why do balconies need to be waterproofed

Why do balconies need to be waterproofed?

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    Winter, rain, and ice are frequently symptoms of a higher infiltration risk, which, if not resolved, can cause damage to the building structure over time. If this risk is not resolved, the symptoms can cause damage. In most cases, problems of this nature are brought on by waterproofing that has become worn or was installed incorrectly. In the following section, we'll take a look at a few different approaches that have proven successful in preventing or resolving these issues in terrace and balcony floors.

    It's raining again. When it rains, it pools; when it pools, it crumbles; and when it crumbles, the sealant goes to hell, and that's not even mentioning the joints; your shopping, slippery balcony has turned an average downpour into a long-running nightmare. When it rains, it pools; when it pools, it crumbles; and when it crumbles, when it pools, it crumbles. The condition report wasn't too bad when you first moved in – there was a chip here, a crack there, and other minor imperfections. And today? Leaking balcony tiles. Despite your best efforts, there is still mould, decay, and the putrid smell of dampness inside the building. Your balcony's waterproofing membrane is so thin that it might as well not be there.

    What's the upbeat report? Installing balcony waterproofing can save you a lot of stress, as well as money and potential property damage. But what exactly are you searching for? Where do you even begin? You are completely covered by Megasealed.

    Leaks from balconies are common, especially in older homes, and can cause significant damage if they are allowed to continue unchecked. It is important to keep in mind that termites are drawn to damp areas. If you already have fungal growth around your home, the last thing you need is an infestation of termites. If your balcony is leaking, it is essential to take action to fix the problem as soon as possible, before it leads to more serious complications. The process of waterproofing a balcony does not have to involve extensive renovations; by using a balcony sealant, you can have a balcony that is impervious to water in as little as one day and at a cost that is significantly lower than removing the tiles and replacing the waterproof membrane... or spending thousands of dollars in the future to repair the damage caused by termites.

    Check out Hitch Property Constructions for a wide range of balcony repairs.

    Why do balconies leak?

    It's possible that an incompetent contractor is to blame for the failure of the waterproofing system; however, in the vast majority of cases, the following are the most common contributing factors to the failure of balconies:

    • Due to a lack of planning before construction began
    • An improper substrate was used, in addition to the substrate materials.
    • The substrate cannot be considered stable and sound (allows for too much movement)
    • The substrate has not been thoroughly cleaned and prepared to receive the membrane (there is dust, an uneven surface, and rough joins, which prevents the membrane from adhering).
    • Inappropriate selection of membranes (use of indoor membrane instead of the outdoor membrane)
    • There are only a few drain outlets installed, and the ones that are there are of an insufficiently large diameter.
    • Unsuitable or insufficient slope leading to the drainage outlet
    • There are no provisions made for an overflow.
    • insufficient attention to detail around waste and other penetrations
    • Lack of proper flashing or waterproofing at the join of the balcony floor and the exterior wall, as well as inadequate treatment at the window and door openings

    In the future, if you make sure that some thought has been put into the preparation and design of the balcony as well as the waterproofing system that will be used, you can save yourself both time and money fixing a leak.

    In particular, multi-level apartment buildings are seeing an increase in the number of balconies that are being built with minimal falls to the substrate. The phenomenon known as "ponding" can occur on a balcony with a minimal fall because it increases the likelihood of water pooling and moisture becoming trapped between the membrane and the tiles. If the waterproofing membrane that was applied is not capable of withstanding ponding water, the membrane will eventually deteriorate, which will result in water leaks. In addition, waterlogging can cause joint failure, which ultimately results in leaks.


    Other factors to consider

    The failure of the waterproofing system may also be caused by other contributing factors.

    The kind of tiles that will be used in the installation. Tile is susceptible to UV rays, and tiles with darker colours are better at soaking up the heat from the sun. This causes the heat to be transferred into the membrane and substrate, which in turn causes movement in all of the materials. Because of the different ways in which each material moves, the membrane may become damaged. Once the membrane has been torn, it is possible for any water to penetrate the membrane and then seep under it.

    In order to accommodate the tile's expansion and contraction, it is essential to instal expansion joints in the tile. This will prevent the tiles from cracking or breaking. Because of compression and upheaval, the absence of expansion joints can cause tiles to lift. This tears at the membrane, which then allows water to migrate into the room or apartment below.

    Maintenance also plays an important role in ensuring that any water that accumulates on the balcony drains away into the appropriate outlets for the drainage system.

