During the construction of a wet area, in particular a shower enclosure, multiple penetrations through the wall sheeting used will occur. Typically, these penetrations are for the mechanical fixings used to hold the sheeting into position prior to waterproofing, but also for services such as hot/cold tap fixtures and a water outlet or shower rose fixture. The New Zealand Building Code for internal wet areas identifies that these penetrations must be waterproofed with either a proprietary flange system or sealant.
It seems logical that penetrations in a shower area should be appropriately sealed, however this is not an item that should be taken lightly. With unsealed penetrations it can be quite easy for large amounts of water to escape and reticulate into the wall cavity behind the shower. Plumbing and tiling issues can allow for water to reticulate in behind the tiled walls and cause significant damage. Damage may be identified quickly if a leak is fast flowing, or even worse if it is a slow leak, it can cause structural timber to rot and weaken.
By ensuring that all penetrations are sealed appropriately, you are ensuring that the highest risk area within a wet area is protected, and ultimately will maintain its performance for a long period of time. If the combination of services that are required to bring together a completed wet area are co-ordinated appropriately by the team of contractors, this issue will most likely be prevented.
For any other advice of a technical nature, Wet-seal’s highly experienced technical expert, Robert Rath, will be happy to take your call. Robert can be contacted on 0800 436 000 or via email email@example.com
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