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Look for water stains at the base of the entry door to the bathroom. The water stains will appear on either the carpet, as bubbling paint to wall surfaces or wood rot to timber work. Also look at the base of the walls which back onto the shower recess. In some cases mould growing on the wall surface might be noticeable.

If the bathroom is on the first floor, look at the ceilings located directly underneath as these often give you a good indication of whether a bathroom is leaking.


As with leaking bathrooms, you will notice water leaching from the laundry entry doors. If you see decay to the timbers adjacent to the base of the door, then it’s likely you have a leak.


If there is staining to the edge of your balcony, you may have a defective waterproofing membrane and/or drainage issues.

As with other wet areas within the building, leaking balconies often manifest themselves in various locations. This includes water damage to ceilings underneath the balcony and blistering paint to wall surfaces adjacent to the doorways leading onto the balcony.

If staining cannot be removed during routine cleaning you may be experiencing efflorescence (crystalline deposit of salts, usually starting as a white powder, that forms on or near the surface of products that contain cement). In some circumstances the efflorescence causes deterioration of the grout joints to the floor tiles and even disfigures the face of the floor tile. To repair this defect often requires the removal of the tile, sand and cement screed bed and waterproofing membrane. Re-installation of the finishes with additives to the sand and cement screed should ensure that the efflorescence does not return to the balcony. When balcony remedial repairs are required, consideration may need to be given to the drainage design.

Planter Boxes

As with other water defects you will often find stains to the outside of planter box walls, usually where the wall meets the floor of the planter box. In some cases the paint will blister from the wall surface.

Tree roots can cause extensive damage to the waterproofing membranes used within planter boxes. The tree root will follow the moisture trails through lap joints or small penetrations in the membrane and tear it apart. Once this has occurred the planter box can leak. General movement of the building structure can also tear waterproofing membranes at the floor and wall junctions. Once this tearing occurs water freely travels and causes a defect.


If you have a metal roof, they can leak at the box gutter/drainage location. This can be repaired by installing a new waterproofing membrane within the existing box gutter.

Concrete or timber framed roofs leak because of a failure in the waterproofing membrane system which was applied. This can occur for a number of reasons.


This will not fix the problem because the defect is at the waterproofing level, below the surface.

In BD Remedial Building’s experience, most waterproofing failures occur from poor building practices which require the removal of the finishes (tiles, pavers, bricks, concrete etc.) so the underlying problem can be fixed.

As a starting point contact a licensed builder to inspect and quote to repair the damage. A builder who specialises in waterproofing may be a better option as sometimes there is more involved than a torn waterproofing membrane, and also a builder can repair damaged finishes.


Where the floors under leaking wet areas have been constructed with timber, over a period of time the leak could weaken the structure and cause it to fail. This means you could fall through the floor in a bathroom, laundry, balcony or roof terrace.

If you suspect you have a leaking area, it is best to stop access until a building inspection is carried out and the repairs are made by a licensed builder.

Electrical hazards are common where water is leaking into wall frames adjacent or below wet areas of the dwelling. This can manifest itself in the electrical circuitry tripping when powerpoints or light switches are turned on, and in the worst case cause a fire.