The Damp Dilemma: Water Ingress & Mould in Victorian Construction

There are many challenges in the world of construction, but the persistent issue of water ingress and mould is causing huge problems, especially in the increasing landscape of apartments and townhouses in Victoria. The root of the problem lies in the insufficient waterproofing of balconies, compounded by a lack of registration for both waterproofers and building inspectors.

The repercussions are extensive, with disputes leading to prolonged legal battles, sometimes spanning 2-3 years. The consequence is not just from a legal perspective but also a breeding ground for mould, creating health hazards for residents, especially young children. Rust and corrosion further add to the structural concerns within homes.

While builders are obligated to adhere to the National Construction Code and Australian Standards, there is a critical gap in the absence of mandatory inspections for waterproofing membranes and flashings. The absence of immediate plans for registration of waterproofers exacerbates the issue, leaving homeowners vulnerable.

The rising number of builders facing liquidation intensifies the challenge, shifting the responsibility to homeowners or owners’ corporations to rectify defects. Domestic building insurance, often inadequate, adds another layer of complexity.

Calls for government intervention are echoing, urging the introduction of regulations mandating inspections or trade registrations. However, concerns linger about the potential cost escalation in the already expensive area of home construction.

Builders are urged to safeguard their projects by obtaining warranties and indemnities from trades, particularly waterproofers. Ensuring contractors commit to rectifying any water ingress issues or indemnifying the builder is a crucial step. A thorough review of engagement terms with contractors is recommended to secure builders against potential losses.

Contact us to review your engagement terms and ensure comprehensive protection.

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