With the increase in high-density housing in Melbourne – homes with elevated balconies to maximise views and provide an ‘outdoor space’ are becoming more common. Waterproofed balconies are becoming the preferred option in the construction process – often situated over habitable rooms or garages.
The VBA has written that over recent years, they have seen an increase in disputes between owners and builders which involve failed waterproofed balconies resulting in major damage to homes throughout Victoria. There are many reasons why waterproofed balconies may fail, and identifying the cause and rectifying the problems can be difficult and expensive.
At the first sign of a leak – you should contact SCR Melbourne for a free Expert diagnosis and no-obligation quote for repairs!
8 signs that your balcony might be leaking
You can see water stains on the Ceiling Below.
This is often the first sign people see that alerts them to the fact that they have a leak. Where there is water damage to the ceiling below a balcony this is almost always due to possible failure of the seals or the membrane below the balcony tiles.
Efflorescence (white crusting) has appeared on the tiles.
Efflorescent salt (white crusting) coming through the tile grout at various sections across the balcony indicates that water is penetrating and pooling under the tiles. Efflorescence only occurs when mortar or concrete remain saturated for long periods of time.
Water is ponding or pooling on the balcony.
This is a sign that your balcony has been tiled incorrectly as the gradient is not sufficient for water to adequately drain away from the building and towards drainage outlets. Water that sits will eventually deteriorate the grout and work its way into your substrate.
Grout and seals are cracked and/or missing.
When grout breaks down, deteriorates and pops out, this allows water to penetrate underneath the tiles and can cause possible damage to the membrane and substrate.
Tiles are cracked, loose or drummy (hollow sounding).
These are all signs that indicate the tiles have come away from the substrate due to water saturation. This creates spaces underneath the tiles in which water can accumulate and cause damage to the membrane. Hairline cracks in skirting tiles on the sides of the balcony can indicating possible movement in the balcony walls/substrate.
Water enters the house at the doorway.
This indicates that there is the possibility of a major construction flaw with the balcony structure. If the finished floor level of the surface of the balcony sits level or higher than the finished floor level inside the apartment – this is a building defect and this exposes the interior to risk of water ingress.
The walls around the balcony have cracked.
If there are cracks in the rendered wall sheeting around the balcony walls, these could also be a contributing factor to the leak. Wall cracks can allow water direct access to the balcony substrate – bypassing the membrane.
The Balcony has started to collapse.
This is a severe indication of a leaking balcony. At this point the water damage is so great, the balcony membrane has failed and major damage has occurred to the sheeting/slab below. Any movement in the tiles or sheeting when stood upon is pointing towards balcony collapse. Immediate action required.
If you experience any of the above tell-tale signs of a balcony leak, you should contact SCR for a free diagnosis and repair Options.
SCR can often repair your leaking balcony without removing tiles – read here about SCRs Flexible-Epoxy Grout treatment procedures and how we can stop your balcony leak without removing tiles.
If you have some of the more extensive damage signs, such as the balcony collapsing, read about how SCR can Re-Tile your balcony to Australian Standards.
Not sure what’s happening on your balcony. Don’t worry, SCRs experts will diagnose the issue with a free, no-obligation inspection and quote. Get a FREE quote today!