We are so blessed in Australia to have such pleasant weather, and as a result, we spend a significant amount of time outside. A tiled balcony is a wonderful place to sit for meals, to read, to have a beer or a glass of wine, and to take in the sun while doing any of these activities. Unfortunately, leaks are a common problem on balconies that have been tiled. Your first inclination is likely to be "Oh no! That indicates that in order to fix it, we are going to have to rip up the tiles!" However, this is not always the case. It is possible to waterproof a balcony without removing the tiles if you do it yourself... However, after reading this article, you might decide that it's best to leave it to the experts.
Many owners of residential and light commercial buildings appear to have the misconception that a tile installation is waterproof. As a result, they do not devote enough time or resources to the appropriate treatment underneath the tile.
The resulting leaks can go undetected for years, eventually leading to rot that necessitates extensive renovations in the structure. In order to gain access to the structure, it is necessary to not only perform replacement work on it but also remove the tile application.
It's highly likely that the water got in through some cracked grout joints or around the perimeter. When the moisture on the deck freezes and expands, the tiles can become dislodged if the deck is located in a cold climate. Despite this, a problem with the tile installation does not necessarily indicate that the waterproofing system has been compromised. If the membrane is intact and performing its function of keeping the water out, replacing a cracked (or erupted) tile or grout joint is relatively easy and inexpensive to do. If the membrane is damaged or otherwise failing to perform its function, the replacement may not be so simple or inexpensive.
In this article, some of the more common causes of tile failure are investigated, as well as the methods for constructing a deck in such a way as to ensure that it is ready for a floor finish, and the critical installation details that are necessary for long-term durability and effective waterproofing.
Check out Hitch Property Constructions for a wide range of balcony repairs.
Symptoms of a leaky balcony
Repairs for a leaking balcony, whether they are done by the homeowner themselves or by a contractor, are typically required when the waterproofing of the balcony tiles was not done correctly in the first place. Another possibility is that the problem is the result of normal wear and tear in an old building. Have you observed any of the following warning signs that could indicate a water leak on the tiled area of your outdoor or rooftop space?
- Broken up grout or missing grout
- Paint that is flaking, peeling, or otherwise damaged
- Tiles and grout that have been discoloured or stained.
- Loose tiles
- When you walk over a tile, you can hear a hollow sound.
- The development of mould or mildew
- posts or railings of the structure that are either weakened or loose.
- 'Ponding' of water in certain areas
Causes for tile failures
There are many factors that can contribute to the failure of tiles, including deck design, adhesives, and maintenance.
Building the deck
When it comes to the slope, the addition of drains and scuppers raises the difficulty level. Allowing water to flow over the side of the deck is the most straightforward and efficient way to manage water, despite the fact that it is still possible to achieve this goal with careful framing and thoughtful design.
If we assume that the joist spacing and size are appropriate for a tile assembly, then the choice of materials and the method by which they are fastened together plays a significant role in ensuring that the grout lines do not crack and the tiles do not come loose. The assembly needs to be very rigid and flat, and it must be constructed so that there is a significant reduction in structural deflection (i.e. the spring or give off the deck surface). There must be a minimum overall thickness of 31.75 millimetres (1 14 inches).
One possibility involves using plywood with a thickness of 19 millimetres (three quarters of an inch) and a cement backer unit (CBU) measuring 13 millimetres (one half of an inch), which is then secured using thin-set bonding adhesive and the appropriate screws. Instead of going over the top of the joists, the joints of the overlay should be spaced out one-quarter of the way to the next joist. Because of this, the fasteners should only be of sufficient length to secure it to the plywood below (and not to the joists), which will allow it to 'float' freely.
It is essential that there be flatness. The resulting ponded water cannot be easily resolved by later floating it with filler if there are humps and bumps in the terrain. Before applying the waterproof membrane, any issues with the flatness of the surface need to be resolved first.
Where to start with waterproofing balcony
It is imperative that you seek assistance as quickly as possible if you are experiencing any of these conditions. If you let a leak continue to spread, the problem will only get worse, which will make it more difficult as well as more expensive to fix. The first thing that needs to be fixed is the leak in the balcony tile. Scrubbing the stains or re-grouting the tiles is a waste of time until the source of the leak has been located.
