Is Your Balcony Leaking? It May be a Construction Error.
Our deck resurfacing experts know that a single mistake during construction
can compromise the integrity of the whole balcony – after all, we
fix these mistakes for a living! In this blog, we take a look at three
surprisingly common issues that lead to
leaking balconies and roof decks.
What are the Common Causes of Balcony Leaks?
Balcony leaks can be caused by a lack of building maintenance, insufficient
drainage, and construction mistakes that were made when constructing the
unit. Some of the most common construction mistakes include not having
a slope, improper flashing, and having a punctured membrane.
Let us now dive deeper into these construction mistakes and how they can
cause balcony leaks.
1. No Slope
A properly-waterproofed balcony will typically have a very mild slope,
typically about 2 degrees, which helps water drain. This slope should
encourage water to flow away from the house and doorway to prevent even
properly waterproofed deck will handle standing water just fine, this can lead to premature failure
if another issue arises. By sloping the deck slightly, you will be able
to prevent many issues that commonly pop up, and you won’t have
to worry about puddles of water on your deck!
2. Improper Flashing
Flashing is essentially just a piece of sheet metal, and is commonly used
in home construction wherever there is a seam that water can get through.
On a roof, it is typically placed around the chimney and skylights. On
your balcony, it will be installed around the perimeter of the balcony,
and around any columns that are framed onto the balcony.
Installing flashing isn’t very helpful, however, if it is installed
improperly. Flashing must form a completely watertight seal, overlapping
with one another to reject moisture. When properly installed, sheet metal
flashing will be sealed with special waterproof materials.
3. Punctured Membrane
In some cases, a deck resurfacing team will go through all the correct
steps, but will still produce a finished product with major leak issues.
The main cause? Holes in the waterproof membrane! After installing the
membrane over the flashing, construction crews must continue to cross
over this membrane to ensure that the edges and seams are fully sealed.
When they aren’t careful, they can puncture holes in the membrane,
effectively ruining the attempt at waterproofing!
Beware of Standing Water on Your Balcony!
Standing water on your balcony is a sign that your deck has a persistent
drainage issue. Left untreated, it could cause serious problems like rot
and structural damage over time. If you have noticed this issue, don't
delay in contacting a qualified deck contractor to inspect your deck and
implement the right solution. Waiting too long can make a fixable problem
much more costly, potentially involving the need to completely rebuild the deck.
Need help with a leaking balcony in San Luis Obispo or the surrounding areas?
Contact us today to
schedule your service.