Isolation of Balconies and Terraces
Terraces and balconies are structural elements of a house that often protrude beyond its outline, and as a result, they are most exposed to the adverse effects of changing weather conditions, which in our geographical latitude can be extremely unpredictable. Fluctuating temperatures and humidity make proper waterproofing of these parts of the property absolutely essential. Well-executed isolation will effectively protect the surface from water penetration and allow you to enjoy an aesthetic and durable terrace and balcony space for years to come. You should also know that neglecting this matter ultimately means much more than annoying tile peeling. The absence of balcony and terrace waterproofing for an extended period poses the risk of structural plate corrosion, leaks, and the growth of microorganisms harmful to human health. If you're wondering how to properly protect your balcony or terrace, we encourage you to continue reading this text. We will try to answer the most important questions about proper waterproofing of these areas.
The climate in our country, which practically means freezing winters and hot summers, is not kind to balconies and terraces made of concrete, which, among many advantages (being durable and inexpensive), also has a serious flaw in the form of considerable susceptibility to moisture. It is also not suited to multiple passes through the freezing point of zero degrees Celsius, which can cause it to crumble and crack from the inside, and from there, it's only a step away from the collapse of the entire structure. Furthermore, the reinforcement inside the balcony or terrace slab is extremely sensitive to moisture, which, without proper protection, sooner or later leads to corrosion. The ideal solution in this situation is complete isolation from water from rain and snow. This is where balcony or terrace waterproofing made of concrete comes into play. It is most sensible to carry it out during the construction of the house, ensuring that the surface is properly protected from the very beginning, which will have an impact on the durability and aesthetics of the recreational space.
In the past, balconies and terraces were insulated with moisture-proof insulation, plaster, and waterproofing, and then tiles were laid on top. Unfortunately, due to the joints that allowed some water penetration, it seeped under the tiles, ultimately causing them to crack. Nowadays, insulation is done similarly to roof insulation, with layers of tar paper, foil, styrofoam, tar paper, tiles, and wooden supports on so-called "mushrooms." Such insulation should easily last for up to 30 years. To drain water from the balcony, an additional external gutter or a water-draining wall can be used – by the way, this is an extremely popular solution.
Mineral isolation is one of the most commonly used solutions for protecting balconies and terraces from water. It is done using mineral slurry, which is essentially a cement mortar with polymer additives. It creates a coating that makes it difficult for moisture from the atmosphere and rainwater to penetrate. Mineral insulation comes in one-component and two-component forms. Its use requires the prior priming of the balcony or terrace slab and the preparation of the mixture itself.
Advantages of mineral isolation for balconies and terraces:
fairly good hydro-insulating properties,
good adhesion to both floors and tiles,
the elastic coating created with it withstands varying temperatures well.
Disadvantages of mineral insulation for balconies and terraces:
can only be applied on a dry substrate,
lengthy drying process,
less aesthetically pleasing appearance, which requires additional finishing to enhance attractiveness and provide proper resistance to wear.
Sealing and compensating mats are a novelty in our market. These mats are laid directly under ceramic tiles. Their installation is limited to unrolling and securing them to the balcony or terrace substrate using appropriate adhesives. The next step involves laying tiles using regular tile adhesive.
Advantages of sealing and compensating mats:
nearly instantaneous installation,
possibility of performing subsequent tasks almost immediately after laying the mats,
excellent insulation properties – they are also used for insulating pools,
high resistance to changing weather conditions.
Disadvantages of sealing and compensating mats:
to protect the mats from damage during use, they must be covered with ceramic tiles, which generates additional costs,
tiles are also necessary as covering the recreational area solely with white mats doesn't look attractive.
Resin membrane is a relatively new solution on the market, gaining popularity among investors and experts alike. It involves using a liquid membrane made of polyurethane resin. This creates a thin, tight coating on the balcony or terrace surface, protecting it from moisture, leakage, extreme temperatures, and UV radiation. Moreover, it doesn't require additional expenses for finishing since it looks excellent. The coating created with a resin membrane is both hard and flexible – we realize that these properties may seem contradictory at first glance, but in this case, they coexist successfully. Resin membranes are available in matte, semi-matte, and glossy versions, with a wide range of colors, allowing every investor to finish their recreational space according to their preferences.
