The formation of impervious barriers over the surfaces of a building's foundations, roofing, balcony decks, and walls are the methods that are used to waterproof a building. In order to prevent water from entering the building through such surfaces, this also includes other structural members of the building.
Cementitious material, bituminous material, liquid waterproofing membrane, polyurethane liquid membrane, and a few other types of materials are among those that are frequently utilised in the process of waterproofing buildings.
It is necessary to instal waterproofing in the basement of bathrooms and kitchens, balconies, decks, green roofs, structure, terrace or roofs, walls, water tanks, swimming pools, and other similar areas in buildings.
Buildings that will be in contact with water should have their balconies and terraces waterproofed as soon as possible after construction because this improves both the structural integrity and the visual appeal of the structure.
It's possible that after a particularly heavy downpour, you've had issues with water leaking onto your balcony or terrace. The rain accumulates in the pool that has formed on your balcony, and it begins to trickle down to the floor below. The leaking that occurs from balconies is a significant issue. It has the potential to cause fissures and chips, not to mention unsafe joints and sealants.
Ceramic coating alone applied to the building's terraces and balconies does not provide any protection unless the waterproofing process is also completed. The terraces that are going to be built in such a manner will have water leakage, which will result in a problem with the comfort of the lower floors and will shorten the life of the building.
As a result, the selection and application of the appropriate waterproofing material are critical components in the process of isolating a terrace or balcony. The topic of waterproofing a balcony and the question of how to waterproof an outdoor balcony will be covered in this article.
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Why Must Deck and Balcony Membranes be Maintained?
In the absence of appropriate maintenance, water may seep in through holes and cracks in the membrane as well as joints that have become disconnected, which may result in leaks in the interior, damage to the wall assembly, and rotting of the deck or balcony structure. There is a possibility that water could get in through holes that were made by sharp heels, table and chair legs, as well as damage that was caused by the placement of heavy objects and the careless use of tools. Moreover, hot barbeques, spilt gasoline or solvents can melt vinyl membranes. A change in the slope of the balcony and the formation of ponding (standing water) at the wall can both be caused by the frame of the building shrinking over time.
Because of all these different scenarios that could occur, there is a pressing need for a more thorough inspection within the first eighteen months of service.
What do you need to know about balcony waterproofing?
Do you need a membrane that is waterproof for the balcony that you have? When sealing a balcony, this is an essential step to ensure the integrity of the seal. It prevents any water from getting inside your house, which could otherwise lead to expensive water damage.
In this piece, we will walk you through the primary steps that need to be taken in order to ensure that the balcony in your home is properly waterproofed. Please be aware that SCR does not recommend attempting this as a do-it-yourself project, but rather recommends that you hire a Certified Water-proofer in order to guarantee that your balcony will receive a Waterproofing Certificate.
The Australian Standards for Waterproofing membranes for External Above-Ground Use 4654.2-12 includes the following guidelines for their use.
How to Apply A Terrace And A Balcony Waterproofing
The applications of waterproofing, which are of critical significance for the protection of open spaces like balconies and terraces, can be completed in just a few steps. As a consequence of this, it is necessary to prepare the application surface for the system that will provide waterproofing underneath the ceramic coatings. What steps need to be taken to ensure that an outdoor balcony or terrace is kept dry? You can take a look at the following steps that detail the preparation and application of the product.
The Preparation Step
Before applying the ceramic coating, it is essential to first prepare the surface that it will be applied to. Before applying waterproofing materials, any residues from anti-sticking products and any loose parts should be cleaned. It is important that the surface be smooth, firm, and clean. When necessary, surface defects should have suitable repair mortars applied in order to be fixed.
Repair and reinforcement systems, specially developed by the industry leader in building chemicals BAUMERK to repair surface defects, will provide the most appropriate solution for your requirements in this regard and will offer the best possible service to you.
The Chamfering Step
Protection against water based on cement. Waterproofing should be provided by applying chamfer bands to the wall and floor junction points so that water does not accumulate in the corners of the terrace and balcony and then make its way down to the lower layers. This will prevent water from reaching the lower layers. In order to maintain their elasticity and provide protection against any potential expansions, chamfer tapes, which are also known as waterproofing tapes, need to be flexible.
In addition, a high resistance to tearing is an important factor in the effectiveness of waterproofing terraces and balconies. It's possible that the supplementary product choices offered by Baumerk will turn out to be the most suitable response to your requirements.
