We at Le Fong know that a single mistake during construction can compromise the integrity of the entire balcony – after all, we fix these mistakes for a living! We examine three surprising issues that lead to leaky balconies and roof decks in this blog post.
When properly waterproofed, a balcony typically has a very mild slope, typically about 2 degrees, which helps water drain. The slope should encourage water to flow away from the house and doorway to prevent even more damage.
While a properly waterproofed deck can handle standing water just fine, if another issue arises, it will prematurely fail. You can avoid many issues on your deck by sloping it slightly, as well as preventing puddles of water on your deck!
In general, flashing is just a sheet of metal, and it is commonly used in home construction wherever there is a seam that allows water to leak through. It is typically used around chimneys and skylights on roofs. Your balcony will have it installed along the perimeter, as well as around any columns attached to the balcony.
If the flashing is installed improperly, however, it won’t be very helpful. Flashings must form a watertight seal by overlapping each other and rejecting moisture. Sheet metal flashing is waterproof when properly installed.
Occasionally, deck resurfacing teams will follow all the correct steps but deliver a finished product with major leaks. What is the reason? Leaking waterproof membranes! The construction crews must cross over the membrane to ensure that the edges and seams of the flashing are completely sealed after the membrane is installed over the flashing. If they aren’t careful, they can puncture the membrane, effectively ruining the waterproofing attempt.
A standing pool of water on your deck is a sign that you have a drainage issue. Leaving it untreated can lead to serious problems like rot and structural damage over time. If you notice this problem, contact a qualified deck contractor who can inspect your deck and implement the right solution. A fixable problem that is left unattended can become much more expensive, potentially requiring a complete rebuilding of the deck.
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