Fix Balcony Leak with Few Tell Tale Signs

Balconies at home are an asset and definitely a pleasure to have. Not only does it enhances the aesthetics of the house, it helps to make the house appear spacious and allows the apartment to have a better air circulation around the house. The balcony can be used to create a garden or an oasis, for personal use like relaxation, meditation or just spending time there with family and friends. It’s a largely common concept in this era and in the country whereby most apartments are designed to have a balcony. In fact, most properties in Singapore integrates balconies into multi-storey apartment buildings. However, since balconies are exposed to the weather all year round, it is actually more susceptible to structure failure than other parts of the building. This is due to expansion in hot weather and contraction in cool weather of the structure itself, and it typically happens every day and night. Concrete being the first line of defense, the cantilever structural element with good quality concrete mix design parameters should be considered. One of the worst structural failures could be wall cracks leading to water seepage into the building. Through the crack, water will enter the apartment even though there are no other source of entry for water. It will even lead to yellow moldy stains along the walls or floors of the building, and even spoiling the floor tiles if they are parquetry. If the balcony leakage is not fixed, water seepage will occur anytime during rainy weather, which happens often and can be quite a hassle to clear up the water that seeped into the apartment.

The common causes of leaks on balconies are:

  • Environment

  • Airborne salts

  • Atmospheric carbon dioxides

  • Rain

  • Humidity

  • Temperature

  • Failure or poor construction of waterproofing membrane or waterproofing system

  • Chokepoints

  • Poor design

  • Poor workmanship

  • Poor construction of drainage system

It is therefore very important for tenants or owners to pay more attention to the waterproofing of balconies to prevent having problems with water seepages. Once the problem of water leakage is there, it is constantly seeping water into the apartment. Putting a bucket under a dripping point seems like a solution, but the problem will only get worse, not better if left there by itself. A water leakage specialist that specializes in water and ceiling leakage repair is thus important as they will be able to identify and determine appropriate solutions for the leakage with their expertise. Some owners may feel that if they install a rainfall shelter over the balcony and prevent rainfall in the balcony, it would solve the problem. Although it is indeed true that it would help, the solution is only temporary as it is also a matter of time whereby the leakage from rooftop shelters happen due to the same reasons the initial balcony’s fault. The joint between the shelters to rooftop will deteriorate over time, due to weather, temperature, wear and tear. By transferring the water leakage issue to another position is just a facade which in turn encompasses the same problems. It may also be costly compared to waterproofing maintenance works which can only be determined if a quotation is gotten from a waterproofing expert or consultant. It is important for the owners to know their viable options in such cases.