    The pooling or ponding of water that results from blocked floor wastes or outlet drains can allow water to enter the building through openings or at any level above any flashing that may be present.

    Checking the joints between the tiles to make sure that they still have grout in them and that debris has not been ground into the joint, which would cause the membrane to be compromised.


    The Australians are very proud of their home improvement projects. We certainly are a resourceful group of people. Although the Megasealed team is supportive of the do-it-yourself mentality, there are certain projects that should not be approached flippantly, one of which is the process of waterproofing the floor of your balcony. It might not appear to be a big deal right now, but problems with waterproofing don't appear overnight and are frequently undetectable to the untrained eye. In order to guarantee that the most stringent balcony waterproofing standards are met from the very beginning of the project, a skilled technician from Megasealed will apply the most modern balcony waterproofing products. Meaning? In the long run, you come out ahead financially.

    Spotting The Slip-up

    Too frequently, builders ignore basic standards for waterproofing and take shortcuts, which results in work that is inherently flawed because of these two factors. Taking all of this into consideration, it is highly unlikely that you are responsible for any damage to the balcony, particularly if you are renting. It's possible that the homeowners have been dealing with an already problematic balcony ever since they signed the dotted line to become homeowners. When a builder slaps together a house or contributes to the construction of an apartment, they will often construct the balcony first, followed by the placement of the door, and then they will instal the membrane as the final step. This is a significant issue with the junction of the floor and the wall. In theory, Australian standards are supposed to prevent this from occuring, but in practise, a lack of design detail means that the builder will resort to outdated and inefficient practises. They aren't trying to hurt anyone, and they aren't aware of any other options.

    What's Your Angle?

    While we are on the ground, let's take a look at your balcony and see if it has a gentle slope that leads to a central drain. Is there any evidence of water damage to the water barriers or grouting? You're in some serious trouble if you answered "no" twice. If a balcony isn't draining properly, you might want to think about doing a complete re-tiling of it. Yes, it's expensive, but water ingress isn't like a seasonal virus; it won't go away when the rain stops falling.

    Don't Hold Back

    Consider a waterproofing membrane to be like an umbrella for your patio or a raincoat for your balcony if you want to keep your outdoor space in pristine condition. You despise having wet clothes, you abhor being drenched, and the scent of mildew does not scream cosy and welcoming, which is why addressing the leaking balcony as soon as you possibly can will make your days (and nights) a great deal more pleasurable. Contacting Megasealed and taking advantage of our extensive selection of waterproofing solutions for balconies will quickly put a smile on your face. Our services are more cost-effective in the long term and come loaded with insider knowledge to assist you in maintaining your newly sealed balcony.

    What to consider before waterproofing

    In newly constructed homes, it is the designer's responsibility to select the most effective method of waterproofing for the outdoor flooring. The application of a drainage membrane on the reverse side of the substrate, which acts as a support for effective waterproofing, is a Best Practice that has been widely adopted and is now considered standard procedure. In point of fact, the regulations UNI11493-1 state that "the indication of a drainage and protection membrane, applied between the substrate and water barrier, is a measure with the objective of preventing water stagnation from penetrating the structure." This is a measure with the goal of preventing water from becoming trapped inside the structure.

    On the other hand, when it comes to renovations, it is essential to evaluate a variety of factors in order to select the most appropriate solution based on a set of fundamental requirements.

    In this particular instance, the first thing that needs to be analysed is the region in which the intervention will be carried out:

    • Determine the level of damage that has been done to the flooring and the substrate.
    • Check that the layered portion of the structure is correct.
    • ensuring that the slope of the flooring is appropriate is very important.
    • Make sure there aren't any cracks or gaps between the different layers you're looking at.

    You are free to choose the solution that is most suitable for the terrace or balcony in question based on the information provided in the following list of options.

    Choose the most suitable waterproofing solution for renovations.

    You are able to select the optimal solution for the terrace or balcony by analysing a number of factors and basing your decision on those findings. It is possible that directly waterproofing the floor covering is all that is necessary if the flooring is in pristine condition.

    On the other hand, if there are problems with the tile, such as cracks or holes, it is a good idea to remove them and then waterproof the layer that is underneath them, which is known as the substrate. If the condition of the substrate is also inadequate, the best solution is to waterproof the layer beneath the substrate, which will prevent any potential infiltrations in the future. This will be the case if waterproofing the layer is the best solution.

    Options for waterproofing that don't require removing the tile.

