Partridge Managing Director, Peter Standen sat down with Inside Strata to discuss the necessary steps strata owners and managers should take to reduce water damage when identified and the importance of selecting a qualified, experienced remedial company to carry out any rectification building works:
Q1. According to industry reports, waterproofing defects are one of the most common problems found in strata complexes. What steps should be taken by strata owners and managers to reduce water damage when identified?
The old adage, a stitch in time saves nine is true here. The sooner the source of water ingress is identified and arrested, the better the outcome for the building and minimizing consequential damage and potential mould growth.
Any pooling or surface water should be removed as quickly as possible. If the source of the leak is readily identifiable and localised, it should be repaired promptly by an appropriately qualified and insured tradesperson. If the source of the water ingress is not obvious or observable, then the Owners should look to engage a remedial consultant to test, investigate and diagnose the root cause of the water ingress and prepare a specification for its repair by a remedial building contractor.
Q2. When selecting a remedial company to carry out any rectifications works, such as waterproofing, what should strata owners and managers look for?
When selecting a remedial engineering consultant, Owners should look for a history of being able to solve problems and to develop pragmatic solutions working with existing building constraints. The consultant ideally will have a mix of both engineering qualifications and building experience in preparing the scope of works and supervising the remediation.
Q3. Is there anything else you wish to add?
Remedial building works inherently involve a degree of uncertainty. Owners should be aware of this as they embark on any remediation program and have an allowance in the financing to cater for this risk. We recommend Owners allocate additional funds, above the contract sum, as a contingency for any remedial building work. The contingency fund is reserved for dealing with any reasonably unforeseeable latent conditions that may be revealed during the works. The size of the contingency should be discussed with the consultant and be set based on the level of risk identified in the remediation scope.