Advantages of balconies and terraces with resin membranes:
easy to apply,
versatile – can be used on balconies or terraces of any size and shape,
no need to remove existing flooring,
it provides effective hydro-insulation and an aesthetic finish in one, saving time and money for the investor,
easy maintenance – cleaning with water and regular detergent is sufficient,
highly durable, supported by an unusually long warranty for this category of products.
Installation of resin on a terrace or balcony is best entrusted to professionals who are knowledgeable in this area. They usually apply several layers of the product, but they are thin enough so that the final result looks flawless. Additionally, it is resistant to abrasion and cracking and provides a non-slip surface, ensuring safety in everyday use.
When choosing hydro-insulating materials for a balcony or terrace, the following variables should be taken into account:
which structural element needs protection – whether it's a terrace or a balcony,
where the structural element is located, requiring insulation – whether it's on the ground or above it,
what rooms are located beneath the balcony or terrace requiring protection,
the scope of the substrate's work – considering that the larger the surface area, the more flexible the hydro-insulating material should be,
whether you want to perform insulation and finishing of the recreational space simultaneously,
whether you have the time and resources to divide these tasks into two separate stages,
whether the cost of the considered solution fits within your budget.
Regardless of the space you want to protect using waterproofing materials and the products you choose for this purpose, there are several universal guidelines for construction work carried out during the insulation of these residential leisure spaces:
If you want to properly protect a composite balcony from moisture, the optimal solution is to create a sub-tile seal on the structural slab using the appropriate slope, allowing water to flow freely from the covered surface.
Seals should be applied in corners and sheet metal processing areas to prevent water from infiltrating into the structural layer of the balcony or terrace.
If you plan to build an above-ground terrace, it's important to lay a separating layer underneath the constructing slab. This effectively blocks capillary rising damp and protects the entire structure from moisture originating directly from the ground.
Above-ground terraces located directly over heated rooms should be protected using sub-tile sealing and waterproofing of the structural slab.
If you want to cover your terrace with wood, you should use a solution that provides protection against both water and harmful UV radiation, which can damage wooden or composite flooring. By combining these features, your balcony or terrace will look pristine for years and be effectively shielded from water penetration. A commonly used product in such cases is liquid membrane, specifically designed for terrace boards. This is not the place for experiments. Such waterproofing under wooden and composite boards is easy to apply, using a brush, trowel, or sprayer. It quickly becomes rain-resistant as well.
If you're planning to build a house, you're surely considering designs with a leisure space in the form of a balcony or terrace. However, from experience, we know that building a single-family property on your own can be immensely stressful. This stress is directly linked to a lack of time and knowledge in construction, as well as the laws and regulations in place.
New-House, a construction company, has been operating in the Polish market continuously since 1991, and during this time, we've observed changes in the needs of individual investors. Believe it or not, there are many people who are afraid they won't manage home construction. That's why we've created a comprehensive turnkey home construction offer, covering all stages of this complex endeavor. Within this framework, we take care of everything that needs to be done to complete the construction to the desired state in the specified time. But you don't have to take our word for it – take a look at the list below and see for yourself how many aspects we can effectively assist you with during the construction of a single-family home:
Finding a building plot in the area specified by the investor.
Checking the technical and legal aspects of the building plot.
Selecting ready-made house designs that closely match the investor's expectations and are suitable for the available plot.
Creating a custom house design if using a ready-made design is not possible for any reason.
Handling utility connection formalities.
Physically connecting electricity, gas, water, and sewage utilities.
Handling the permitting process for construction.
Arranging additional financing for home construction, such as a mortgage.
Purchasing and managing construction materials.
Construction work carried out according to the schedule.
Interior design project creation.
Implementation of interior design project.
Landscape design project creation around the building.
Implementation of landscape design project.
Final technical acceptance formalities for the building.
Supervision over the physical acceptance process of the house by the authorized authorities.
If you're surprised by how much we can do for you in terms of comprehensive home construction, then we must modestly admit that you're not alone. Our clients often feel a great sense of relief when they realize that construction can proceed on their terms with minimal involvement, without disrupting their lives for years and consuming their free time. If this kind of collaboration is exactly what you need right now, we invite you to contact us. We're available from Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, ready to answer all your questions and doubts and tell you about the available possibilities. Contact us today, and before you know it, you'll be living in a new, beautiful home with a terrace, balcony, and garden, which we'll be more than happy to build for you. Remember, turnkey home construction only takes us 9 months!