Waterproofing Leaking Balconies – Repairs & Restoration – Insurance Builders

July 30, 2018

Balconies, Roofs & Rooftop Terraces


  • Australian Insurance statistics have identified water leaks as the major reason for damage claims, and leaking balconies are identified as causing  a large proportion of the problems.

Construction and Planning  Lawyers - Lovegrove & Cotton

Why Balconies Leak

Balcony Defects & Water Leaks

This has resulted for many commercial multi-level balconies:

"correct waterproofing membranes are not installed

and/or poor workmanship and  incorrect method used".

  • Accumulation of calcium salts, called "efflorescence" occurs on balcony surfaces only in the presence of water.
  • Waterproofing products used on balconies MUST be capable of holding water. 

  • Many contemporary balconies designed with minimal fall, this often leads to water ingress via the tile grout, leading to moisture "ponding" between the membrane and tiles.

  • If the membrane selected can not withstand "ponding water" -  and a number of  waterproofing products for balconies the market can not  -   in time and along with the normal cyclic thermal contraction and expansion, the membrane system will  degrade causing water leaks.

  • The above balcony design issues are not always taken into consideration when waterproofing contractors/specifiers/designers decide on the waterproofing sys

  • Water can also penetrate through  exposed edges of both reinforced concrete balconies and timber framed balconies, resulting in deterioration of the balcony structure and significant defects occur, such as concrete spalling.
Leaking Balcony Defect Melbourne - lifting tile


Best Waterproofing Product for Balconies 


  • Both balcony membranes AND tile adhesives need to have  flexibility and elasticity to accommodate normal movement  caused by temperature changes and structural settling.

  • Suitable submersible type of waterproofing products and adhesives should be used to waterproof balconies.

  • When selecting  a  balcony system,  ensure the products  are  designed for the purpose.

Findlay-Evans  recommend the water proof membrane  be 

on top of a screeded balcony surface.


Balcony Tile Adhesives 

  • Water runs through the tile grout and below  the balcony tiles.​

  • Tile adhesives take a long time to block this movement of water ingress.

  • Above ground design, like balconies, roof & rooftop terraces , requires adhesive that will accommodate this “saturation” while water is moving towards the drain points.

  • The Findlay-Evans Waterproofing Team  have seen many balconies damaged and leak due to  moisture sitting under the tiles - as many membranes are NOT designed to hold water (or ponding water).

  • Evidence can be seen on the tile surface  and grout lines as a whitish build up, not to be mistaken with calcium (salts) leaching out of a screed or cement grouts (if no membrane over screed).

  • The whitish / grey outflow can be the adhesive re-emulsifying and breaking down when constantly (or mostly) wet it flows out and dries on the surfaces of tiles and grout.

The Findlay-Evans Team, Waterproofing Contractors based in Melbourne 

have seen many balconies with water leaks due to the waterproof coating and tile adhesive was NOT designed to hold or accommodate  "ponding" water. 

See website: www.waterproofingfew.com.au

Findlay - Evans Waterproofing

Best Waterproofing Method to Repair Leaking Balconies 

Repairing a balcony usually requires a  complete strip out and  may even require major structural building works in the case of long term  waterproofing failure. 


Balcony Waterproofing & Restoration System 

- comparable expansion capabilities as the balcony structure itself. 

 - strongly adheres all vertical and horizontal surfaces.

- create a permanent water tight seal around all balcony edges and surfaces.

- withstands "ponding" water.

-  waterproofing membranes must be capable of bridging cracks and joints of the underlying substrate, whether this cement sheeting, Scyon board or others.

- correct membrane installation is equally as important as product selection i.e. detailing to ensure watertight all balcony surfaces, penetrations, and interfaces.

-  remedial waterproofing needs to be fast & efficient  - causing minimal disruption to building occupants.


Findlay - Evans Waterproofing

Using Spray On Liquid Membranes

Liquid Applied Waterproofing Membrane

  • Liquid Rubber has high elasticity and so we strongly recommend the accompanying adhesive to be flexible.

  • Liquid Rubber has added emulsions that trap these molecules and prevent leaching from occurring.

Waterproofing Over Existing Tiles 


Waterproofing Contractors  & Insurance Builders in Melbourne 


About Findlay-Evans Waterproofing - Melbourne

Video Transcript:

I'm Paul Evans on the Managing/ Director of Finlay Evans Waterproofing and Liquid Rubber in Melbourne.

  1. We offer specialized coatings, particularly spray applied coatings, and  we developed systems and procedures to carry out rectification and waterproofing works.
  2. We offer a wide range of remedial treatments & coatings.
  3.  Waterproofing system we use are Liquid Applied Membranes.
  4. Being liquid, Liquid Rubber has great coverage and , as  they have a good coverage and can seal and waterproofing  all surfaces.
  5. A opposed to a lot of conventional waterproofing membranes, like sheet or torch-on membranes,  which tend to bridge over the critical cold joints .
  6. This is particularly important for basements and retaining walls
  7. There are a lot of roofs in  Melbourne that we are doing waterproof repairs on. 
  8. These are  flat roofs and quite old and dilapidated  - many of them have older type of membrane which was probably laid 50 - 60 years ago.
  9. Waterproofing retrospectively can be difficult because there's an extremely high cost involved if you were to remove the existing membrane and then start afresh.
  10. So Findlay-Evans have developed  a special roof water proof treatment that can be sprayed over the top of the existing sprayed waterproofing membrane.
  11. Liquid Rubber over the top of the top  and is highly flexible to foot traffic.
  12. A top thermal coating can be applied which is UV & Solar Reflective.
  13. Liquid Rubber is particularly good on balconies because it's highly flexible it bonds extremely well the the membrane, is suitable for ponding water.
  14. This is a crucial part, as many membranes actually break down under constant moisture.
  15. Liquid Rubber is designed to hold water permanently so particularly in the style of buildings today where there's very little fall built into the balconies. 

Findlay - Evans Waterproofing