Most of our work on balconies is where the waterproofing has either deteriorated, failed or wasn’t present in the first place.
If we suspect your balcony is leaking, our first step is usually a water test. This means we spray or flood the area it until we cause a leak so we can isolate where the leak comes from.
Often we test from the bottom up: we flood the balcony deck first and if that doesn’t leak we proceed upwards to the walls, windows, doors etc. Starting from the bottom prevents a false positive result where water has dripped down.
Once we’ve found the leak, we may need to do further investigatory work such as removing tiles to inspect the substrate and check the condition of the existing membrane.
This helps us determine the scope of works for permanent repairs and may include a temporary (or maybe even a permanent) repair. Investigatory work can also help us avoid specifying more work than is actually needed.
Types of waterproofing
We use liquid membranes, trafficable membranes and torch-on membranes.
Different types of membrane are suitable for different situations. For example, there must be enough height around the entire perimeter of a deck to allow adequate turn-up if a torch-on membrane is to be installed.
Torch-on membranes are more expensive than other membranes but they have longer manufacturers’ warranties.
A sample balcony
If you have more than one leaking balcony we usually fix the worst one first. We consider this a sample balcony because it helps us make assumptions about the other balconies.
Choosing a sample balcony allows us to:
If all your balconies are of a similar design to the sample one, we’ll be able to offer you a fixed price for repairing the rest. We may also be able to price differently designed balconies.
If we’re working on multiple balconies concurrently there will be some economy of scale.
Why don't we always give a fixed price?
Because if we do it will be for the worst-case scenario. This isn’t in your best interests.
Instead, we provide an estimate to help you plan. This is based on:
We calculate your final invoice based on:
Please choose your new tiles before we start work so we can make sure they’re delivered on time. Alternatively, we can try to match your existing tiles but an exact match won’t be possible if your tile is no longer manufactured.
We recommend 300x300mm tiles for any balcony. When choosing your tiles make sure they’re suitable for external application.
Apron tiles will be installed around the balcony perimeter to cover the membrane upturn on the walls.
Unless you specify otherwise, our tiler will choose polyurethane and grout colours to compliment the tiles.
How to I prepare for work to start?
Please remove all items from your balcony before we start work. Contact us in advance if there’s anything you can’t move.
Make sure all your doors and windows stay firmly closed while we’re working to stop dust getting in. This might also affect neighbouring units; we’ll warn the occupants if necessary.
You won’t be able to access your balcony while we’re working on it.
What if the leak recurs?
If this happens we’ll investigate to see if a secondary problem has developed, or if is the leak is from a fault in our work. If it’s a fault, we’ll determine whether workmanship or materials are to blame. If necessary, we’ll confer with the relevant manufacturer(s).
We’ll fix any fault in our work free of charge, no matter when you discover it.
Why is labour such a large proportion of the cost?
Because we work very, very carefully. Successful waterproofing demands painstaking, highly detailed work to prepare your balconies and apply products properly.