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Waterproofing balconies


Waterproofing balconies

   In this article, we will talk about the need for a waterproofing layer under the tiles, on the balconies of new buildings. Basically, these are apartment balconies referred to as "black frame", since the "white frame" already implies facing the balcony with tiles (though not always). Many builders do not even know about the need for waterproofing on balconies and do not take it seriously.     Before we touch on the details and technique of performing the work, we must say about the role of the quality of the purchased material. We do not want to advertise any products, but based on many years of experience, we cooperate in this niche with two suppliers. These are Greek Isomat and German Basf. There are many types and different uses of one-component and two-component waterproofing mixtures. It is very important to use them as intended. 
     Why is it necessary to use waterproofing on the balcony? The waterproofing layer protects the reinforced concrete base of the balcony from the ingress of water and all kinds of adverse effects on it, such as corrosion, etc. With an ignorant waterproofing of the balcony, unfavorable and harmful processes occur under the floor, which we do not notice, and which can subsequently have a disastrous outcome for the entire body. 
     Today, in Georgia we have three truthful overviews in terms of waterproofing balconies: 

        1. Properly made waterproofing before tiling. 
        2. Ignorant and incorrectly done waterproofing.
        3. Laying tiles without waterproofing.
Let's briefly touch on all three scenarios.


1. Properly made waterproofing before tiling.

  First, it is the right choice when buying a product. The next step is the correct preparation of the base. Without this, neither the quality of the material used, nor its proper use will help. The base must be well leveled, swept, and cleaned from the dust. For adhesion, apply deep penetration primer. Then the lower corners around the perimeter are processed with the mixture itself with a special waterproofing tape. This is done for a complete encapsulation of the balcony area from the living area and to prevent the moisture from the balcony from getting on a residential part of the concrete. Process, if possible, the lower part of the walls, 5-10 cm high, considering preventing the penetration of accumulated water. Now we proceed to the processing of the base with a brush, flat brush, castor, or spatula. In most cases, the mixture is applied in two layers. It is very important that the first layer is applied (daubed or rolled) with the brush movement in one direction. After the first has dried, the second layer is applied in a direction perpendicular to the application of the first layer. (i.e. crisscross). Many "specialists" do not take it serious to meticulously comply with all the rules of application, because they are not fully aware of the importance and responsibility of this segment.

2. Ignorant and incorrectly done waterproofing.

  Unlike the first case, this is the wrong choice of material. It is important to consider that after applying the mixture, an accidentally remaining needle-sized hole can make a job null and void. This hole becomes a good water conductor under pressure. Not all, but most developers are interested in using cheap products. And many even put tiles on the balcony without a waterproofing mixture. Some "specialists" instead of tile glue use supposedly waterproofing solutions. We say “some” because the rest are not interested in this question at all. After all, their experience is not based on academic knowledge of the craft, they were passed this knowledge from mouth to mouth by mentors, grandfathers, or neighbors in a hurry. Many people use cheap mixtures to please customers (and in favor of store bonuses). In fact, cheap waterproofing coatings quickly deteriorate and damage the rest of the reinforced concrete underneath living space, but we do not see that under flooring!

3. Laying tiles without waterproofing.

  On balconies, a waterproofing layer is not needed at all in Abu Dhabi or Qatar. But for us it is necessary. Otherwise, we put the fate of the entire underground reinforced concrete coverage at risk. Many "taskmasters" and "craftsmen" naively believe that float-work on a cement or silicone base (aka grout) prevents water from penetrating between the tiles, into the concrete base. This is not true. Without waterproofing, the entire reinforced concrete surface under the floor covering of the living area begins to deteriorate. It happens slowly and in stages. We just do not see it, but when we find out it will be too late!

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