Application of The Waterproofing Layer
Following the completion of the surface preparation, the application of the waterproofing layer can begin. At this point, it is essential to select the water-repellent material that is the most appropriate for the building in consideration of the water exposure it will experience, its contact with the sun's rays, and any other requirements. The terrace, balcony, and wet-damp floor waterproofing products that were developed by Baumerk for a variety of different demands can be considered an ideal choice for the application of waterproofing layers to terraces and balconies.
Application of The Last Layer Protection Material
After applying a ceramic coating to the surfaces of the terrace and balcony, the joints should be filled with the appropriate material, and a final layer of protection should be applied. In the event that there is no coating, it will be essential to select a topcoat paint that is resistant to the effects of UV light, does not fade, and can withstand the weight of foot traffic.
Waterproofing Over Existing Tiles
How can you waterproof over the tiles that are already there? If the current waterproofing system is failing, the tiles are in poor condition, or the issue is related to the tiles, it is recommended to remove the existing tiles and then waterproof a balcony. This is because removing the tiles allows for better penetration of the waterproofing solution.
However, it is also possible to waterproof over the tiles that are already there. In this scenario, it is essential to determine whether or not the existing tiles are in satisfactory condition. If you want a better result, make sure that they are attached firmly to the substrate.
The appropriate application of waterproofing is essential to ensure the comfort of your building, and as a result, your own personal comfort. Incorrectly applied waterproofing on terraces and balconies can also result in irreparable damage to the building, which is one of the factors that directly affects the aesthetic appearance of the building. Waterproofing is one of the factors that directly affects the aesthetic appearance of the building.
Waterproofing Methods And Types For Balcony Decks
This method ranks among the most straightforward approaches to waterproofing in any construction. Cementitious waterproofing requires the use of materials that are not only simple to apply but also simple to mix together. These materials must be readily available from suppliers of masonry products.
The following are some examples of common applications for cementitious waterproofing:
- Ports and docks for the transport of marine cargo
- Structures and areas designated for parking
- Infrastructure for trains and subways
- Locks and channels for the river as well as concrete dikes
- Treatment facilities for sewage
- Water purification facilities
Liquid Waterproofing Membrane
A primer coat and a couple of additional coats are applied on top of the primer coat using either a roller, a spray gun, or a trowel to create a thin coating. In comparison to the cementitious type of waterproofing, the methods of waterproofing using liquid membranes can potentially offer greater flexibility. The liquid will cure the surface of the wall, turning it into a coating similar to rubber.
The coating has elongation properties that can reach up to 280 percent at their highest point. However, the longevity of the coating will be determined by the type of polymer that the manufacturer chooses to use in the production of the liquid waterproofing.
The polymer-modified asphalt that makes up a liquid waterproofing membrane has the potential to be sprayed on in the application process. Additionally, polyurethane liquid membranes are offered by a variety of manufacturers in different grades suitable for roller, spray, and trowel applications.
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Bituminous Coating Waterproofing
It is a type of coating that can be applied to buildings in order to waterproof them and offers a protective coating that is flexible and malleable. Because of the polymer grade and the reinforcement of fibre, the bituminous coating offers both protection and flexibility when it comes to dealing with water. This is made possible by the formulation and polymerisation grade.
Bituminous coating is also known as asphalt coating, and the areas that are under screed wet are the most common places for this type of coating to be applied. Particularly useful as a protective coating and a waterproofing agent on surfaces such as concrete foundations, such a substance could be described as follows:
Bituminous Membrane Waterproofing
Because of its time-tested efficacy, membrane waterproofing is a well-known method that can be utilised for the protection of flat roofs or balcony decks. Both the torchon membrane and the self-adhesive membrane are utilised in the production of the bituminous waterproofing membrane.
Asphalt, fillers, and polymers are the three components that make up self-adhesive compounds. In addition to that, certain compounds such as oils and resins are also added in order to improve the adhesion properties of the material. Another type of membrane that can be either exposed or covered is called a torchon membrane. The exposed membrane is reinforced with granular mineral aggregate so that it can withstand the effects of wear and tear.
Polyurethane Liquid Membrane Waterproofing
This method is utilised for the section of the flat roof that is exposed to the elements, as well as the balcony decks and other areas. However, it is said that this particular type of water resistance comes at a high cost. Having said that, it has the potential to offer greater flexibility. However, polyurethane is extremely sensitive to moisture content; consequently, it is essential to evaluate the moisture content in the concrete slab before applying polyurethane. In the absence of this, debonding or peeling of the membranes may occur after a period of time.
