• Balcony

    Is your Balcony Adequately Waterproofed?

    19 Jul, 2018 | 18 views

    It goes without saying that a balcony should be waterproofed for a number of reasons. Regardless of the type of material used in the construction of your balcony, leaks can cause major damage to the balcony and adjoining structures. This is especially true where the balcony has been waterproofed but the workmanship is below standard, resulting in leaks occurring.

    Tiled Balconies

    Tiled balconies can suffer damage from leaks originating in a number of ways. It may be the case that the tiled balcony was not waterproofed properly in the first place during construction. Waterproofing can also become damaged, resulting in leaks occurring, where the waterproof membrane has been compromised. Even if the waterproofing is providing the barrier that it should, flooding can still occur.

    Signs that indicate there is an issue include discoloured tiles, possibly due to moisture damage caused by poor or damaged waterproofing. This may also be due to broken grout, so it is important to consult with a professional to get to the bottom of the issue and carry out repairs before any further significant damage occurs.

    For tiles that are in good condition, you can remove the existing grout and replace with a non-porous epoxy grout to make them waterproof, as well as using a sealer on the tile surface.  This saves the hassle of ripping up existing work and essentially starting over.  Tiles are not necessarily an effective water barrier, as some tiles are porous themselves.  So, even if your tiles have been keeping moisture out, water will eventually seep through in the end.

    Structural Integrity

    Depending on how your balcony is constructed, any moisture damage may seriously compromise structural integrity. Given that balconies are usually elevated structures; this type of damage represents a serious risk of injury or even death if the structure collapses as a result. Wood, in particular, can become compromised by moisture damage.  Balcony leaks are something that should be assessed by a qualified professional, such as a building inspector.   Take some sound advice and have the structure inspected as a cautionary measure.

    If leaks commence soon after construction, you need to consider whether the overall workmanship was of an acceptable standard. Hiring a professional inspector to check the balcony and then arranging to carry out any recommended repairs is preferable to putting you and your family in danger.

    Water penetration

    This can be a major concern when it comes to the general construction of balconies and the potential for water permeation.  Balcony access openings into the main building structure are vulnerable to water permeation from torrential rain, overflowing gutters or even the neighbours above watering their pot-plants!  So, it’s not just your balcony at risk of collapsing, both internal and external structures of your home may be slowly damaged or eroded from exposure to moisture.

    Leaving damage unchecked will result in the need for otherwise unnecessary repairs – some of which come at a substantial cost. Your foundations, walls and ceilings are essential structures in any home. Do not allow leaks to culminate in a nightmare series of major repairs to your home.  If you think your balcony is leaking, Houspect can provide you with professional building inspections to put your mind at rest. All our inspectors are qualified builders who have spent their professional lives in the construction industry. Call today for a consultation so we can fully assess your needs.