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Waterproofing Standards AS3740

Well what can be said for waterproofing.

The Australian Standards for Waterproofing are in a bit of a mess. Not only do they not cover the construction materials in common use, but they are easily interpreted differently by many people. The debate over product and application is still raging.
For Instance: The MBA (Master Builders Association) are pushing for licensing laws to be changed for all who are in the trade. Even us Tilers and Bathroom Renovators are going to be required to obtain a separate license for waterproofing. Or prove that we are capable of waterproofing and BUY the new license. They are trying to push for TAFE and some Universities to work with them and introduce specific courses. BUT, did you know that you do not need a license for work that totals not more than $1,000? This includes labour and materials. BUT, the labour and materials are for waterproofing only. So, if I come to your place to renovate your bathroom and there is waterproofing to be done all I have to do is price the waterproofing component under $1,000.

DOES THIS MAKE SENSE?

Definitely not !!
Lets say your bathroom makeover is a $10,000 job.
The demolition may cost you $1,200 to $2,000, The waterproofing may be $1,100. All I have to do is make the demolition a little dearer and the waterproofing a little cheaper and I have overcome the price barrier. This goes for any trade that the licence does not cover!

So there you have it. A regulation that is easily cheated and nobody will be the wiser accept the contractor. It is the same for every trade. We all try to stay within the regulations but bending them is part of your job.

As a good Tradie mate said to me once, The 4 years it takes to get your license is made up of 1 year learning how to do it, and the next three learning how to cover  your mistakes.

Another good one is "if in doubt - a bit of grout"

These bends and interpretations  in the rules will go on for ever. Nobody is going to back the changes when it is going to cost them more to comply. Why should someone have to prove their capabilities when they have been in the building game for twenty odd years?

A Wall and Floor Tiler is currently allowed to waterproof in preparation for tiling. The license does not say who is doing the tiling or how large the job is. I agree that there needs to be better control over waterproofing. Especially DIY waterproofing. But, the change needs to come from manufacturers, not builders or licensing bodies. The Faults in waterproofing are not usually in the application but the incompatible materials used. Now I don't know about you, but I'm not a Chemistry Buff. Tell me something won't mix together and I'll possibly believe you. The manufacturers need to set themselves goals for compatibility. Not goals for profit and loss or competition. Perhaps the government should step in and regulate what is conceived as adequate material.

The Australian Regulations for waterproofing should not be left in the hands of self promoting profit organisations like the Master Builders Association.

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