Tiled Balcony Waterproofing
Tiled balconies, whether they are ceramic or homogenous, present an aesthetically pleasing appearance and are very easy to clean and maintain. On the other hand, they are prone to cracking easily, which can result in problems with water seepage that have the potential to cause significant damage. The most common types of finishes for balconies in Singapore are tiles, followed by wooden decking and then a concrete base. For situations like these, a specialised kind of coating is required because it is the only way to effectively waterproof the entire surface. This coating creates a protective layer that eliminates the requirement for water leakage repair.
Similarly, tiled balconies are susceptible to water damage as well as the formation of water. If it has been determined that the concrete base has a solid structure, then in some instances, water seepage can be resolved by applying waterproofing over the tiled surface using water-resistant coatings. This can be done if it has been determined that the concrete base has a sound structure. Despite this, the condition of the grout has deteriorated, and such a practise is not recommended in most cases. It would then be necessary to make modifications to the currently installed tiles in order to instal an entirely new waterproofing system. The tiles on your balcony will benefit from treatment with water repellant applications that help maintain a preventive coating against future water intrusion if they are properly maintained on a periodic basis and in the appropriate manner.
Concrete Balcony Waterproofing
If the waterproofing membrane on a balcony with a concrete finish is not adequately protected, it will almost certainly erode over time and become ineffective. However, this should not be a cause for concern because we can use a variety of preventive systems to safeguard concrete balconies against the effects of the weather. These kinds of systems can be installed on top of the concrete that is already there, which eliminates the need for hacking works, which also saves money and time. Debris can also be disposed of more easily. One such application is the treatment of concrete surfaces with fibre liquid in conjunction with a resin that is based on water.
Exterior Balcony Waterproofing
Drainage and water runoff systems for exterior balconies need to be well-designed to prevent water from pooling and standing, which can lead to cracks in the surface over time as a result of the penetrating action of water. It is essential that drainage be effectively incorporated into the downpipes in order to minimise the possibility of damage caused by water being expelled from the balcony in a secure manner.
Signs Your Balcony Needs Waterproofing Attention
Because it is exposed to the rigours of the environment, the balcony of a building in Singapore is potentially the part of the structure that is the most susceptible to damage. Heavy precipitation and the runoff of water from balconies both lead to extensive damage to the interiors of the building as well as other structural problems that may be expensive to repair.
The majority of the time, leaks from balconies can be found in offices or private homes, which can then result in the growth of mould and stains. Even if the cracks are so small that they cannot be seen, there is still a possibility that they will cause leaks in the balcony's waterproofing system. The presence of water stains and mould is evidence that water has been collecting in one location for an extended period of time. After discovering clues pointing to the possibility of a leak, the next step that makes sense to take is to locate the origin of the leak. The next step is to look for any signs of water damage or mould in the areas surrounding the balcony as well as the surrounding area. In the event that they fold directly over the bathroom, water leakage repairs might be required, whereas waterproofing repairs might be necessary in the event that the area directly above the leakage is frequently exposed to water.
Because balconies are subjected to intense weather conditions, the waterproofing system and the concrete beneath them are likely to suffer from water damage over time. The following are additional warning signs that the waterproofing has failed:
Evidence of Efflorescence
The formation of efflorescence, which can be observed once salt has accumulated due to the presence of water, is an unmistakable indication that water drainage is not operating as it should be.
The appearance of Stains or Mould
If stains or moulds begin to appear in either the interior or exterior areas of your balcony, this could be an indication that the waterproof system is beginning to fail.
Cracks In Walls or Flooring
Because of the effects of the weather, balconies are frequently put in danger of being hit or damaged by outside forces. Because of this, a leaking balcony may develop cracks not only on the walls but also on the ceilings and floors of the balcony area.
Paint Wearing Off
Paint that is flaking off could be an indication that there is moisture present; this is a clear warning that your balcony needs to be thoroughly inspected, and if necessary, a new waterproofing system should be installed.
A Few Common Reasons Why Balconies Leak
The balconies, terraces, and rooftops of high-rise residential and commercial buildings have been shown to have the highest number of waterproofing failures, according to statistics compiled by insurance companies. A significant number of these structures have design criteria that do not adequately consider water control.
- The entry of water into living spaces below can cause tensions between neighbours and frequently results in legal action being taken.
- The widespread problem of mould spores from damp-affected areas, which are harmful to people's health and pose a threat to public safety.
