26 September 2023

New water management to build safer homes

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The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has teamed up with the Victorian Managed Insurance Agency (VMIA) and Victoria University to form a research project into reducing water damage and the risk of mould in homes.

State Building Surveyor at VBA, Andrew Cialini said the research was undertaken to identify problematic building or plumbing work that could result in water damage and indoor mould.

Mr Cialini said insights from the research would help to identify improvement opportunities for building design, construction, certification and regulatory oversight.

“The VBA is using these research insights to inform its Proactive Inspections Program (PIP) and its continuing focus on areas of compliance risk that could cause water ingress and moisture damage,” Mr Cialini said.

“Waterproofing and drainage have been among the top risks highlighted in our quarterly PIP reports – we are sharing these findings with practitioners to better educate the wider industry on how to improve the quality of building and plumbing work in high-risk areas.”

He said water damage was one of the most common problems encountered in buildings as well as complaints to the VBA and claims to VMIA.

“Mould in buildings can be an indicator of the presence of an underlying moisture problem in a building,” Mr Cialini said.

“A key cause of water damage is due to a lack of understanding of roofing and waterproofing requirements among designers, building surveyors and builders,” he said.

“Poor storage of materials can also contribute to water damage during construction that may create ongoing building issues.”

Mr Cialini said that the VBA would take enforcement action against any practitioner found to be demonstrating poor practices that may cause water damage to homes.

He advised consumers wanting to prevent mould in their home to look out for early warning signs of water ingress or moisture damage.

“If you have leaking pipes, or damp on ceilings or other water related problems in your building, make sure you take steps to hire a registered or licensed practitioner to fix these,” Mr Cialini said.

“Tips offered by Better Health Victoria can assist those who have health concerns and reduce the risk of mould.”

Further information on reducing the risks of mould can be accessed on Better Health Victoria’s website at this PS News link.

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