Waterproofing external balconies

Monday November 7 2016 – Article by VBA

Recently, the VBA has received a number of complaints involving failed waterproofed balconies resulting in major damage to homes throughout Victoria.

The recent wet weather and rain events across Victoria highlight the importance of waterproofing in the building process. There are many reasons why waterproofed balconies may fail, and identifying the cause and rectifying the problems can be difficult and expensive for the home owner and the building practitioner.

To assist building practitioners, the VBA has developed a list of important points to remember when designing, assessing, approving and building waterproofed balconies. View the VBA’s Waterproofed balconies information sheet.

Australian Standards for Building Work (Waterproofing)

Waterproofing of external balconies must be carried out in accordance with Australian Standards that cover waterproofing membranes for external above-ground use. The relevant standards are:

  • Materials AS4654.1-2012
  • Design Installation AS 4654.2-2012

It is important for builders to understand that they may be liable for a failed waterproofed balcony for up to 10 years from the date the Occupancy Permit or Certificate of Final Inspection was issued. If an Occupancy Permit or Certificate of Final Inspection was never issued, the builder may be liable for longer than the usual 10-year liability period. Additionally, a certificate provided by a subcontracted installer does not exempt the builder from being responsible for non-compliant building work or from liability associated with failure of waterproofing within 10 years.

For further details of requirements regarding waterproofing of external balconies, practitioners are advised to refer to the NCC and Australian Standards AS4654 AS 4654 Parts 1 and 2. For more information, please review the Information Sheet on the VBA Website.