradespeople may be licensed or certified waterproofers too. Plumbers, for example, are often qualified waterproofers as well. Bathroom waterproofing is done before tiles are laid. In many cases, your bathroom renovator or tiler will include waterproofing in their quote. Waterproofing products are typically sheets or a water based, flexible, high performance polyurethane membrane which is painted onto a surface.

So, this is why waterproofing becomes such an important part of bathroom renovations because it must be done correctly by a qualified, licensed and trained waterproofer or bathroom renovator to do your waterproofing to make sure it is done correctly with the right approvals.


Normally it is a three step process;

1. Preparation of the surface area to ensure wall junctions are sound, without large gaps etc and ready for priming


2. Detailing is then done to where bond breaker is applied, in most cases it is a rubber or fabric wrap that helps fill gaps in the most critical areas such as corners, around fittings or drains.


3. Lastly is the membrane application which gets maybe two coats and ideally is applied at right angles to each another. It needs to be left to cure without anyone touching or walking on it before it can be tiled over

How can you repair failed waterproofing in Sydney?

As you can imagine there is no simple answer to repairing failed waterproofing for a bathroom or laundry because there are so many variables. We have seen waterproofing that completely failed across multiple points in the flooring & then other examples where it was a tiny spot in the corner of a shower. 

That is the first element that has to be considered, then you have to assess what parts of the building structure have been damaged. Depending how long water has been leaking this will vary greatly, if the water leak was detected early it might be possible that nothing is damaged. Although what we have seen over the years as bathroom plumbers is the damage is fairly extensive because you can’t physically see the water leaking until there is mould, damp carpet, paint bubbling or some other issue that is visible on adjoining walls or flooring. 

So as you can imagine the repairs needed will vary greatly depending if it is an older house built on timber floor boards, a single storey dwelling on a concrete slab or a unit in a high rise apartment block. Depending where water has been leaking & what damage has been caused the remedial work could be simple or quite extensive. 

In the worse case scenarios it means pulling up the bathroom tiling & other fixtures to repair flooring or walls, then re-waterproof, then re-install everything again. Sometimes it can be possible to repair a section but if you can’t source the exact same tiles, grout etc then it may be a very ‘visible’ repair.

Here are some of our recent bathroom renovations in Sydney that Nu-Trend has completed. The majority of the projects we are contracted for are complete bathroom renovations where the room is completely stripped so that the flooring, walls, tiling and waterproofing is installed brand new.

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It is why they are able to provide a written guarantee that demonstrates their confidence in standing by the quality of their workmanship and the service they deliver to every single client.

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Nu-Trend has been operating since 2009 as an independent bathroom renovation and plumbing contractor in Sydney. Rick and his team provide a wide range of services for home owners in houses, units, apartments or businesses.

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