by Marcelino Espinoza
Sloping is an integral part of any waterproofing system, and is almost as important as the waterproof membrane itself. Without proper sloping, issues within the system are sure to arise. Pictured to the right, is a roof top deck. As you can see, there are small “ponds” everywhere. This is due to improper sloping, and will likely lead to premature failure of the deck.
As mentioned, improper slope can lead to an array of problems. Although some may seem like they are only cosmetic, unseen issues may lie beneath. Some issues related to improper sloping include: wearing and/or breakdown of the surface coats; staining and discoloration; cracking, bubbling, and leaking; and last but not least, substrate decay. As you can see in the photos, these decks did not have proper slope.
Sloping is a requirement of the UBC or “Uniform Building Code”, which was introduced in 1927 to standardized requirements for safe construction. Slope can be achieved in most framing and/or concrete substrates. If not attained within the substrate, a lightweight concrete or mortar can be used instead. The UBC requires a minimum of 1/4 inch per foot, or 2%, to achieve proper drainage. In some cases, however, 1/8 inch per foot is acceptable and allowed by manufacturers.
To assure the longevity of your balcony, regular maintenance should be performed as recommended by your system manufacturer. When performing your maintenance inspection, it is important to notify your inspection specialist of all issues related to your waterproofing system.
To the right you will see two of our recently completed projects. WICR Waterproofing & Decking is an industry leader in all waterproofing applications with over 35 years of experience. Please feel free to contact us for a free quote today!
Finally, when the time comes to choose a waterproofing contractor, be sure to be selective in choosing your specialist; ask to see their portfolio, along with some references. Never be afraid to ask questions (you can never ask too many questions), and please, please, please; don’t let this happen to you!