In order to locate the source of the leak, we make use of a specialised device. Our moisture detection scanning equipment helps us locate the problem area, allowing us to first carry out non-destructive repairs and then move on to provide remedial waterproofing services. This is accomplished without having to remove any tiles, which is sure to be a source of relief for you.
You'll be happy to learn that we don't just stop there, as well, which is another good thing to know. Your waterproofing repair for the balcony will also involve restoring the area so that it appears as though it were brand new. Before re-grouting the balcony floor tiles with a new layer of EPG epoxy grout, all of the old grout, including the grout that is damaged, worn, and brittle, will be removed, and the entire surface will be meticulously cleaned. To ensure that water is kept out of the structure permanently, we seal all of the internal joints with a high-quality polyurethane that provides maximum sealing.
In the end, we give the surface two coats of a clear waterproofing membrane and a clear penetrating sealer. These steps make your tiles and grout stain resistant for up to ten years, after which we will come back and treat the surface once more at no additional cost to you.
Why is my Tiled Balcony Leaking and How Can I fix it?
When there is a problem, it is typically not caused by a single deficiency, but rather by multiple deficiencies that compound together.
You state that the moisture barrier that was installed using peel and stick was done so correctly. It would not be leaking if it had been installed in the correct manner. If it had been installed correctly, there would have to have been an issue with the structure for there to have been a hole in the waterproof membrane that would have allowed water to get in. Or maybe something happened after it was installed but before the tile was laid on top of it, and that caused the membrane to become damaged.
If there is a leak, then the membrane is not functioning properly for one of several different reasons. This is the bottom line.
Even if the grout joint develops cracks, the underlying membrane will not spring a leak as a result. Because cementitious grout is porous, water can pass through it even if it has cracks that sound like they were caused by shrinkage but were actually caused by stress because there were not enough movement joints installed.
The application of sealers to tiles does not render them waterproof. Even if the tile had been sealed, it would not have stopped the leak even if it had occurred.
In order to reduce the amount of strain caused by the tile's expansion when it is wet or when it is heated up, as well as its contraction when it is cooled down and dried out, the installation should include movement joints. A grout joint that contains a polythene closed-cell backer rod and an ASTM C920 sealant is referred to as a movement joint (100 percent silicone or urethane). A movement joint needs to be placed every 8 to 12 feet in all directions, as well as around the installation's perimeter and at any point where there is a transition.
You really need to get some drains installed on that balcony. Either a drain that is built into the balcony itself or one that is built into the side of the balcony that has a drip edge flashing should be used to direct the water away from the building so that it does not leave a stain. Not only should the surface of the tile be sloped to the respective drains at the rate of 1/4" per foot, but the surface of the underlying peel and stick membrane should also be sloped to a drain weep system at the rate of 1/4" per foot. This will ensure that water is directed away from the surface of the tile and into the drains. In the event that the waterproofing surface does not have adequate drainage, you will, in effect, be creating a reservoir of water that will not be able to escape.
The only way to properly fix it is to remove the tile assembly, locate the problem, and then fix it. There is no other way to do this. In that case, you are only addressing the symptom, not the underlying cause of the issue.
The following are some examples of repair options that will not resolve the issue, do not conform to industry standards, and may or may not resolve the issue:
1. It is possible to remove the tile from the fibre reinforced concrete that is three inches thick. You are able to remove the tile so that you can reuse the concrete base if you do so carefully and if the structure is not compromised in any way. As a result of the removal process, there may be some divots that need to be patched. Following the preparation of the concrete, a liquid-applied waterproof membrane that complies with ANSI A118.10 should be applied over the concrete and up the walls. After that, lay your tile on top of it.
2. Remove all of the grout from the tile installation, then fill the voids with backer rod and a sealant that meets the requirements of ASTM C920. Make certain that the joint around the perimeter is also completed. Forming the joint into a concave shape will prevent mud from collecting there when people walk on it. There is a possibility that water will still be able to soak through your Terra Cotta tile, but this will depend on how porous the tile is. In theory, if you use this kind of sealant in all of the joints, it makes the joints watertight, it gives you movement joints in all of the joints to mitigate potential movement stresses, and it gives you some additional bonding strength between the tiles. All of these benefits come from the fact that it creates movement joints in all of the joints.