    Liquid waterproofing is an excellent solution that can be utilised in place of having to remove the tiled surface if the flooring is in good condition and does not have any cracks or tenting. It is simple to apply and can be rolled or brushed onto the entire surface in a short amount of time without leaving any gaps, all while producing a thickness that is only a few millimetres in height. This method, which should be carried out by attentively following the instructions indicated by manufacturers of liquid membranes, is resistant to changes in temperature, inclement weather, chemical substances, or stagnant water. It should be carried out by carefully following the instructions indicated by manufacturers of liquid membranes. The compatibility of the product with the flooring that is already there is an essential factor that must be discussed with the provider.

    Looking for balcony repairs Melbourne? Look no further. Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.

    Waterproofing solutions between tile and substrate

    If the flooring is damaged or not suitable for use, it is necessary to remove it and completely intervene in the layer underneath, which is on top of the substrate. This is required in the event that the flooring requires replacement. There are a few different options available for waterproofing, but the two most common ones are waterproofing membrane rolls and waterproofing liquids.

    Rolled membrane waterproofing systems

    There are a lot of different ways to waterproof the substrate using rolled membranes, and you can find those solutions on the market. The bituminous, rolled, self-adhesive waterproofing membranes that can be applied with hot air welding on site are the most common type of waterproofing membrane.

    The substrate needs to be spotless, devoid of dust and debris, and completely dry. After the adhesive membranes have been applied, thinset can be spread in preparation for the tiling process.

    In the event that the water-resistant layer that lies beneath the substrate has not been compromised, you will be able to implement a solution that is both more hygienic and more expedient, such as a rolled-up polythene membrane. Floortec, a membrane with a base in polythene that has been laminated with non-woven fabric on the underside, is what we recommend using for this particular kind of waterproofing so that you can put it to use. Floortec, which has a total thickness of only 3 millimetres, not only reinforces the waterproofness of the substrate without significantly affecting the interior of the flooring, but it also compensates for structural tension, manages moisture that rises through the installation, and provides additional load resistance. All of these benefits are provided despite the fact that Floortec only has a total thickness of 3 millimetres. After the membrane has been adhered to the cement subfloor using an adhesive cement, the tiles can be put down.

    The cement-based liquid compound waterproofing system

    On top of the substrate, the application of a cement-based liquid layer that is straightforward to spread could be considered an alternative to the use of a bituminous membrane. The final product is a mixture that is based on cement and to which polymers and other elements that are water-resistant have been added. After that, the tiles and the adhesive designed specifically for tiles should be placed atop this layer. This procedure is less complicated than the one that came before it. However, in actual practise, the cement layer is not completely waterproof. It is possible for the cement layer to swell or contract as a result of changes in temperature, which would allow a small amount of moisture to pass through to the layer below. This method is strongly suggested for use in restoration projects in which it can be established beyond a reasonable doubt that the substrate is in pristine condition and does not contain any cracks or even minute fissures.

    Waterproofing solutions under the substrate

    Intervening under the substrate is the most effective way to both solve the problem of infiltration and prevent any further degradation from occuring. According to regulation UNI11493-1, the process should include the application of a waterproofing layer, on top of which is applied a drainage membrane that both provides protection and allows the outflow of water that percolates from the upper layer of the draining substrate. If you want the best possible results, the waterproofing layer should be applied first, followed by the drainage membrane.

    The bituminous membrane waterproofing system

    When it comes to waterproofing the area beneath the substrate of terraces and balconies, the most common method is to use bituminous membranes. The distillation of crude oil results in the production of these membranes, which are then packaged and sold in prefabricated rolls for commercial use. In addition, there is a resistance-boosting armature embedded within the roll's thickness. This armature can be made of glass fibres or polyester fibres. It is recommended that a bituminous membrane be applied in pedestrian areas with a thickness of 4 millimetres. This is done in order to increase the mechanical resistance and maintain the elongation property that is characteristic of this material. Examples of pedestrian areas include terraces and balconies. The sheets of prefabricated rolls have flame bonding, which makes them simple to instal and ensures that they adhere completely to the surface.

    These same membranes are also available with an adhesive layer, which can be used in settings where an open flame cannot be used in the application. These are more convenient to use, but their effectiveness is slightly diminished as a result.

    The importance of draining membranes

    Drainage membranes installed beneath the substrate of the building are true heroes for the building's structural integrity.

