Help! Caulk or Grout on Leaky Balcony [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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R. Lawrence
03-18-2011, 02:32 PM
I really need advice. I have spent $ on this until I am out of $.

Under my outside balcony tile is concrete and a membrane drain system on wood framing. Good drainage slope. The balcony is not covered. When a lot of water gets under the tile, wood under the membrane gets wet. It may be due to nail penetrations, but that can’t be found without dismantling most of the balcony. With just a little water under the tile, the wood stays dry, so I need the tile to be as waterproof as possible.

Some of the tile grout was cracked, so an “expert” replaced all the grout with Sonolastic TX1 caulk. That reduced the leaks only a little. The caulk did not stick to the tile in spots. Maybe because within 24 hours of caulking, the weather went below freezing for days? Or because the underlying thinset was wet from water leaks?

Do I redo the caulk in warm weather? It is the same caulk used to waterproof around windows, so shouldn’t it waterproof between tiles?

Or do I regrout though it might crack again? Would I also have to reseal grout over and over? And isn’t sealer a poor waterproofing?

Is there a flexible grout that might reduce cracking but would not have to be sealed over and over?

Thanks for any help.

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03-18-2011, 02:47 PM
Lawrence - sorry to hear of your dilemma. We are going to need more information to be able to help you - do you have any pics?

Couple of thoughts - grout, sealer nor caulk make anything waterproof. Do you know what type of membrane was used? Those membranes used for tile can not be penetrated and still be waterproof. How about flashing where the balcony meets the house? Other penetrations? Railings?

I am not familiar with the caulking you mention but can say you are wasting money trying to address this by any type of grout or caulk. In order for a waterproof system to function correctly it must be correct from the start. A membrane with penetrations in it is not correct from the start.

Pics would help - do you know specifics on the membrane and how it was installed?

03-18-2011, 03:51 PM
Welcome, Lawrence. :) are wasting money trying to address this by any type of grout or caulk.What John said.

My opinion; worth price charged.

03-18-2011, 06:13 PM
What Paul said. :scratch:

Hasn't even been a week......and you forgot me :D

03-18-2011, 06:16 PM
Aw, geeeez! :p

I fixed it, John. Sorry about that.

I tole you bad things would happen if you didn't hang around at Coverings a while longer. :)