External Balconies must be Waterproofed
There is a rising number of complaints regarding the work on balconies in the Victoria area. The Victorian Building Authority regulates building throughout the state and has announced that there has been poor waterproofing on balconies that have led to damage to homes.
As the weather in Victoria turns wet, coupled with some recent rain events, the significance of a badly waterproofed balcony has come home to many Victoria residents. It is an important part of any home construction. If it is not waterproofed properly when built then the balcony may fail. Trying to resolve a water leak from a failed balcony is a costly and time consuming affair.
The Victorian Building Authority or VBA has produced information sheets so that builders and their clients can have the peace of mind that a balcony is designed, assessed, approved and built. It gives the appropriate standards so that all balconies can be waterproofed to protect the rest of the home.
Standards for Building Work in Australia relating to Waterproofing
There are national standards relating to the materials and practices of making sure a balcony is waterproofed. Any external balcony needs to meet these standards to provide adequate protection-
- Materials AS4654.1-2012
- Design Installation AS 4654.2-2012
Once a home is given the Occupancy Permit or Certificate of Final Inspection then the builder can still be held liable for another ten years for failed waterproofing on a balcony. In the case that a Certificate or Permit was never issued then the liability can run for an even longer period. Even if the builder uses a certified subcontractor and receives a certificate from them then that does not means the builder has no liability. They are responsible for the overall building work as the main contractor.
Builders are advised to look at the details of the NCC and Australian Standards AS4654 AS 4654 Parts 1 and 2 to familiarize themselves with the requirements and ensure that they adequately waterproof the balconies on their building work.