    The most significant factor in the deterioration of balconies and terraces is, in point of fact, the presence of water, which causes damage when it inevitably penetrates the interior of the substrate and wears away at the numerous waterproofing layers over time. This kind of issue is never an issue because of the distinctive construction of the drainage membrane. For this reason, we recommend Draintec 8, a membrane that was designed by our technicians to allow water drainage through a series of drainage channels while compensating for the hydrostatic tension that occurs when the substrate and the bitumen-based membrane are in contact with one another. The unique shape of this item both supports the load and lessens the load compression that occurs as a result of pedestrian or load passage. Draintec 8 consists of two glued layers despite having a thickness of only 8 millimetres. The first one is a polythene base with elements in the shape of cones that are used to separate liquids and drain them. The second layer of the membrane is a non-woven fabric that is laminated on top of the base. This layer has the purpose of preventing small particles and debris from passing through the membrane in order to prevent the channels from becoming obstructed and reducing the membrane's overall efficiency.

    When utilising a substrate that drains water, we recommend installing Draintec 8S, which is made up of a nett with a more open weaving structure than that of Draintec 8.

    Using a perimeter profile for optimal results

    Installing the Border Tex BD profile all the way around the perimeter of the terrace or balcony is something we recommend doing if you want an intervention to turn out with state-of-the-art results. This edge profile's objective is to ensure that water completely drains away by utilising drainage holes that have been purposefully designed for this purpose. It is recommended that the Bordertec BD be placed underneath the substrate, specifically in the space that exists between the drainage membrane and the bituminous membrane. It is the ideal product to protect the structure of the terrace from infiltration and deterioration, particularly when used in conjunction with the Draintec 8 drainage membrane.

    Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of the Melbourne balcony repairs right here.

    Standards for Building Work in Australia relating to waterproofing

    There are regulations at the national level that govern the kinds of materials and methods that can be used to ensure that a balcony is watertight. In order to ensure proper safety, any balcony that is exposed to the elements must comply with these standards.

    • Materials AS4654.1-2012
    • Construction and Installation Standard AS 4654.2-2012

    Even after a home has been awarded an Occupancy Permit or a Certificate of Final Inspection, the builder may still be held liable for a failed waterproofing on a balcony for an additional ten years. This liability period begins when the home is first occupied. In the event that neither a certificate nor a permit was ever issued, the duration of the potential liability may be extended even further. Even in the event that the builder utilises a certified subcontractor and obtains a certificate from said subcontractor, this does not mean that the builder is exempt from liability. They are the main contractor, so as the general contractor they are responsible for the entire building project.

    To ensure that the balconies on their building work are properly waterproofed, constructors are strongly encouraged to become familiar with the requirements outlined in the NCC and Australian Standards AS 4654 AS 4654 Parts 1 and 2, which can be found by looking at the specifics of the NCC and AS 4654.

    The builder needs to have a solid understanding of the process that is used to apply waterproofing, as well as how to properly prepare the substrate and the structure of the building so that it can absorb the waterproofing. It is essential for builders and especially waterproofers to have an understanding of movement and how it can be controlled in buildings.

    FAQs About Balcony Repair

    It is best to waterproof the area under your entire deck by installing a deck drainage system while the deck is still being constructed. The joists and beams of a deck can be protected from water damage by installing a drainage system. The use of an over-the-joist deck drainage system like Trex RainEscape offers one hundred percent protection against the deterioration of the wood that can occur when it is repeatedly exposed to water.

    The drainage system, flashing details, and waterproofing membrane that go over the structural deck are what will ultimately determine whether or not the project is successful. Using a heavy-gauge EPDM membrane (typically 60 mil) as the roofing material is the most common method, and this membrane is typically installed on top of rigid insulation. Another viable option is a TPO membrane that has been heat-welded.

    Even though basic waterproofing membranes have a lifespan of at least ten years, they have the potential to endure for much longer if the right choice and conditions are met. On the other hand, waterproofing that is of poor quality will almost never hold up over time.

    Your balcony can be resealed with epoxy regrouting, which eliminates the need to remove the tiles. a substance that can withstand the effects of both water and chemicals. It requires little to no maintenance and can withstand any kind of weather. As an additional safety precaution, we will also apply polyurethane silicone to all of the junctions along the perimeter.

    A persistent drainage problem on your deck can be identified by the presence of standing water on your balcony. In the event that it is not treated, it may, over time, lead to serious issues such as rot and structural damage. If you have observed this problem, do not waste any time in getting in touch with a reputable deck contractor who can examine your deck and recommend the appropriate course of action.

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