balcony deck still leaking

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Old 12-16-07, 12:49 PM
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balcony deck still leaking

I have a small 2nd floor bedroom balcony with vinyl (I believe) covering outside . It is 16' X 4 1/2'. It is level with a slight slope back to the wall. Underneath is our kitchen nook. Water has been pooling and finding its way to the interior ceiling. What, in the pacific northwest (Vancouver, BC area), can be done in the cool wet winter to prevent further leaking - even temporarily? I am told that there is nothing that can be done until the warmer weather. I have recaulked the seams and the perimeter of the deck cover but it did not stop the leak. At this time I have a heavy, plastic tarp but any wind causes the tarp to cut by the corners of the balcony. It is tedious replacing the tarp every 2 weeks. Can I strap a new floor cover so that it drains away from the wall? What about moisture buildup in the dead air space created by the new floor? Is there nothing that can be done until the spring? I find it hard to believe that there is not one product - some sort of slop or whatever - that can provide a temporary leakproof covering?
 
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Old 12-16-07, 04:00 PM
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There's 3 places I would suspect.

1). The point where the cover attaches.
2). The door flashing on the balcony
3). The balcony flashing- above, between joists (if cantelievered), and the bottom where the balcony ends and the siding begins.

Nothing you can do on the outside (caulk) will likely help this problem. Removing siding is the only way to determine where water has been or has not been. Once the siding is removed you will likely be able to trace where the water is coming in. I'd start looking at the bottom of the balcony and work my way up.

IMO, it's pointless to blindly try to "slop" sealant around when you don't even know for sure where the water is entering. Surely "someone" can come and look at this before Spring and figure something out.
 
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Old 12-17-07, 11:23 AM
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Thanks Xsleeper. Yes, support is cantilevered. And the threshold was all rebuilt including re and re the subfloor on both sides of the doorway. I would hope that it was waterproofed. As for no siding, I have acrylic stucco over metal lath so it is not easy to remove. And I didn't want to get into major o/s work. What about strapping another deck on top? I just don't want a moisture/mold problem developing so if I could get some way for it to breathe, that might be the best solution. As far as contractors, I have had 3 come and they were of no help - (trades people are hard to find in B.C. right now). They are all "too busy". Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Last edited by lansur; 12-17-07 at 11:26 AM. Reason: forgot to add to XSleeper's answer to me
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Old 12-17-07, 03:45 PM
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Is it possible for you to snap some digital pictures and upload them to photobucket? (or similar) Maybe a few pictures would help us get a feel for the problem.

You say the threshold/subfloor was repaired recently? Was it rotting from water damage, or was the door recently replaced?

I guess I'm wondering if the floor is not wet around that balcony door... (you could remove interior trim there to check the sides of the door inside the rough opening) you might be able to rule out the balcony cover / roof.
 
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Old 12-20-07, 07:29 PM
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lansur,

Your 3rd sentence -- "It is level with a slight slope back to the wall" -- is 100% of your problem. That, and the fact that it's cantelevered.

There is going to be virtually nothing that you can do to eliminate the problem until you get rid of the cantelever (remove the deck and make it freestanding, and cover up the holes in the siding) and make the new deck level or even slope away from the house. Level is fine, or slope it 1/8" per ft. away from the house. As long as there are no holes in the siding where the joists are, it doesn't matter which you choose.
 
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Old 12-21-07, 05:40 AM
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In my experience doing home inspections, at least here in the Chicago area it's very difficult to create a durable waterproof flashings where cantilevered joists penetrate walls, and whatever is there is frequently compromised by repairs.

Here's one recommended method of dealing with this detail:

http://************/39elnn

The saw cut or bead of caulk on the bottom of the joists is a critical detail, especially if they are pitched back toward the structure.
 
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