PREVENTING WATER INGRESS
ON AN EXTERIOR BALUSTRADE INSTALLATION
WHAT IS WATER INGRESS?
Water ingress is when water makes its way into the fabric of a building, be that through the roof from a missing tile for example, cracked wall render, poorly fitted windows or in places where the building has been modified and not properly resealed. Whatever the cause, the consequences can be severe and often worsen if left untreated. Signs that you have a water ingress problem in your home include damp patches appearing on walls or ceilings, mold growth and dripping or leaking water. The earlier these signs are addressed, the easier they tend to be to repair but of course the best way to keep your home safe from water ingress is to take appropriate measures to protect against it in the first place.
WHY ARE FLAT ROOFS PRONE TO WATER INGRESS?
Flat roofs are a particular weakness in respect to water ingress because they are far more prone to water pooling than pitched roofs. Ideally, your flat roof will be slightly pitched to allow for water runoff and so long as the roof has rainwater outlets, is properly maintained and kept clear of debris, you shouldn’t experience water pooling. In a perfect world, drainage of a balcony will have been drawn up and implemented prior to the installation of a balustrade. However, we know this isn’t always the case and can cause issues for installers. If water pooling does begin to occur on your flat roof, the water will find the weakest point of waterproofing to permeate, which could be through joins or fixings, flushing or damaged membrane. Once you have water ingression through one of these infiltration points, water damage begins to occur and the situation can escalate rapidly, causing damp patches internally, mold or leakages.
HOW TO WATERPROOF A BALCONY
In order to prevent water ingress, the are two main things to consider when installing a new flat roof or balcony on a property; firstly, how and where will the water drain off the roof (to avoid water pooling) and secondly how to ensure that all the potential water infiltration points are properly sealed. Water drainage can be achieved with a slight pitch on the roof carrying rainwater towards defined outlets such as drainage channels under your balustrade. If rainwater can flow off the flat roof, water infiltration points are much less likely to develop. Then for every corner, join, seam and bolt hole there needs to be a robust waterproofing solution applied; depending on the location this can be achieved with the use of appropriate sealant, butyl tape or bituminous paint.
Pure Vista Balcony Seal®
The installation of a balustrade system on top of a flat roof inevitably creates potential weak points for water infiltration. To mitigate this, Pure Vista have created BALCONYseal®, a revolutionary product that provides a solution to both water drainage and waterproofing on a balcony. Currently this product is available for use with Pure Vista’s POSIglaze and SPIG-LITEpro balustrade systems. It comprises of drain blocks that sit underneath the balustrade channel. Notches on the top side of the drain blocks locate into the rebates of the channel or spigot, locking it into position before the system is bolt-fixed to the substrate through each drain block. The gaps between the drain blocks are your water drainage channels. The drain blocks are subsequently filled with sealant to create a fully waterproofed balustrade installation.