HOW TO WATERPROOF ALREADY PAVED BALCONIES AND TERRACES
Water stagnation can be a big problem for balconies and terraces, especially those with cracks, caused by freeze-thaw cycles, but it is a problem that can be solved. Waterproofing, using the latest generation in water-based and solvent-free liquid waterproofing products, will allow crucial intervention before the issue becomes too big. These ready-mixed, ready-to-use products offer effective workability in extreme conditions without the need for a primer or a finishing layer.
Not only is climate change affecting the agricultural economy and environmental balance but can also heavily affect housing structures and buildings too. The intense increase in UV rays, plus stronger and more frequent storms can cause damages to buildings quicker then we may have seen in the past, except in those rare occasions.
The ultimate protection of terraces and balconies are the main areas of moisture transmission on a building. The ‘health’ of an entire building can be affected by water issues here, especially if maintenance of the area is not acted on. Products used decades ago to create these areas, although good at the time, will eventually break down due to wear and tear, carbonation phenomena, freeze-thaw cycles and so on.. with disastrous consequences. Does this mean that everything needs to be renovated? Fortunately, this is not the case!
It is possible to protect an already paved or tiled balcony or terrace without having to demolish the entire area and rebuild, for as we know would add significant costs in new building materials and a strain on waste disposal of the old material.
Nowadays, the most innovative technology not only offers products and systems for waterproofing balconies and terraces without replacing the existing ones, but also manages to provide maintenance and solutions to surfaces beyond repair. This is especially important as an effective barrier to the transmission of humidity, even on adjoining vertical walls.
Freeze-thaw cycles, a phenomenon already mentioned above, causes damage such as swelling of tiles and other types of finishing layers. Additional cracks in the surface can be attacked by acid rain and in seaside locations also by salt. If not acted on quickly, bad weather can also cause damage to structural reinforcements, which can rust without protection, thus weakening the structures often causing further significant damage.
Great attention must therefore be paid to waterproofing surfaces. Choosing the right product and even better, systems to ensure long term protection and resistance of the building is imperative. As well as waterproofing products, good leveling products must also be used if the substrate is in a state of decline. These are now available as one-component leveling products. These are very useful for releveling surfaces and restoring slopes back to a perfect condition, as well as offering a watertight finish.
Another ‘enemy’ of tiled balconies and terraces is water stagnation, often caused by the freeze-thaw cycles or heavy storms. Innovative technology in waterproofing products can deal with these issues with a real long-term solution.
The best results are undoubtedly obtained with the use of easy to apply liquid waterproofing products, that can easily reach any area of the balcony or terrace giving maximum protection but with minimal disruption of the substrate. These are water-based formulations (without any harmful solvents) mixed with modified resin and synthetic fibre that offers extensive protection and resistance to water stagnation and ageing caused by UV rays. These products also allow normal foot traffic and can be applied on any type of substrate, including concrete, ceramic, marble, brick, existing bituminous membranes, and many more.
In terms of protection, a ‘new generation’ waterproof product that gives a comprehensive and effective moisture barrier, as well as keeping the aesthetic value of the balcony or terrace flooring would be the ultimate choice. We are referring to the low-viscosity transparent protective waterproofing products that are applied directly onto the finished layer, leaving the actual tiles completely unaltered. These advanced products can be applied between extreme temperatures from 0°C and +45°C and do not need a primer. They maintain the stability in freeze-thaw cycles and provide high mechanical resistance in case of thermal shocks. A protection that is effective as well as invisible.
Each problem of waterproofing balconies and terraces therefore has its own specific solutions: from water-based waterproofing, which is ecological and very practical to use, to certified waterproofing systems that interact with each other, generating exceptional levels of protection. All that without having to demolish the existing surface, and all to the benefit of the environment but also to the wallet!