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The importance of waterproofing

(by Carryn Melissa Durham)

A “hot" topic in Cape Town during the winter months is the dreadful weather. It has already been a very windy and wet one so far. With this comes lots of damage to property. 

That is what has inspired the very first Carryn’s Corner contribution.

Strong wind and heavy rain can create havoc causing expensive damage to property!

The body corporate insurance will cover damage to the building caused suddenly, unforeseeably and directly by wind, hail, storm, snow, lightning and sudden water damage from a flood.

Damage or losses caused over a period of time would ordinarily not be covered. Therefore, damage or loss caused as a result of water penetration over time by failing waterproofing; water damage occurring “whenever it rains” due to leaking balconies from the flat above; rain damage when a windowsill is not waterproofed properly; and resultant damp will seldom be covered by body corporate insurance.

Section 37(1)(j) of the Sectional Titles Act 95 of 1986 (“the Act’) states that the body corporate has the duty to properly maintain the common property and to keep it in a state of good and serviceable repair. If rising damp is caused by a failure or defect in the common property then the body corporate will be responsible for the cost related to repairing that consequential damage.

It is therefore so important that the body corporate be ever mindful that certain areas of the building will need to be checked regularly for wear and tear that could result in water damage after heavy rains.

These areas should include:

-  the roof;
- windows;
- doors, and
- balconies.

Furthermore, the drains and gutters should be cleared of any leaves or other debris that could cause blockages and result in water damage

Carryn Melissa Durham is a Specialist Sectional Title Lawyer at Paddocks, a specialist sectional title and home owners' association (HOA) firm that provides a range of products and services throughout South Africa


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