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 bigger problems.
While a 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.
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