Looking for balcony repairs Melbourne? Look no further. Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Waterproofing Concrete Decks and Balconies
Every surface that is going to be waterproofed needs to be solid, tidy, dry, free of sound, and smooth. In addition to the removal of all grease, oil, and wax as well as curing compounds, loose material, paint, and any other contaminants, the masonry surfaces need to be pointed flush and surface defects need to be repaired. A minimum of 28 days is required to pass before fresh concrete can be used.
Beveling the external corners of an area that needs to be waterproofed is necessary in order to ensure a smooth transition of the membrane from the vertical to the horizontal surfaces.
The installation must follow the guidelines outlined in AS4654.2-2012. When designing and installing waterproofing membrane systems for exterior use, above ground level, particular attention should be paid to Clause 2.6 Typical Termination Details. Tile installation must adhere to the specifications outlined in AS 3958.1-2007. Installation instructions for ceramic tiles, the building material known as tile.
- Internal corners should have a fillet or bond breaker of 12 millimetres installed using Admil SupaSeal PU. Admil SupaSeal PU is a Low Modulus, Hybrid Polyurethane, flexible joint sealant and adhesive. It is free of Isocyanates and other hazardous raw materials, and it emits a low odour. Admil SupaSeal PU is a Low Modulus, Hybrid Polyurethane, flexible joint sealant and adhesive.
- To accommodate Seaton Tile Edge, the outside edge of the balcony should be recessed. Admil SupaSeal PU or Class 3 galvanised screws should be utilised when installing tile edge. The Seaton Tile Edge is a premium aluminium extrusion that can either have a clear anodized or powder coated finish.
- WPA 160 should be used to prime Seaton Tile Edge as well as any other non-porous substrates. To improve the adhesion of subsequent membranes, adhesives, toppings, and decorative finishes over porous or non-porous substrates, WPA 160 is a specialised primer that does not contain any solvents and was designed specifically for this purpose.
- WPA 460 Primer should be applied to the surface that needs to be waterproofed. Sealing concrete and masonry surfaces requires a two-component epoxy primer like WPA460, which is water-based and epoxy-based.
- In order to achieve the necessary level of dry film thickness, it is necessary to apply a minimum of two coats of WPA 500 or WPA 230 UV or WPA Rapid membrane. Before applying the succeeding coat, make sure that the one that came before it has had ample time to fully dry (s). NOTE: You are required to waterproof any and all penetrations. The WPA 500 is a fibre-reinforced, watertight membrane that is waterborne and flexible, and it is designed for use under tile finishes. WPA 230 UV is an elastomeric polyurethane membrane that is water-based, has one component, is fibre reinforced, and is UV stable. WPA Rapid is a water-borne flexible waterproof membrane that dries quickly and cures specifically for use as a base for tile finishes.
- Install CTA Eco Screed with Efflock at a ratio of at least 1:100 as soon as the membrane has finished curing completely. The screed underlayment known as CTA ECO SCREED is a pre-blended product that is made up of graded sand, cement, and additives. EFFLOCK is an ideal liquid additive for the bulk impregnation of cementitious building materials because it has a high performance level, is free of solvents, and is based on water.
- After the screed has had enough time to cure, apply WPA 460 Primer.
- When applying two coats of the WPA 500 membrane or the WPA 230 UV, make sure that the first coat is completely dry before moving on to the second.
- After the membrane has had time to harden, floor tiles can then be installed using either CTA Pro Premium or CTA Promaxset. PROHESIVE PRO PREMIUM is a cement-based adhesive that has been modified with polymer, and it possesses premium quality and extremely high strength. PROHESIVE PRO MAXSET is a high-strength adhesive that is polymer-modified, flexible, and based on cement. It was developed specifically for the purpose of installing the majority of different kinds of tiles.
- Tiles should be grouted with the corresponding shade of Polyblend Grout. POLYBLEND grout is a premium, high-quality polymer modified, flexible, cement-based, coloured grout designed for grouting most types of tiles, including ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, and glass mosaics. It is also designed for grouting applications that require a high degree of flexibility.
- Seal all perimeter and intermediate movement joints with silicone or polyurethane sealant after installing backing rod along the perimeter and intermediate joints.