- The invasion of water is causing damage to concrete structures, which will eventually lead to the failure of essential structural components.
Additionally, the waterproof membrane is not always to blame for the problem.
Other Deck and Balcony Maintenance Items
Guardrails and Guardwalls
Important safety features that are designed to prevent people from falling off of balconies and decks include guardrails and guard walls. It is imperative that careful consideration be given to the points at which the guardrail joins the wall. In order to lessen the likelihood of water penetrating the wall assembly or the building structure, it is imperative that all guardrail connections be routinely inspected and maintained, regardless of whether they are connected through the membrane or to the wall.
Depending on the manner in which they are constructed, guard walls are especially prone to developing leaks at the corners and intersections with the exterior wall (saddles). It is necessary to perform routine inspections and maintenance tasks, including paying attention to any sealants that may be used at these locations.
Drains and Gutters
Drains and gutters are essential components of the system that makes up a deck or balcony, and they need regular maintenance. Cleaning the floor surfaces of the balcony and deck on a routine basis to remove any dirt or debris, such as leaves and twigs, is an essential yet straightforward component of maintenance that must be performed in order to keep the drains and gutters in good working order. This will ensure that the drains and gutters do not become clogged and have a free flow of water.
It is essential for continuous "edge wrap" drainage systems that the surface of the deck and balcony be kept clean and free of dirt and debris at all times. These drainage systems, which are installed around the perimeter of the deck or balcony, direct the water into a continuous gutter. It is essential that these systems continue to have unrestricted drainage in order to prevent instances of clogging and water overflow.
What Maintenance Must be Performed on Decks and Balconies?
When cleaning the membrane, use standard household cleaners that are safe for use on plastics and contain no harsh chemicals. When cleaning the membrane, you should never use any solvents, alcohol, paint thinner, or lacquer thinner because these products have the potential to degrade vinyl and urethane membranes.
If you are unsure about how to approach the specific maintenance requirements, you should seek the guidance of a building envelope consultant who can provide you with expert insight in this area.
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How Often Must Decks and Balconies be Inspected and Maintained?
At the very least once every two years, deck and balcony membranes should be inspected for existing as well as newly constructed buildings.
If you live in a new building, you should have an inspection done on the condition of the decks, balconies, railings, and any other related components before the end of the first and second years. This will help identify any potential issues that may have arisen as a result of wood shrinkage or structural movement in the building.
Every two years, the condition of the guardrails and guard walls, as well as their level of strength, should be inspected. Cleaning the surfaces of the balcony and deck, including the drains and gutters, should be done at least twice a year (or as needed) in order to remove leaves and other debris and to prevent clogging and potential problems caused by water build-up.
Residents get a lot of enjoyment out of having direct access to the outdoors and to the fresh air through the use of decks and balconies. To ensure that they will continue to function effectively over time, they, like all other building components, need to be subjected to routine maintenance, inspection, and repair by appropriately trained contractors and consultants.
FAQs About Balcony Repair
You can easily and quickly apply flooring-specific liquid membrane waterproofing to the finished floor using rollers or brushes for balcony floors that do not have cracks or tenting. This type of waterproofing is designed specifically for flooring. If the process is carried out in accordance with the directions provided by the manufacturer, there should be no gaps left behind, and the resulting thickness should be no more than a few millimetres.
Brush or roller can be used to apply the PU coat in two layers. After priming, the first layer should be applied between two and three hours later. The second layer should be applied crosswise between eight and twenty-four hours later, depending on the weather. A micron-thick layer of clean sand is sprinkled over the top of the final coat of polyurethane.
To answer your question, yes, some related tradespeople such as tilers, bathroom renovators, and even builders are qualified to carry out waterproofing work under the appropriate licence. However, if you have the option, it is best to look for someone who specialises in waterproofing specifically.
If the ceramic tile has already been laid down on the floor, there is no way to completely waterproof the floor after the fact. The only option is to remove the tile and instal a genuine waterproof membrane while doing so, but this is only possible if you replace the tile. Some individuals will try to waterproof the grout by applying a sealer to the joints, but this is not effective.
Paints. Paints, more than any other finish, offer the greatest protection for wood against deterioration caused by ultraviolet light and general erosion. A surface that has been painted slows down the rate at which moisture from the outside can seep in, blocks out ultraviolet rays that can cause damage, and locks into the wood the natural resins and oils that would otherwise be lost to the elements.