Inspirations turned to Nightmares. When Leaking Balconies are ignored
Leaking Balcony repairs should not be ignored. Can you spot if your balcony has a leak? With the increase in high density living across metropolitan cities. The humble balcony provides a welcome outdoor space. Where we can enjoy a humble bbq or be surrounded by greenery to provide peace and calm to our hectic lives. In stark contrast, an ongoing issue with a balcony leaks can quickly turn that serenity to chaos and headaches.
Not to mention leaks in elevated balconies can affect the living space or apartment directly beneath the balcony. So it’s important to realize that any inaction in delaying a balcony repairs will not only affect your home but your neighbours as well. Water leaks can be catastrophic to the substructure underneath. Balcony defects can have serious detrimental effects on the use, enjoyment, and value of a property.
Assessing your Balcony & Determining the cause for a leaking balcony
The best approach for repairing a leaking balcony is to have a professional and licensed waterproofing person assess the cause of the balcony leakage. Licensed professionals know and understand the construction methods and Australian Building Codes. There can be a number of reasons why a waterproofed balcony has failed. Consequently identifying the cause, the integrity of the structure, and the duration of the leak will indicate the type of repair required.
A correct assessment of leaking balconies is an important step in the final results. Along with recommendations and solutions provided by an experienced professional.
Waterproof Membrane Failure
Most balcony leaks are caused by a waterproofing membrane that has failed. The membrane system of a balcony offers a barrier against water. The correct application should be done at all wall upturns, drains, around balustrade and other areas of the balcony where water could penetrate. A professional contractor is trained to examine the waterproofing membrane and determine whether it is causing the leak. If leaks are left undetected or uncorrected, they can lead to even larger leaks that result in considerable damage and costly repairs. In some cases, the balcony structure could be the cause of the leak. Your contractor will identify issues with the structure of the balcony and advise on recommendations for a fix.
Although waterproofing accounts for less than 3% of the building costs. According to insurance companies, the largest number of waterproofing failures are with balconies. When balconies are constructed the preparation stage is crucial for the integrity of the balcony. Defects in balconies can be a result of poor design or poor construction by the builder. Builders may feel pressure to keep construction costs low or speed up the build by homeowners. Which in turn may lead them to use cheaper and inferior waterproofing products or not leaving enough time for the waterproofing to cure. Also, poor design with an inadequate slope that doesn’t drain water properly can lead to rainwater ponding on the balcony. In time affecting the waterproof membrane. Call Sealtech service 1300 356 703 for a free quotation today.
Common causes of balcony leaks
Suffice to say each balcony is different therefore it’s safe to say the cause of the leakage problem will be specific to your balcony. Taking into account the construction methods and materials used. For example, a balcony built on a timber subframe in comparison to the concrete balcony. Balconies are exposed to the elements and extreme weather conditions. Which adversely affects the integrity of your balcony. This is why regular check and maintenance of your balcony is important.
Some common causes for a balcony leak can be:
- Lack of or poor drainage or correct falls to drainage.
- Waterproof membrane failure – either through time, inferior products
- Tile breakage and movement or hollow sounding tiles.
- Deteriorated and porous grout
- Perimeter seals not present or have deteriorated.
- Rainwater causing pooling and breakdown of membranes
- Natural building movement causing cracks that allows water to penetrate under tiles.
Common signs that your balcony has a leakage problem
Are you able to spot the signs that indicate leaks in your balcony? Being able to identify the signs and correct problems at the onset will save you thousands in repairs later. Much like your car, you should also perform regular checks and maintenance on your balconies. After all your home is the largest investment that you will probably make in your life.
Common signs that a balcony is leaking include the following:
- Grout is cracked or missing – this will allow water to penetrate under the tiles causing possible damage to the membrane. Often a sign that the balcony is leaking.
- Loose or Cracked tiles are almost a sure sign that you have a leakage problem. These tiles will emit a hollow sound when stepped on, which indicates that they are not tight enough. Water is able to accumulate into the spaces created under the tiles. In turn, slowly deteriorating your waterproof membrane.
- Water stains either on the exterior or interior finishes of the balcony. This is often the first sign that people realise that they have a leak.
- Paint on or around the balcony that is peeling or split could be damaged by a leak.
