Articles

Leaking Balcony Repair – Signs and Causes of a Leaking Balcony

by Ranny Watson Blogger
The majority of us are living in homes with tiled balconies, and often these balconies are above or over living spaces.  Qualified builders follow standards in constructing our homes, but still, issues arise with leaky balconies which often leaves the homeowner and builder at odds often having to face court proceedings to try to resolve this problem.

Our experience has indicated that it is the National Construction Codes that are at fault. Waterproofing is the most fragile component in the building envelope yet building codes require the waterproofing membrane be placed in the middle, often between cement sheeting which is sitting on top of the frame and a sand cement screed leaving it out of reach of repair.  When issues arise, mostly due to movement of the structure, the membrane is inaccessible, so any repair is often unsighted and costly.
If you have any of the following signs, most likely your balcony is leaking:

  • Wet carpet
  • Swollen skirting inside
  • Water damaged timber floor
  • Swollen masonry walls
  • Blistering paint
  • Mould
  • Wet ceiling plasterboard or gyprock

Identifying Balcony Leakages

So you think you have a leak?

Check these two factors before you head out to your balcony:

  1. Clean out your overflow holes in your aluminium doors, if these holes are blocked, water that gets in the track can migrate inside
  2. Check the seal around your glass, make sure there are no gaps; any gaps can be easily repaired with some silicone.

With each balcony being unique, there can be different reasons causing this nuisance. Most balconies are exposed to adverse weather conditions along with movement being the main cause of leakage.

Most likely, it is one or two of the following reasons:

  1. Waterproof membrane failure due to movement of the structure
  2. Skirting tile seals cracking in the perimeter damaging the membrane in the crucial location of the junction.
  3. Tile breakage and movement allowing excess water to naturally locate the failure in the membrane
  4. Balustrades being installed puncturing the membrane
  5. Missing flashing under doors and gaps in the window seal
  6. Poor fall towards the drain, so balcony holds excess water until it finds the failure in the membrane
  7. Waterproofing membrane being applied under the screen with no fall, so water sits in the structure waiting to find the fault or failure in the membrane.
  8. Incorrect membrane selection for location, i.e., most water-based membranes can only be installed on top of sand cement screeds, not below.

Do's and Don'ts

1.     Put a roof over your balcony

2.     Never put plants with dirt in planter boxes only ever place pot plants on feet to allow for drainage.

All this information is probably leaving you a little dismayed, but there is hope. Ask yourself ‘why do we rip up perfectly good tiles when repairing the leak’?   Answer: It is to get to the failed membrane which is impossible to patch repair and the exercise of removing tiles only damages it further which is why the whole balcony needs to come up.

What if you could install a new membrane on top of the tiles?   That would result in you leaving the tiles down, (maybe repair a couple that might be damaged). Clear Waterproofing Membrane is an aliphatic or trafficable membrane designed to be installed on top of the tiles to repair leaking balconies. Clear Waterproofing Membrane can also be patch repaired so in the event of another issue arising in the future the cost and effort to fix the leak could be as simple as mixing some leftover membrane and patch repair the affected area.

With movement being the main factor in relation to leaky balconies, when you start researching it might appear that there are several options available for repairing a leaking balcony.  You will see options that say 25 years warranty or lifetime warranty but these warranties do not include movement and are useless for the repair of issues that have been incurred due to movement and are not suitable for ongoing movement.

Clear Waterproofing Membrane warranty covers future movement and is designed for the explicit purpose of repairing leaky balconies and showers without removing tiles.  Remedial Membranes has a free help desk for support enabling you to use the DIY repair kit, and you don't even need to hire professionals. We have free online DIY leaking balcony repair videos you can watch before you start your application with no special skills required. Alternatively, you can have Remedial Membranes Accredited Installers who are licensed, experienced tradesman who have been trained on the membrane to come and give you a quote to install at which time your application comes with a warranty. 

Don't delay in repairing your leaking balcony or shower; the additional water damage that is caused by delaying can often be the real cost!

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About Ranny Watson Senior   Blogger

178 connections, 5 recommendations, 678 honor points.
Joined APSense since, April 22nd, 2016, From Boca Raton, FL, United States.

Created on Dec 20th 2018 21:52. Viewed 550 times.

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