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Waterproofing of Decks & Balconies

Leaking decks, balconies, flat roofs and parapets can all be the cause of serious ingress into the house.

We remove all compromised waterproofing and ascertain why it failed and what appropriate remedial action is required for the type and nature of the specific ingress. We do all the needed repairs to prevent the re-occurrence such as correcting amount and size of outlets, screed the areas to the correct fall and tanking points of ingress. We also re-tile and make good all areas worked on.

The type of treatment of a deck or balcony is determined by what it is used for and ultimate finish required.

If it is a balcony that gets used to entertain or walk on, the higher volume of traffic requires a more robust finish such as tiles, epoxy screed or high quality polyurethane enamel stoep paint.

The nature of the substrate also determines the treatment. The culture in South Africa is to put a Bitumen Based Torch-on styled system on everything. This has its place when the deck has a degree of movement in it, but it has severe long term draw-backs. We opt to use a cementious system which provides a permanent waterproofing system bonded to the substrate.

There is no shortcut to sealing a deck or a balcony. Any sealant on the surface or patching of a compromised Torch-on, cannot be guaranteed and is ultimately a waste of funds.

Our Treatment and Repair Process

Our process requires that all the tiles, existing waterproofing and screed be removed down to the exposed concrete slab. Depending on the condition and nature of the slab, we would treat it as follows:

  • We repair all cracks with Sika expanding crack repairing grout;
  • We seal all expansion joints with polyurethane flexible joint filler;
  • We correct the slope by screeding to fall;
  • We increase the number of, or enlarge the size of the outlets off the deck, if so required;
  • On a deck with a lot of movement we would need to do torch-on. We remove 100mm plaster at the base of the wall and take the torch-on up the wall against the exposed bricks. We then plaster back the 100mm over the torch-on, so that no edges of the new waterproofing is exposed to UV sunlight. This can be directly tiled on with a special adhesive, unless the slope needs to be corrected with a new corrective screed.
  • We do, however, strongly recommend doing the waterproofing with a cementitious latex compound system where ever possible, as it is far more robust and durable. The deck would determine which option is suitable. This system can be tiled or painted.
  • If required, we will correct the fall with a screed that slopes away from the house.