Leaking balcony? We stop balcony leaks in their tracks!
Leaking balcony? Is water coming inside your home from the balcony after rain or when watering plants? A leaking balcony can be representative of a more serious problem and may be causing considerable damage to your property that you can’t actually see. We are frequently called to homes where the balcony has been leaking for a very long time but it is only when very obvious signs start presented themselves that the client realises there is an issue.
How to identify if your balcony is leaking
There are several reasons why your balcony may be leaking. Firstly, it’s important to identify the cause of the problem so it can be fixed quickly and cost effectively. If the source of the leak is not identified then constant water damage will occur over time that can not only ruin internal furnishings such as carpet and rugs but can actually weaken your properties structural integrity which can be very expensive to fix.
FLOODING : It becomes obvious there is a problem when water starts leaking or flooding into the interior of the property during rain or shortly thereafter. You may notice damp or wet carpet or, in severe cases, visible signs of water flooding into the home.
SMELL : If you can smell mildew then this is usually due to dampness caused by a leak and is rotting timber and wall materials.
WARPED WALLS : Water damage can cause the wall material to swell and contract causing walls to warp.
STAINED WALLS : Water damage will create visible stains on walls.
BUBBLING PAINT : Moisture commonly causes paint to bubble as the water prevents the paint from adhering to the wall.
TILE GROUT : Tile grout may become crumbly and disintegrate due to constant moisture. Due to this tiles may even start coming off the walls.
STICKING DOORS : Water causes timber to swell and contract. You may notice doors become stuck and are harder to open and close.
Leaking balcony in strata units, apartments and townhouses
The majority of the multi-story apartment buildings and townhouse developments being built around Sydney have tiled balconies and subsequently we are seeing a rise in waterproofing problems encountered by owners.
Like houses, units and townhouse buildings are prone to movement. As outlined above, this movement can lead to breakdowns in the waterproofing membranes. Unfortunately, in some cases we see problems arising because tradespeople have “cut corners” in an effort to save money or get projects completed on time. This can make balconies prone to leaking both into the home owners unit and, in many cases, the unit below. In some cases we have seen water floods into the unit each time it rains due to incorrect drainage and “fall” calculations.
Common balcony waterproofing problems in units
- Water not draining away and pooling on the surface;
- Water leaking into the unit;
- Water leaking into the unit below; and
- Calcium crystals giving a “salty” appearance on the balcony floor surface.
What you should do if your townhouse or unit balcony is leaking?
Rectifying leaking balcony problems should be a priority for all strata property unit owners and Executive Committees members. Water damage can cause substantial damage to the substrate, tiles and surface coatings. If water continues to penetrate below the substrate it can reach the steel reinforcement leading to concrete spalling (concrete cancer) problems. Additionally water quickly damages walls, floors, carpets, furniture and electrical appliances.
If you suspect or identify problems with a leaking balcony, it should be assessed by a licensed waterproofing professional as soon as possible. Our Northern Beaches waterproofers have worked with clients throughout the area to assess and rectify leaking balcony problems. For assistance contact Drip Dry Shower Repairs & Waterproofing direct on 0416 292 002 or complete our online enquiry form. We are available 24/7 to attend to emergency waterproofing problems.
Common reasons why balconies leak
BUILDING MOVEMENT : The ground on which our homes are built is moving all the time. Although this movement is very subtle and usually unnoticeable, it causes the structures build upon the ground (i.e. our homes) to move too. As these structures shift due to ground movement, joints and corners around the home can crack, floors may become uneven and walls no longer square. This movement can cause joints in the balcony to shift too causing cracks in the tile grout, the waterproofing seals to break down and sealant to deteriorate. Sometimes these cracks may be so small you may not even notice them yet they are wide enough for water to penetrate.
GAPS : Over time materials used to build our homes may shrink and swell. In most instances this is normal. Sometimes, materials may deteriorate or degrade simply due to their age. This movement can also cause cracks and subtle changes in your home’s structure. As above, these changes can appear in the bathroom and shower causing the same problems as listed above, usually exacerbating the problem as materials break down further due to constant water damage.
PLUMBING : With drainage and plumbing pipes (for garden hoses, etc) running behind balcony walls and below floors, it can be hard to ascertain that a problem is occurring until obvious signs of water leaks and damage appear (see list below). If plumbing joints become loose, drains block and subsequently start leaking then water damage will undoubtedly start occurring.
WATERPROOFING : Some homeowners are of the impression that tiles and grout are what provides the waterproofing on a balcony. This is not true and is a dangerous assumption. Tiles do not provide sufficient waterproofing – far from it. Correct waterproofing is the application of a special membrane that is applied below the tiles and the backing board that the tiles are affixed to. If a suitable waterproofing membrane is not applied, is not applied correctly during the balcony installation, or gets a hole in it, then water can penetrate through the membrane into structural areas of the property causing significant problems.
CLEANING : In some instances a waterproofing agent may have been applied to a balcony to assist in the prevention (or further prevention if problems have already occurred) of water penetration. Harsh cleaning products can wear away this liquid waterproofing agent and causing degradation of this additional membrane.
WATERPROOFING MATERIALS : To save money and, in same cases due to a lack of waterproofing expertise, some tradespeople and home owners may use inferior and inadequate waterproofing products when renovating their home or in an attempt to fix waterproofing problems that may have occurred. The use of inferior waterproofing materials or incorrect products, while it saves money initially can actually be a lot more costly if the waterproofing material breaks down. It also gives home owners a false sense of security.
TILING : While tiles are not an adequate waterproofing solution alone, they are part of the waterproofing process. If tiles are not set properly, start to crack or the grout starts to break down, this can cause water to penetrate to the backing board behind. A coat of sealer can be applied to tiles however this is usually not a long term solutions (see “cleaning” above).
How to fix a leaking balcony
Many people opt for a DIY balcony leak fix first. If you know what you’re doing then this may be all that is necessary. It is important to note that water penetration anywhere within the home and balcony can cause problems to the structure of the home which can be expensive to rectify. Typically, the longer it occurs the worse the problem becomes. Hiring a professional such as the qualified waterproofers from Drip Dry Waterproofing Services can find the source of problem and rectify the issue to prevent damage now and into the future. In fact, we are so confident of his waterproofing expertise he offers a No Leak Lifetime Guarantee.
In most cases we can undertaken any balcony waterproofing repair without removing any tiles. This can save the home owner hundreds, even thousands, of dollars as you won’t have to replace existing tiles. It also means your bathroom is ready for use again much quicker.
For more information about your balcony waterproofing issues, call or text us direct on 0416 292 002 or complete our online enquiry form. We are available 24/7 to attend to emergency waterproofing problems and get you enjoying trouble free shower usage in no time.
Leaking balcony repairs and waterproofing services Sydney.
Drip Dry Shower Repairs and Waterproofing Services offers a very affordable and professional service to stop your leaking shower in it’s tracks. We use quality materials and our workmanship exceeds the Australian Standard requirements. In the vast majority of cases we can fix your leaking shower without removing any tiles. This can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars, as you don’t have to replace any tiles. We have built our reputation on quality and service, with over 20 years experience. We’re so confident in our method of balcony and bathroom waterproofing services that we lead the way with the first NO LEAK LIFETIME GUARANTEE!