Considerations when Waterproofing Heritage Buildings

Building made of stone

Danrae Group delivers end-to-end waterproofing solutions – with decades of experience across strata, commercial, government, civil and construction projects.

Our capability ensures we’re also well equipped to work in conjunction with licenced heritage builders. Heritage property owners have a number of obligations in terms of property preservation, and historic properties may be more prone to certain waterproofing issues.

If you own or manage a historic property in need of a waterproofing solution, here’s what you need to consider.

Understanding heritage listing


As explained by the Heritage Council of NSW, listing is the established world-wide method for managing places, objects or structures with heritage significance. Local and state government bodies oversee heritage-listed properties, including the listing process and permissions for renovation or alteration.

The aim is to preserve significant sites that promote identity, history and continuity of place, whilst allowing for a degree of positive development and liveability.

Listing ensures heritage places are correctly managed to safeguard the long-term environmental, economic and cultural benefits of these sites, and heritage significance is recognised in law. As such, property owners must seek approval for any renovations or significant alterations.

Ornate carving on 1884 baroque-inspired Victorian Gothic sandstone water fountain

Waterproofing heritage structures


Local councils and government bodies are most likely to approve heritage renovations when the design preserves the integrity and character of the original structure. That often requires facades, external features and historically significant architectural elements to be preserved.

Generally, you do not require approval for normal maintenance so long as it is like-for-like repair work that does not significantly alter the building.

To complete any waterproofing on heritage properties, it is important therefore that you deal only with licenced heritage specialists and waterproofing contractors experienced with the specific needs of heritage properties.

Stain and peeling paint on a ceiling damaged by water leak

Common waterproofing issues


Given their age, historic buildings may be prone to a variety of waterproofing issues. Water may ingress a structure via cracks due to shifting foundations. And leaks frequently occur with the degradation of building materials such as roof tiles and flashing.

Rising damp is also common in heritage structures with poor underfloor ventilation. Rising damp occurs when moisture from surrounding soil penetrates the structure, resulting in efflorescence and mould.

While contemporary properties feature a damp-proof course between the walls and foundations to deflect moisture, this may not be in place in older structures.

Man fixing a damaged concrete on the roof

Expert waterproofing solutions


Quality waterproofing is important to help protect your heritage property, and at Danrae Group, our waterproofing solutions include diagnostic, solution design, full remediation and preventative maintenance.

We also have an expert team of waterproofing contractors, project managers and in-house tradies to ensure we maintain the highest standards for every project.

Please contact us to discuss your heritage project and our expert waterproofing solutions.

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