Eliminating failures – Shower leaking around waste.
The area of failure that we come across most often is the area around the waste in showers that are situated in raised floors. There are a number of reasons that showers will leak around the waste area, all of which are addressed by the use of a seal-a-waste.
Movement os the main cause of leakage around the waste. Most polyurethane membranes have elasticity, obviously they have to. However, the area around the waste is subject to abuse from adverse movements of piping and flooring. By installing a seal-a-waste, the edges of the waste hole are completely covered by the solid plastic floor flange, which is sealed and waterproofed into the waste hole. An adjustable insert is used to to enable the tiler to bed the shower floor without having to worry about the waste insert fitting. The removable grate comes in both plain white and chrome surfaces.
Also available are square waste tops and smart-tile designs. Seal-a-wastes’ can also avoid problems in concrete slab drainage areas where the concrete has been damaged around the waste. The flange of the seal-a-waste corrects the problem. see the picture above for an example of a problem area.
Wetfix Waterproofing develops innovative solutions and services that ensure your waterproofing applications stay watertight! Our uncommon solutions to common water problems have satisfied our customers for nearly two decades.
Below, we’ve described just a few of the situations that we frequently come across and the tried and true waterproofing solutions we provide for trouble-free, long-lasting waterproofing. First, we examine the two usual types of shower design.
- Showers with hobs are traditional in Australian shower design. A Hebel block is fixed to the floor and waterproofed. The tiler then beds and tiles the area as normal. Finally, the shower screen is fixed on top of the hob, giving a ‘chunky look’ step over into the shower area.
- The Hobless shower is the more contemporary shower design. A 47mm high plastic angle is fixed directly to the floor where the shower screen is to be fitted and the waterproof membrane continues up over the angle. The tiler beds the shower area, giving the correct falls to the waste, and then tiles the area. Covered by the shower screen (pictured), the angle protrudes past the tiles by about 5mm. This provides a waterstop below the level of the tiles, whilst giving a ‘clean lines’ look with the screen being fixed at floor level.
Most often, failures occur around the waste area of raised floor showers. Movement is the main cause of water leaks around the waste. Because most polyurethane membranes have elasticity, they must move. However, even the best elastic eventually wears out and when that happens, the membrane around the waste decays due to adverse movements of piping and flooring.
Although there are a number of other reasons for shower wastewater failures, nearly all can be addressed by the installation of the Seal-A-Waste. When installing a Seal-A-Waste, the edges of waste holes are completely covered by the solid plastic floor flange, which is waterproofed and sealed into the waste hole. Because Seal-A-Waste uses an adjustable insert, it enables you or your tiler to bed the shower floor with no worry about the waste insert fitting the waste hole.
Seal-A-Waste can also avoid water problems in concrete slab drainage areas where the concrete is damaged around the waste (pictured). The wide Seal-A-Waste flange easily corrects the problem.
The Seal-A-Waste system is a simple, but highly effective three-part water removal system.
- the flange section that is waterproofed and sealed into the floor outlet
- the adjustable insert, which we leave on site for your tiler to fit
- a grate for insertion once tiling is complete.
Seal-A-Waste is available in square waste tops and smart tile designs as well as the standard round design. The removable grate is available in either plain white or chrome surface and is available in 50mm, 80mm, and 100mm diameters.
Exposed to both heat and cold from the elements, balconies having CFC sheeting as their foundations can experience quite dramatic structural movements in a fairly short time. When waterproofing balconies that are constructed using CFC sheeting, certain considerations face the waterproofer.
- The size of gaps between sheets – If gaps between CFC sheets are not treated properly, the sealant may quite easily pull away from the joint, allowing water to penetrate through it.
- Slip sheets – When a tile bed is laid on the balcony to achieve a desired fall, some builders lay a slip-sheet over the membrane to prevent damage to it as various layers expand and contract.
- Direct Stick Systems – When a direct stick system is used, the tiler must use a tile adhesive that is compatible with the membrane and flexible enough to withstand movement between the membrane and the tiles.
Manufacturers usually recommend the appropriate adhesive for their products. When the manufacturer of the membrane fails to recommend an appropriate adhesive, call Wetfix Waterproofing for a recommendation. We’re always happy to help you do things right!
Some waterproofers apply fiberglass over the sealant to reinforce the joints. Although this solution works well when correctly installed, even a pinhole in the membrane may cause a leak. Additionally, the movement allowed by this system is restricted, resulting in faster wear of the membrane.
At Wetfix Waterproofing, we have discovered an innovative product called Elasto Proof, made by Gripset. Available in various sizes and shapes, Elasto Proof is a rubber sheet that is integrated with polyester, allowing for application in the same manner as fiberglass reinforcement, but with far greater advantage.
Elasto Proof bonds with the membrane. The membrane soaks into the polyester section of the Elasto Proof product, fixing it into place. Elasto Proof has the ability to stretch and contract as the CFC sheets move, giving the membrane strength enough to stop nearly any leak unless it becomes heavily damaged.
Remember: A membrane can be touch-dry, without being cured properly.
To be effective, all waterproofing products need time to cure. When an area waterproofed with either an SBR Rubber or water-based Polyurethane membrane is not allowed to cure properly, the membrane emulsifies when a wet bed is poured onto it. However, when fully cured, membranes have full resistance to the chemicals commonly used in wet areas whether found in soaps, shampoos, or cleaners (including bleach).
Curing times are set by the product manufacturer. When a failure occurs, a sample of the failed membrane must be sent to the manufacturer for testing in order to claim against it. If the membrane was not allowed to cure correctly, the claim will be forfeited due to incorrect use of the product and compensation will not be payable.
Most membranes used by Wetfix Waterproofing have a cure time of 48 hours from time of application. For your convenience, our applicators apply a sticker to the application stating when it can be safely used.
Contact Wet Fix Waterproofing, for long-lasting solutions in repairing water ingress problems and eliminating water disposal failures.