The inner-city enclave of Surry Hills in Sydney is a vibrant district of cafes, cuisine and quality apartments. Or it should be. For the owners of this Wentworth Street penthouse apartment block, poor workmanship had transformed their dream homes… into a disaster.
“This particular building had ongoing issues for about ten years,” according to Ron Caruana, Co-Founder of Danrae Group – and leading waterproofer and project manager. “They had other waterproofers come in and do patchwork repairs. And that’s what the roof was like – a giant patchwork quilt.”
For the frustrated owners of the top floor penthouses, the ongoing issues were exhausting. They wanted urgent repairs. They needed superior waterproofing. And they required a permanent solution to protect their homes… and assets.
The most significant issue for the Wentworth Street strata block was recurring leaks. And it was apparent to Danrae that previous attempts had both failed to rectify the issue and contributed to a larger mess.
“The residents regularly had water coming into the units, so you can imagine the frustration,” explains Ron. “You have a beautiful penthouse unit and every time it rains you panic because it’s going to be dripping. You need buckets or pans on hand to catch the water. And in some cases, it’s likely to be coming in over expensive or irreplaceable things like TV units or bookshelves.”
One issue with common problems like concrete cancer or leaking balconies and rooftops is that a piecemeal approach is never effective.
The strata apartment owners invited Ron to assess the site, and he was able to offer immediate advice.
“We suggested they should go with a PVC membrane. By opting for light grey, it would improve the temperature of the penthouses, assist the air-conditioning performance and be best for longevity.”
High rise waterproofing can have its challenges – and one of the biggest in this case was the seemingly simple issue of getting the material to the roof.
“We couldn’t use a crane, given the particular location, so we had to bring the material up via the lift… and stairs. When you consider that the membrane rolls are close to 100kg, it’s very exhausting.”
As with all of our projects, Danrae project managed from quote to completion – and utilised our extensive in-house expertise.
“We had our team prepare the surface, which involved grinding away the old membrane,” explains Ron. “Then we levelled the concrete. And once that was done, we called on the experienced PVC waterproofers who know how to lay it, this time by welding it in place.”
Danrae Group has a diverse team of in-house and on-call tradespeople for every aspect of waterproofing diagnostic, design and remediation. We have experts in all techniques and every type of membrane and for every stage of strata remediation… including tilers, carpenters, builders and electricians.
We excel at waterproofing – but we never take shortcuts. And that’s why we triple-test. “At the end of the day you’ve taken the project on, so if it fails, you’re liable for that failure. So then you would have to take on the responsibility of rectifying damages,” explains Ron.
To ensure that doesn’t happen, Danrae Group fully tests its processes multiple times.
We test internally, we hire an external tester and we organise the supplier to inspect each job. “We give the client the reassurance of having both internal and external testing… and with additional supplier sign off, we can issue our full warranty.”
The Wentworth Street apartments are typical of many jobs we’ve taken on when clients have failed to find permanent solutions for leaks or issues including concrete spalling, efflorescence or concrete cancer. We work across multiple sectors – luxury homes, civil, strata, commercial – and design for new builds. And we love a challenging project.
For Ron, the satisfaction comes from finding a solution to a complex problem – and from seeing a customer over the moon. “Once you stop a leak that’s been happening for ten years, the clients are more than happy. And that’s what we love about it.”
Danrae Group lives and breathe waterproofing – so we always find the perfect solution. Contact us if you have an ongoing issue… or if you need exceptional, end-to-end waterproofing diagnostics, design and remediation.