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waterproof balcony


paul11's Avatar
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07-25-07, 07:58 AM   #1  
waterproof balcony

Has anyone had experience with any of the waterproof decking products?

I am building a balcony and have seen the products Dex-o-tex, Westcoat, and MerKote but would like additional information on these types of products.

These are a several step process that waterproofs a deck, in my case 3/4" plywood, by using a mesh base, cementious coating, and waterproof epoxy and additional layers that add texture and color.

 
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czizzi's Avatar
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07-26-07, 02:13 PM   #2  
Check out Dectec products (www.dec-tec.com). It is a fiber infused rubber compound that goes down similar to sheet vinyl. You use a pressure sensative adhesive and seams are heat welded for waterproof results. You can lay it over exterior plywood.

I have used this to waterproof balconeys at hotels.

The items you are talking about are cement resurfacing compounds. You basically paint the surface, or stamp the surface, with multiple layers to achieve a desired look. You need a very sturdy substructure or I think that they will not guarantee the install.

 
paul11's Avatar
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07-30-07, 03:28 AM   #3  
I looked at the Dectec product but am not sure that I would like having the seams running across the deck.

Are the seams that noticable and what about abrasion along the top edge. I will be repositioning furniture and stuff frequently (wife likes to play musical furniture).

The balcony is sturdy, I think I can do launch and recovery from it but it meet my specs and as we know, what the SE designs, we build....

Any ideas as to cost per sqft? I am getting quotes now and am experiencing sticker shock but will have to do something in the next week or so.

 
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07-30-07, 04:21 AM   #4  
What size is your balcony? Dectek comes in 6 1/2 ft rolls by 100ft or locally a supplier of mine carries the most popular color in a 400ft roll and you purchase what you need. I have not priced it out in a year or so, but it is on the expensive side. Like all petroleum based products, the market has been quite erratic.

Seams are heat welded and will not "unzip" as they are fused together. As far as viewing the seams, it is a personal call. It should stand up well to the musical chairs furniture shifting.

If you do go this way, make sure you have appropriate drainage and the slope of the balconey goes away from the house. If it tilts back toward the house, factor in a scupper drain to help remove any standing water.

Visit a few specialty roofing and membrane companies to get a sample which may assist with answering some of your questions.

 
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07-31-07, 01:12 AM   #5  
I guess that I did/do have a preconceived bias against the products that have the seams, probably based on a similar product that we have installed over a flat roof.

Are the seams with this product as noticeable as the roof seams are?

I will spend some time searching for a couple of local installations to see what they look like in reality.

What do you consider expensive? Also, what about installation skills? Paint is cheap, but producing a picture requires skill if you get my analogy.

Most of the quotes I have been receiving recently have been in the $10 or $15/sq ft range, depending on the system. This is the installed cost (combined material and labor) from the contractor for just the deck surfacing since I am doing some of the other work that they normally would do. So far most of the contractors are ok with this and will provide a full, unqualified warrantee.

There will be some flexing, for many reasons; earthquakes, uplift, thermal heating and it is wood put together with bolts, nails, screws and such so the covering has to be able to handle this and still stay waterproof. The underside of the balcony will be enclosed and have a few 120v can and accent lights and a fan so I don't want to have to deal with water leaks.

The slope is 1/8" per foot; the 1/4" would have resulted in a 4 1/2" in drop, something that was noticeable and not aesthetically pleasing.

Basically, this project is an 18x20 balcony with a 6x4 stair landing off to one side so there would be 2 or 3 seams no matter how it was oriented. The balcony is 11 ft high and it attached to the house by a 4x12 header and some pre existing cantilever floor joists from a previous balcony.

The frame for the balcony are 4x12 beams between 6x6 posts with 2x8 floor and 2x12 rim joists and a 3/4 t&g plywood sub-floor. There is a lattice cover above the balcony that spans between the posts and a 2x8 header that is attached to the house.

 
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07-31-07, 08:18 PM   #6  
It comes in a large roll, last year I paid $18 Linear Foot (contractor cost). I priced my install same as I would sheet vinyl. I was doing 4 1/2' x 12' hotel balconeys so I did not have any seams. The product color goes all the way through the material which does hide seaming somewhat, however the seams are noticable. Another contactor had done a long exterior hallway at the same hotel so I have seen the seams. However, not having seamed any myself, I can not judge on the craftsmanship of the seaming. The membrane is much thinner than flat roofing membrane so the comparison to your observations may or may not be applicable. Also, if you are seaming a flat roof, are you overly concerned that the seams look pretty? so what you are comparing this membrane to may not be a fair comparison.

As far as the slope, it is a waterproof membrane, any dips in the subfloor will hold standing water after it rains if not appropriately sloped.

In research for another projects, the Hotel had also looked into several applications using the cement based surfacing products you talked about. Perfect subflooring was required or they refused to guarantee the install. I also had discussions with a local business who had the colored cement product installed in his icecream shop and he said it was a NIGHTMARE to get clean. Lots of nooks and crannies for dirt to get stuck in. He said if he had to do it over, he would not use the colored cement product. Picture trying to clean a dirty "broom finish" cement pad and not being able to use a power washer.

 
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