As the heat of summer approaches, people tend to find more time in the warmer weather to spend time with family and friends. Whether this is for Christmas catch-up, New Years, a birthday, or just an excuse to spend time in the outdoors. We will be all be drawn to the backyard, balcony or patio for some entertaining food or drink, and Summertime really is the best time to make use of these spaces, but what if the weather changes?

When it does rain, a balcony can undergo a lot of damage from the elements. If it’s made of wood, the material can expand and contract, causing it to flex and crack over time. This eventually lets water in and can rot the decking or even worse penetrate the floor underneath. Concrete can also weather over time, as houses will shift and the seals between the walls the concrete slab can crack open. Soil movement is also a common concern in some suburbs, adding to existing crack damage. 

Balconies can really come in so many different shapes and sizes, but one thing they all have in common is they are elevated, usually attached to a second floor of a house, or possibly higher in the case of high-rise apartment complexes. Balconies are all large flat surfaces, so it’s very important to ensure that when constructed there is slight angled allowance for water run-off. Sometimes this angle does exist, or in the worst cases is slanted in the wrong way, directing water runoff into the house rather than away from it.

When there is a strong rain storm, if the balcony floor is too flat, the water can pool and eventually seep through small cracks, which can lead to damage of your existing property. Identifying exactly where the issue lies with these cracks can be too difficult to identify with the naked eye. It’s not until it works its way internally to a room below that it becomes easily identifiable to the naked eye. Unfortunately, hidden water damage is a large cause for concern, and will present itself as a damp smell, or even dampness when you touch in the walls or floor in your home or garage.

Luckily, there are always solutions. Traditional leak detection devices act by being placed in what look to be lower points in structures where water may travel. They have indicators which change colour when they get wet. They may not always be a reliable fix, especially if they aren’t placed in the correct spot, or if they simply aren’t strong enough to penetrate your properties walls and floors. It could mean that you’d need to have holes cut-out in your walls and ceilings to install these, and still they might not reveal anything, and your issues with dampness will simply get worse.

Like with most industries there have been advances in technology, and this includes leak detection services, but like with all new technology, these tools can be expensive and require expert training to be able to use them accurately, as well as the knowledge of which one to use in what situation.

These new Leak Detection Technologies include:

  • CCTV Leak Detection – Small camera systems can be inserted underneath your flooring or decking, allowing technicians to establish where unseen cracks and holes could be growing in your timber or brick work. There are actually a few different types of different CCTV systems dependent on where the issue is and what’s required.
  • Acoustic Leak Detection – As the name indicates, a variety of specialised microphones to listen for water flow and leaks. Depending on where the issue sits, this can be used inside or outside the house.
  • Thermal Leak Detection – This is the newest of these technologies and uses thermal water leak detection imaging cameras to show what degree of damage has occurred due to leaking underneath your structure. Dampness can be measured in the walls, floors, and roofs so you can easily find out exactly what part of your insulation or water membrane is failing and causing the issue. Then you your waterproofer will know structurally exactly what needs replacing.

All of these solutions are non-invasive and will save you time and money finding the problem areas faster. The longer you leave it, the greater the risk of further damage, not to mention the plumbers who use these tools will spend less time, costing you less for their diagnosis and solution.