Closing a gap along wall in patio/balcony?

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Old 11-13-16, 07:08 AM
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Closing a gap along wall in patio/balcony?

Hi,
Just bought a new house and it has a really nice concrete patio/balcony on the front.
It has a gap all along the length of it between the wall and the balcony surface between 1/4 and 1/2 in wide.
The surface is actually attached on either side to solid brick walls (it's a townhouse).
So the question is 1) SHOULD I close that gap? Or does it serve a function?
2) If I should close it, what's the best way? Concrete is pretty old (about 20 yrs) so the surface is weathered. Flashing? Caulk?
Any help/info would be greatly appreciated as google hasn't been very helpful on this.
Thanks.
 
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Old 11-13-16, 07:24 AM
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A picture would be helpful:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html

Is the area covered by a patio roof or is it open to snow and rain?

You need space between dissimilar materials on different planes to allow for different rates of movement. But it is usually a good idea to keep water out of such a gap in freezing climates to prevent trapped water from freezing and damaging the adjacent surfaces.

a 1/4 to 1/2 gap can be caulked with a high quality exterior caulk. I like to use big stretch brand for areas like this. You should insert foam backer rod into the gap first so the caulk will be only as deep as it is wide. It's important to clean the surfaces well first and allow them to dry thoroughly before caulking. It may already be a little late in the year to do this job; check the temperature guidelines for the caulk you use.

Here's another option that works well: SlabGasket Expansion Joint Replacement (Gray)
 
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Old 11-13-16, 07:36 AM
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I agree that a picture would really help. If this patio is not covered, it's there for drainage as well as expansion. If caulked, I would use foam backer rod and a sealant meant for concrete expansion joints, not any latex caulk. Around here, that would be BASF NP1, Loctite S10, or in some cases you might use Vulkem or any other caulk that specifically says it's for concrete joints. (But you would not want self levelling in this case)
 
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Old 11-13-16, 07:57 AM
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Thanks for the reply. Pic at bottom of post.
That gap runs most of the length - while it does get a bit wider in some spots maybe 1/2in is too big a guess. Most of it is this width. The gap goes through the whole slab. I haven't noticed any frost damage but I'm concerned as the steel lintel over the garage door is showing serious rust that I theorize is due to the water from the gap hitting it.
The slope on the slab is pretty good I think, so most water runs off but there is issue with anything hitting the face of the wall and since this is in Montreal I'm going to guess any meltwater is going to also run down (this is going to be first winter here so no personal experience).
Thanks again.
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Old 11-13-16, 07:59 AM
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I would probably use backer rod and caulk it. But you might check it with a level and make sure it's pitched properly to let water run off the other sides.
 
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Old 11-13-16, 10:41 AM
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I wouldn't worry too much about the steel lintel, some are rusty when they are installed. I'd only be concerned if the rust was flaking or showed other signs of it failing. I'd sand or wire brush the lintel, apply a rust inhibitive primer followed by a coat of oil base paint. I generally paint them a color that matches the window/door below it.
 
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Old 11-13-16, 08:37 PM
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It is very much flaking. Fortunately only the outside edge but definitively something that needs dealing with.
 
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Old 11-14-16, 05:10 AM
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Post a pic or two of the lintels and hopefully we can put your mind at ease by determining it's just cosmetic.
 
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Old 11-15-16, 07:22 AM
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Sure. Looks pretty bad on the edge but I think it's solid further back. The lip on the balcony also has no proper drip edge (just some painted metal banding that's also showing some rust damage. Not too bad though). Name:  image001.jpg
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Old 11-15-16, 07:30 AM
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That is a lot worse than I expected to see Since it's no easy job to replace the lintel, I'd clean it up the best I could, prime, paint and keep an eye on it.
 
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Old 11-15-16, 08:09 AM
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That's the plan. That's why I wanted to see if there was a way to seal that gap above it. Once sealed, no more water would hit it so problem (mostly) solved.
Any suggestions for the best product to caulk with? Keeping in mind that it's Montreal so freezing is a real issue.
Also, anyone know if I can use Thompsons seal on the brick? Looks like part of the wall spalled at some point in the past - I was told that this happened to all the buildings due to water getting into the bricks and freezing. There is a section where they obviously replaced the bricks so I imagine it's pretty bad.
 
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Old 11-15-16, 10:18 AM
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40+ yrs ago I sprayed several commercial bldgs with Thompson WaterSeal because of moisture infiltrating thru the brick and it helped a lot. I'm not overly fond of TWS as it generally has a short live when exposed to the elements. I don't know if it's still considered prudent to coat brick with TWS
 
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