Balcony Repairs – Builders Melbourne
Leaking Balconies & Structural Repairs
Balconies and rooftop terraces are often created above living areas such as apartments, offices, retail & general living areas. Water ingress into occupied spaces can lead to not only interior damage but also structural damage to the building envelope.
Why Balconies Leak
- Images below - due to the membrane lacking flexibility and drying out over time with cracks appearing.
- The waterproof system may not have the necessary thermal expansion & contraction capabilities.
- Balcony membranes need to move with normal thermal cycle of the balcony materials and adjacent building envelope.
- Poor waterproofing membrane transition between different surfaces, penetrations and interfaces - i.e vertical walls, balustrades etc - leaving areas of weakness for potential water ingress.
- Membranes must adhere, create a bond and seal around all surfaces and still maintain long term flexibility.
- Don't underestimate the power of wind driven rain to penetrate the building envelope if flashings etc are not water tight.
Balcony Waterproofing Products
Best Waterproofing System for Balconies
- The correct approach, obviously, is the installation of an appropriate and robust waterproofing membrane system that "works and lasts".
- A basic principle of construction is movement of the building envelope will occur.
- Therefore a waterproof membrane must be able flexible to accommodate structural movement.
- Balcony systems must permanently seal all wall/floor joints, drains, balustrade, water exit points, hobs, sheet joints and movement joints.
- Penetration of water through the balcony surfaces and/or the exposed balcony edges of both reinforced concrete and timber framed balconies can lead to structural deterioration.
- For concrete structures this leads to significant construction defects, such as concrete spalling.
- Selecting quality waterproofing products, using meticulous balcony preparation and implementing correct membrane application methods are all critical components of successful balcony repairs.
Balcony preparation requires meticulous detailing prior to applying the waterproof membrane.
Waterproofing Products to Fix Leaking Balconies
- We recommend Liquid Applied Membranes for the Australian climate as the most practical and economical waterproofing product for balcony repair projects.
- Spray Applied Liquid Membranes are capable of resisting UV rays, withstand "ponding" water and coping with structural movement and deformation.
- Liquid waterproof systems are seamless and spray applied - no joins, overlaps or seams to come apart.
- These systems can be used on the most complex of details, which are often found, for instance, around handrail supports, thresholds, rainwater outlets and downspouts.
- Seamless liquid applied elastomeric have become the ultimate repair solution for balcony and deck waterproofing.
Benefits of Using Liquid Applied Membranes
Liquid Rubber is a spray-applied liquid waterproofing membrane that provides a seamless environmentally safe and highly flexible membrane that will "hold" and "contain" water without breaking down.
Liquid Applied Membranes
- High Performance & Robust Adherence.
- Cost effective & long life waterproofing.
- Fast spray application with minimal disruption to building occupants.
- Liquid waterproof systems contour to the structural shape.
- Extreme flexibility so will move structural expansion & contraction.
- Suitable for concrete, timber and metal surfaces.
Repairs to Leaking Balconies
- Choose a membrane suitable for balcony structural movement.
- Complete ALL penetrating works PRIOR to applying waterproofing membrane.
- Ensure penetrating structures have additional sealant around them.
- Ensure balcony levels have good drainage system so water does not pool.
- Best to remove A/C unit while prior to waterproofing repairs - much tidier job.
- Water test the membrane BEFORE tiling–ensure the membrane is water tight..
How to Fix Leaking Balcony
Waterproof a Balcony Without Removing Tiles
- Re-Grouting and sealing is defiantly not the way to repair a leaking balcony that has a defective membrane.
- This would probably slow or stop down leaks for a while - that is until the sealant/grout moves and cracks start to leak again.
- Laying a new waterproof membrane over clean existing surfaces can work ONLY if the existing tiles are soundly fixed.
- Very often there may be some blistering of the new membrane due to water vapour trapped within the existing tiles.
- This is easily managed as it basically just takes time for the vapour to dissipate - with the new membrane over the top of existing tiles.
- Warning - Great attention needs to be given to the waterproofing products used.
Balcony Articles - Australian Standards & Technical Drawings
Master Builders Association (MBAV) - Balcony Technical Drawings
Australian Institute of Waterproofing (AIW) AS4654.2