Wetroom flooding disasters: how to protect your home - Building NZ
Wetroom flooding disasters: how to protect your home

Wetroom flooding disasters: how to protect your home

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

We’ve all experienced it – that crushing realisation when you discover a tap left on, when the laundry overflows, or there's a sanitary fixture failure – and it quickly sinks in just how costly and time-consuming the damage to the home will be to repair.

Rotten floorboards, soaking and smelly carpet, and moisture in walls are just some of the devastating consequences of wetroom flooding.

It’s no surprise that people are starting to realise the value of having safeguards in place, says Jesani Wetroom Solutions director Grant Hohaia, a builder who founded the company in 2014.

“The replacement cost of a flood to the rest of the house could be anything from $10,000 to $100,000 and then your insurance premiums go up. The aim is prevention of these nightmare scenarios.”

A recent customer had experienced a particularly harrowing example of serious damage in her kitchen: when the dishwasher failed in her beautiful hundred-year-old villa, she was forced to rip up the original timber flooring and replace it — a costly endeavour, and a huge loss to the home’s overall sentimental value.

Fortunately, there are ways of mitigating these types of disasters before they occur. Jesani believes they have the answer. “Our patented, signature product is our Door Channel solution, which prevents flooding in the most effective way — whether it be a detached house, a unit or an apartment.” says Grant.

The Door Channel prevents seepage of any water into other areas of the house.

An intelligent drainage solution

The Door Channel is installed at the threshold of wetrooms that separate them from the remainder of the house. If there is an accidental overflow of water inside the wetroom, the channel ensures that all water is drained through the channel and either directly outside, plumbed into the shower waste or into the dry stack if used in apartments.

The Jesani Door Channel replaces the position of the traditional floor waste gully in the middle of the wetroom and ensures zero tolerance of water escaping to the dry areas of the home.

“It’s basically putting a moat around your wetroom, protecting the rest of the house from damage,” says Grant. “In medium density dwellings, it protects your own home and your neighbour’s. In a normal situation, if water is overflowing from a bathroom fixture, the water will eventually make its way out of the bathroom and if left unchecked, it can seep into the non-waterproofed flooring. And if you’re not at home when this happens, it’s not good news.”

A Door Channel protects water leakage in this open-plan bathroom from going into the carpet.

Averting catastrophe

In standalone family homes, it’s a crucial flooding solution, and this is doubly true in medium density dwellings — where a flood in one apartment can leak into the ceiling of the one below, causing potentially catastrophic damage to both homes.

And with more and more New Zealanders moving into medium density homes as a result of the new Medium Density Residential Standards guidelines, it’s more important than ever to safeguard our wetrooms from potential flooding disaster.

Of course, it’s not just apartments that can benefit from the Door Channel. Since it can be installed in any wetroom (i.e. a space with plumbing fixtures in the immediate vicinity) it can be used to surround plumbed appliances in kitchens too — for example, in the floor under dishwashers or plumbed fridges which would have saved the 100 year old floor mentioned earlier.

Wetroom flooding can be more of a risk for some residents than others — for example, a family with small children may walk into the bathroom after leaving them for a minute in the bathtub, and arrive to a waterlogged mess on the floor. And all it takes is to ‘sweep’ the excess water into the Door Channel, and the problem goes no further, Grant says.

Jesani was commissioned to custom make the extended door channel (a drain between a wet and dry area) for the open plan ensuite/master bedroom as seen in the photo above. You can read more about this special Room with a View bathroom in Jesani's projects. 

Slimline, made from 304 or 316 stainless steel, and available in a range of finishes to match the look of the wetroom, the Door Channel is designed to blend in with the aesthetic. Each Door Channel is also custom made to ensure a perfect fit, and Jesani regularly works with architects, builders, plumbers, tilers, waterproofers and homeowners to achieve the best possible outcome for a wetroom. In addition to apartments and residential homes, the Jesani Door Channel is frequently used in Retirement villages, hotels and gyms.

“The Door Channel delivers serious value — it provides both a preventative measure against flooding, and its discreet form doesn’t detract from a space’s original style.”

Learn more about Jesani Wetroom Solutions and its Door Channel product.

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