- Efflorescence Salt ( white crusting )on grout lines in tiles. This is an indicator that water is pooling under these sections of the tiles. It usually occurs when the concrete has been wet for long periods of time.
- If you experience difficulties opening or closing windows and doors, a balcony leak may have caused the wood to swell.
- Structural posts or railing are weakened. This can either be that the structural posts themselves have not been sealed properly or the leak within the balcony has weakened them.
Dangers of a leaking balcony
You should never delay the repair of a leaking balcony. The leak can cause significant damage to not only the structure of the balcony but also the surrounding parts of your home. Seepage from balcony leaks leads to deterioration and decay. The leak can easily spread to other areas of your home, affecting external walls. You may begin to notice that the paint on your walls or ceiling chips or discolors over time. Moreover, the leaks can cause damage to the electrical system within your home. Which can be particularly dangerous, resulting in power outages or harmful charges. Imagine your living room is situated under the balcony. The leak has penetrated to the substructure and now has gotten to the electrical wiring of your lights. Touch the light switch and you might be in for a rude shock. Finally, if the water is able to seep into your external walls or the area below the balcony, the entire structure can collapse. Delaying balcony leak repairs is extremely dangerous. Thus typically resulting in more complicated and time-consuming construction work.
As soon as you become aware of a potential balcony leak, it is imperative that you contact a professional. Your licensed contractor can start repairs quickly to mitigate the damage.
Waterproof Membranes to Australian Standards
The best way to prevent balcony leaks is to properly waterproof the balcony during initial construction. Contractors should follow standards as per AS4654.2 when waterproofing membranes are applied.
Certain measures must be taken in order to prevent leaking issues and seepage over time. The most recommended way to protect your balcony from leaks is to install a waterproofing membrane. The membrane must be of high quality and built to last in order to be effective.
A membrane system protects various areas of your balcony that are exposed to water penetration. By preventing water from leaking beneath the balcony, you can protect the structure for long periods of time and avoid costly repairs.
Most importantly, the waterproof membrane must be flexible. A professional contractor understands that building materials expand and contract over time. Due to different factors such as the environment. A flexible waterproofing membrane can accommodate the movement. Both of your structure and the building that connects to your balcony.
Waterproofing a balcony is not a time to cut corners or speed through quickly. Improper application leads to leaks and damage. Only high-quality materials and correct application techniques. will result in a proper membrane system that waterproofs a balcony.
Fix a Leaking Balcony with professional help
Homeowners should avoid do-it-yourself projects when it comes to repairing balcony leaks. Balcony leaks are not just nuisances, they can be very dangerous for your property and your person. The process of repairing a leaking balcony and properly waterproofing it involves complicated techniques and specialized tools best left to trained professionals.
The best approach to repair a balcony leak is to hire a licensed and professional waterproofing company. An experienced professional knows how to test for leaks and identify the weakest point of your balcony for water penetrations. When carrying out works they will also remove any structures like air conditioning units to ensure that the entire balcony is sealed properly. Licensed professionals have the skillset and experience to carry out comprehensive repairs. Moreover, they will inspect the entire balcony and advise on other potential problems such as drainage and overflows.
Caught early balcony leaks can be fixed quite simply and inexpensively. Left for an extended period of time and you are left with no choice but for a rebuild. The cost of rebuilding a balcony can be exorbitant. So remedial action is always advised.
Balcony leaks are dangerous, and homeowners should understand the signs of a leaking balcony in order to prevent costly and dangerous damage. While you may be able to inspect your balcony for leaks or seepage, balcony repairs should be left to experienced professionals.
Certified contractors understand the codes and standards for buildings in Australia. As well as using the proper tools and waterproofing systems to seal your balcony. With the right waterproof membrane in place, your balcony is protected from leaks.
Delaying repairs for a leaking balcony is not recommended because the problem is likely to worsen over time. Which can even lead to a complete collapse of your balcony. If you are concerned about leaking or waterproofing for your balcony, contact SealTech Solutions today. Or speak to a team member today Call 1300 356 703.
Domenic and Hilda at SealTech Solutions are committed to providing top-notch service and premium repairs for residents across Sydney. With complete waterproof sealing solutions, you can trust that your balcony is safe from any future leaks.