SpecCave Blog

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May 10, 2019
Concrete - the New Waterproofing Membrane

Advanced concept for commercial waterproofing Thinking about larger-scale waterproofing, for example apartment basements, or exposed rooftop car park decks: in Australia, a membrane is still the most popular method of ensuring that water doesn’t penetrate the ‘dry side’. Waterproofing will always be a significant challenge. Not only is it crucial to keep the usable space […]

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April 27, 2019
Under-Specifying vs. Over-Specifying: Balancing Design Liability and Project Risk

In this highly litigious modern-day society that we live, arse-covering has turned into an art form. Liability is like a hot potato and it’s all about transferring it away from oneself and onto another party. In engineering and architectural design that other party is usually the contractor. The designer is in a great position to […]

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April 24, 2019
Transparency Key to Fixing the Building Products Industry

Lacrosse building fire, Neo200 building fire, 150 Collins Street window replacement, Perth Children's Hospital asbestos-containing roof panels, exploding glass balcony balustrades, Infinity cable recall. The list of non-complying building product (NCBP) incidents continues to grow. And these are just the ones getting press. Nearly anyone who works in the industry could tell you about their […]

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February 7, 2019
The Importance of Floor Screed Design: Part 1

Sand-cement and concrete screeds are often skimmed over or overlooked completely when it comes to design. Often, the guy on the tools on the day of screeding ends up designing the screed. And guess what? He usually doesn’t give two shits about whether the screed will curl, debond, crack, lift or crumble. ..Or whether the […]

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January 23, 2019
Investigating the Causes of a Leaking Bathroom

Water stained carpet in the hallway. Swollen and flaking bedroom wall. Musty odours near the bathroom. These are just some of the signs that a bathroom is leaking.

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December 30, 2018
5 Common Liquid Waterproofing Installation Mistakes

Waterproofing is a tedious business. So is carpentry. But unlike carpentry, if you make a waterproofing mistake, the consequences aren’t visible and don’t become apparent until it’s too late. Incorrect waterproofing at critical areas can jeopardise the whole system. Often these important detailing techniques are neglected (sometimes purposely) and slip through the cracks when inspected. […]

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Q & A

January 5, 2019
What screed bed thickness is required by Australian Standards?

AS 3958.1 Ceramic tiles, Part 1: Guide to the installation of ceramic tiles stipulates a minimum screed thicknesses of 15 mm for bonded screeds and 40 mm for unbonded screeds. However, AS 4654.2 Waterproofing membranes for external above-ground use, Part 2: Design and installation states that an unbonded screed should be of a minimum thickness of 50 mm with lightweight mesh reinforcing. By comparison, BS 8204 stipulates 25 mm for bonded screeds […]

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January 4, 2019
What is the fall requirement for a balcony?

AS 4654.2 Waterproofing Membranes for External Above-Ground Use stipulates a minimum fall requirement of 1:100.

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January 4, 2019
What is the fall requirement for a bathroom floor?

AS 3740 Waterproofing of Domestic Wet Areas stipulates a minimum fall of 1:100 for general bathroom floor areas. Additionally, the floor shall allow all surface water to drain without ponding except residual water remaining due to surface tension.

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January 4, 2019
What is the Australian Standard fall requirement for a shower floor?

AS 3740 Waterproofing of Domestic Wet Areas stipulates that where vertical separation (e.g. shower screen, hob, step-down, water stop) is provided, the fall to the floor waste is to be 1:100. Where no vertical separation is provided, the fall shall be a minimum of 1:80.

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January 4, 2019
How do I calculate finished floor levels with falls?

First work out what the minimum thickness of the screed bed needs to be. Next check that the base slab is level by using a laser level. If the slab IS level, skip the next step. If the slab is not level, use a laser level to find the difference in height of the drainage […]

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January 2, 2019
What vertical termination detail for a waterproofing membrane is required by Australian Standards?

AS 4654.2 provides 3 options for vertical termination of a membrane: Chase a 15 mm deep reglet into the wall and turn the membrane inside. Insert an ‘over-flashing’ embedded in silicone to cover the top of the membrane (liquid and fully bonded sheet membranes. The bottom of the flashing must be at least 10 mm […]

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January 2, 2019
What vertical termination height for a waterproofing membrane is required by Australian Standards?

AS 4654.2 stipulates the requirement for upward vertical termination height of an external waterproofing membrane. The height requirement ranges from 40 mm to 180 mm depending on the building’s wind class. Note that this is the height required above finished floor level. Wind Class Regions A & B (non-cyclonic) AS 4055 Wind class Regions C […]

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January 2, 2019
How long does concrete need to cure before waterproofing?

Traditionally, a concrete slab would need to cure for about 28 days before waterproofing application can commence. This allows time for the concrete to dry and dispel water vapour and any excess bleed water which can compromise the bond of the membrane to the substrate and cause membrane blistering/delamination. However, the curing time for concrete […]

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