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Old 12-11-2012, 09:45 PM   #1
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slate on outdoor balcony in austin texas


Water damage from leaking slate installed on 2nd floor balcony in Austin (Jonestown) texas. No damage below the balcony or on interior walls. Some of the slate tiles are broken. Some of the grout joints are cracked. Cannot duplicate/create water leak from inside the house. Can this be from trapped rain water? Or is there a leak from inside the house? House was built in 2008.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:46 AM   #2
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slate on outdoor balcony in austin texas


I used to live south of Austin. It does get cold there.
It's possible your issues are due to freezing.
Tiles that aren't rated for outdoor use and/or improper installation could also contribute to the cracking.

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Old 12-12-2012, 10:55 AM   #3
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slate on outdoor balcony in austin texas


Those tiles should have been layed over a water proof membrane.
Slate is one of the most brittle, poris stones there is.
I just do not see a quick fix for this one.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:01 AM   #4
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slate on outdoor balcony in austin texas


Just put in an offer to buy this house so I don't have the whole history on the water damage. So...the water damage; staining and trim tiles falling off is due to trapped rain water?? I did notice an "active" water leak on a rather warm Oct. day, but haven't seen it since. Is this to be expected on this type of slate installation or was something not done properly when this was originally installed? I think there is a waterproofing membrane installed that is keeping the lower level ceiling dry, free from water damage.

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Old 12-12-2012, 11:07 AM   #5
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Something is not right here....why are the trim tile falling off? It looks like thry are attached to the flashing/waterproofing membrane. Shouldn't the water fall away from the face of the balcony edge?
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:11 PM   #6
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slate on outdoor balcony in austin texas


Any idea if there is any slope at all?
Like Joe mentioned, slate is porous. Grout is also porous and will absorb water. I'm no expert, but my guess is your "leak" is simply rainwater that was absorbed and is working its way out through the lowest point.
If temps should freeze, the water will expand and cause cracking.
That last pic looks like there is cracked grout on the surface too. If you get a chance, tap the tiles on the patio. If any sound hollow they are loose and held in place only by the surrounding grout.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:32 PM   #7
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slate on outdoor balcony in austin texas


I'll have to check the slope to be sure, but my guess is that there is sufficient slope judging by the water stains on the fascia on all three sides of the balcony. Yes, there are other cracks on the surface of the slate. See the one additional photo. Will the rain water be trapped and drain out with the change in outdoor temperature. The day I was at the house I didn't notice the leak until the afternoon, with warmer temperatures. Hopefully there is no internal leak. What should be the proper fix for this or is it a complete redo. If it cannot be fixed what are the important do's and don'ts on the rebuild?
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:39 AM   #8
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slate on outdoor balcony in austin texas


As I've mentioned, I'm no expert. I've never done an outdoor tile project, but I've learned a lot here researching several tile projects of my own and am just trying to pass it forward.

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Hopefully there is no internal leak.
Looking at that wall, I seriously doubt there is any plumbing in there, at least on the second floor. My best guess is this is all trapped rainwater and changes in temp etc. make it appear to leak.

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What should be the proper fix for this or is it a complete redo.
There is no quick fix. You could try to patch it, but it will just happen again if everything stays the same.

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If it cannot be fixed what are the important do's and don'ts on the rebuild?
Start with the correct tile. You want a porcelain floor tile that is approved for outdoors. There are porcelain tiles that look like slate.

I'd do a bit more research on the correct slope. The correct slope will get the rainwater off of the patio right away. It wouldn't surprise me to find after a rain there are puddles on that patio, and that those puddles soaking through the grout and weeping out through the low points on the sides are a big part of your problem.

At the top of this page is a dark bar with a "search" tab on it. If you search for "outdoor tile" or "patio tile" you will find some older threads on similar topics. Anything written by Jazman or Bud Cline is good advice

Last edited by Blondesense; 12-13-2012 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:52 PM   #9
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slate on outdoor balcony in austin texas


OK.....thanks for your input. I will definitely do my research on this one. Don't want to repeat this mistake. Thanks again........

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