What's Best for Waterproofing your Balcony
An essential component of interior design is the transformation of your outdoor living space into a beautiful area as well as the enhancement of your balcony. The term "outdoor living spaces" refers to any area of a home that is open to the elements and is used for socialising or relaxing. Some examples of this include balconies, patios, and decks. When it comes to selecting the ideal floor covering for your balcony, you have a wide variety of options available to you. There are many different flooring options that you should investigate, each of which has a variety of benefits and drawbacks, including concrete pavers, tile, and wooden decks. Let's take a look at three of the most common options that people go with when upgrading their balconies and see which one works the best when it comes to keeping out the elements.
The idea of installing concrete flooring on your balconies may not appeal to you as much as the more ornate tiles that are available to you. If that's the case, we'd say that your investigation into the possibility isn't complete enough. The typical grey hues of concrete floors have been replaced with a variety of colours and patterns to create a more modern appearance. Concrete continues to be one of the most popular options for the majority of condo owners because of its durability, which is one of the key factors. They are tough, enduring, and simple to keep up with in terms of maintenance. Concrete flooring for balconies has a number of benefits, but it also has some drawbacks. If the concrete is not properly sealed, moisture can seep through it, and in the winter, it can be icy and slippery. The process of waterproofing concrete balconies can be accomplished with extreme caution with the assistance of trained professionals and the application of products such as Westcoat's SC-10 Acrylic Topcoat.
Tiles made of ceramic or porcelain are also an excellent choice for use in outdoor areas. Because there is such a wide selection of colours and designs available, they will lend an air of sophistication to the aesthetic of your balcony. These tiles acquire a resistance to water thanks to the incorporation of a tough protective top layer, which also contributes to the tiles' exceptional longevity. There are many other benefits associated with tiling as well. They are resistant to stains and require little effort to clean. To ensure that the weatherproofing is done correctly, a membrane that is also watertight can be installed. If the tiled balcony is not waterproofed, this can lead to a variety of other problems as well. The repairs are going to be quite pricey because of the water damage and paint flaking. Because of this, it is essential to have the waterproofing completed before the tiling is put in place.
Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of the Melbourne balcony repairs right here.
Interlocking Deck Tiles
They are simple to put in place and simple to change out as well. There is a selection of finishes available for deck tiles, and some of these finishes include natural wood fibres while others are made of man-made plastic. Deck tiles come in a variety of options and finishes. Deck tiles are not a long-term flooring option despite their fashionable appearance because they are not directly attached to the surface that they are placed on top of. It is possible to waterproof deck tiles by installing a layer of rubber, vinyl, or aluminium below the decking material.
Always make sure that safety is your number one priority when selecting the flooring solutions, and your second priority should be to weatherproof the flooring. Tiles and concrete might be the best solution, depending on the circumstances. People who place a high priority on their outdoor space's appearance will find that interlocking deck tiles are an excellent option over the long run. It is possible to weatherproof and waterproof your balcony in a variety of ways, including installing a waterproofing membrane around the perimeter of a tiled area to effectively provide a waterproof barrier and applying a penetrating sealer to block water penetration. These are just two of the many options available. Always seek the advice of a flooring specialist located close to you, regardless of which option you end up going with, so they can assist you in making the best choice.
FAQs About Balcony Repair
The weather and the elements, such as the sun, rain, wind, and frost, can be harsh on tiles that are used outdoors. As a result, it is essential to ascertain whether or not the type of tile you have installed outside is the kind of tile that needs to be sealed. In general, sealing is necessary for all porous tiles, but it is especially important for outdoor stone tiles.
Even though they are designed to withstand exposure to a variety of potential damages, such as the weather or general wear and tear, sealing outdoor tiles is necessary to ensure the long-term care and enjoyment of your outside area. This is the case even though they are made to withstand exposure to a variety of potential damages.
In order to prevent the grout from efflorescing, which is when it loses its moisture and turns into a chalky white residue, cement-based grout that is used in outdoor applications needs to be rated as "no efflorescence." Additionally, cement-based grouts need to be sealed on a regular basis to ensure that they are resistant to stains and the elements.
Protecting numerous building structures requires the utilisation of a liquid membrane that is waterproofing. These flexible membranes are hand or spray applied onto surfaces such as balconies, podium decks and green roofs. Even municipal water tanks are sometimes lined with them to prevent leaks from occuring.
There are four primary varieties of waterproofing membranes that are used in modern construction, and these include foam wallboards, liquid membranes, sheet membranes, and foam shower bases.