Solving Water Leaks Is Not Always About Waterproofing

Water leak repair is never an easy task.

Finding the problem’s fundamental cause and subsequently a way to fix it is not a simple undertaking.

Decisions about correction may not genuinely stop water infiltration if structural difficulties and waterproofing methodologies and technologies are not understood.

There are often a number of potential remedies; which is best? Of course, while picking the correction procedure, cost may be a crucial factor as well.

Dripping Roofs

We have seen roof water leaks diagnosed as a waterproof membrane issue when in reality they are caused by plumbing issues, structural issues, or design flaws.

When we are asked to fix a leaking roof, we often deal with older structures where the membrane is nearing the end of its useful life.  Roof membranes are often fixed over a long period of time to stop occasional water leaks, but ultimately it becomes unprofitable and burdensome to maintain making repairs. Due to a lack of financing or adverse weather, it is sometimes feasible to do interim rectifications work and postpone the true repair date.

The need for repair that satisfies performance standards for lifetime service, leak resistance, and weathering performance arises when money must be spent, and spent wisely.

Can the current surface be re-waterproofed or does the damaged membrane need the pricey and time-consuming alternative of removal? is a commonly asked topic about rooftop waterproofing.

This is especially important for fixing leaks on “busy” rooftops, such as those that include mechanical equipment, rooftop plant deck equipment, etc.  When removing the old membrane is not practicable, an overlay approach is the sole choice. Finding the source of a water leak helps determine the best course of action and methods needed. To satisfy varying needs, there are several varieties of waterproof membranes available on the market.

Balconies with leaks

Many balconies leak as a result of bad design, subpar building material and techniques, improper waterproofing techniques, and subpar balcony finishes.  Many people in the building industry are ignorant of the connection between balcony tiling, design, and water leaks.

It is possible for a waterproof membrane to leak if tiles are put improperly on it.  Due to the regular temperature cycle, tiles expand and compress. When a membrane is employed, constant expansion and contraction might cause problems if the membrane is not flexible enough to handle the movement.

To accommodate this movement, there are structural elements. Balcony leaks often result from expansion joints—or the absence thereof—and not from a damaged membrane.   Balcony cracking is highly likely if the membrane lacks flexibility and the tile glue is excessively hard. Additionally, fractures ultimately allow water to enter.

Water stops are an impermeable angle erected on the balcony edge to prevent water from moving to a nearby area or surface. Surprisingly, NSW uses water stops less often than most other Australian states.

It is useless to try to fix a leaking balcony by installing a new membrane without addressing “other” non-waterproofing concerns; you will have to deal with leaks again later. The cycle of a leaky balcony continues in this manner.

Modern residential buildings often have balconies that have a little fall. These designs include the application of a waterproofing membrane on a flat (level) concrete or wood framed surface and the application of cement screed to create falls for water to flow to drainage systems.

If a membrane is laid “only” to the level of the balcony surface and water cannot drain off, water leaks and other issues may develop. The tile screed or glue may get saturated and lead to emulsification if water does not drain properly.

Remedial waterproofing and rectification’s goal is to stop the spread of water leaks.

Investigating the construction and design of a building as well as its actual waterproofing condition is crucial when dealing with water intrusion issues. Water leaks must be properly investigated and assessed to determine their main cause; otherwise, the problem will be postponed and have to be restarted.

Water leaks may be fixed by learning about a variety of construction problems, waterproofing being only one of them. Visit the MJ Engineering website to learn more about this and other waterproofing-related issues and solutions.