Leaking roof deck over sunroom

by Dianne
(Lake Ozark, Missouri)

We have a deck which is the roof or our sun room. The pitch is wrong and water stands on the deck in various places. We have leaks in the sunroom.

The deck is covered with unglazed ceramic tile. We put at least two coats, maybe more of a waterproof coating called Red Top, I think, over the cement board. The floor joists are 12 inches apart.

I have been researching on the internet for a solution to the leaks. I am wondering about covering the ceramic tile with a type of poured floor, or is it possible to somehow waterproof the top of the tile and install new tile or other product over it?

As far as I can tell, the tile is very secure and there are no cracks. A professional opinion would be greatly appreciated. ...And yes, cost is a concern and other solutions are welcomed.

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Jan 20, 2011
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Building up a base for post rail mounts
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

If the slope is wrong then this is a fundamental problem that can not be easily or cheaply fixed because that should have been done before the deck substrate was installed.

Nonetheless, one common building technique to encourage water flow away from the fastener penetration points of a surface mounted railing post is to install a small elevated base slightly larger than the base of the post and with slopes edges to allow water to drain away.

The deck waterproofing membrane or coating is applied over top this elevated piece. With a flat deck that won't assist water drainage on the deck or at the base of the elevated piece but it will keep water generally away from the puncture points in the deck membrane under the post base and that does help reduce the chance of water eventually working its way into the vulnerable part of the deck.

Jan 19, 2011
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Thank You For Your Reply
by: Dianne

Thanks for the new information. We have since put a roof over the top deck of our home. I know this will be a tremendous help, but I'm not sure it is a total solution.

We have a glass rail at the edge of the deck, but I'm afraid rain and snow will blow in on the deck still and water will stand there because the slope is not right. The edge is higher than the other part of the deck.

We have been at our winter home in Florida, and have not had a chance to see if there is still a problem. I am not sure how to correct this. The roof was barely finished before we had to leave, I guess we will find out when we return in the spring.

Thanks for all the information. If we have to do something else, I'm sure this will be very helpful.
Dianne

Jan 19, 2011
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Thanks for your comments
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

Thanks again Bill for your respected and valued comments. This is what makes this forum so helpful for folks. Those of you who don't know Bill, he is a really experienced deck water proofing contractor.

You can visit him directly at his blog waterproofingadvice or his site.

Jan 18, 2011
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Tile Deck Waterproofing-a Few Ways to do it right, lots of ways to do it wrong.
by: Bill Leys-The Deck Expert

I know this post is old and I'm sure they've gone on and done something by now about their leaky tile deck...however, may I add my 2 bits?

Ditra or any Schluter product alone cannot just be put down and be waterproof. Waterproofing for tile decks is a very detail oriented job. Flashings, mortar beds, control joints, proper drainage under the tile, correct sloping to drains or edges...there's many a way of screwing up a deck.

Tile Council of North America, Ceramic Tile Institute and ICC-ES have methods and techniques detailed in their handbooks to properly waterproof for tile. This is the link to evaluated products suitable for tiling over after everything is done right.

In my business of repairing failed waterproof decks, whether for tile or traffic coatings, I see the mistakes that where made by tile installers who think they can waterproof, deck water proofers who think they can do it cheaper using methods/materials that have no testing/certification for waterproofing for under tile.

Clients are often ready to put down fancy expensive tile but don't want to pay the real cost of doing it right. Do it right, Pay once or do it wrong pay twice.

Do it right or you'll risk failure of the deck within an average of 2-8 years...I can guarantee it.

Aug 31, 2010
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Thank You!
by: Dianne

Thank you, John, for your information on ditra. It is definitely worth checking out. I really wish there were an easier solution so that the tile does not have to be re-done.. but it is better than having leaks.. Will definitely check it out. If anyone else has any other suggestions, please respond. I would like as many options as possible. This, however, is very good information. We should have investigated this before the tile was put down. Hopefully some other people who are planning a project like this will see this before they begin. Thanks again, John!

Dianne


Aug 31, 2010
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Very helpful comments
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

Just read John's comments and wanted to say this is what makes these forums so helpful. Ditra mat is a great solution and thanks for taking time to share your knowledge with our visitors.

I am sure that will help them out as they try to solve what is a very serious and annoying problem of a leaking sundeck. Other visitors are sure to benefit from these tips as well.

Aug 31, 2010
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I have your answer!
by: Anonymous

Hi, I am a remodeler that does a lot of tile work in bathrooms, and I use a product that is called 'ditra'.

It is available at home depot in the tile section and is made by a German company called Schlueter. I believe the rolls cover 60 to 80 sq.ft. and costs about $80/roll. Expensive, but it is about the only really good solution to this type of problem.

It is a rolled up mat less than 1/8" thick that can be used in place of cement board, and the seams get taped over with a special tape. I believe the rolls are about 3.5' wide, and orange in color.

It is totally waterproof when applied correctly and actually is used on shower floors that need to be totally waterproof. The nice thing about it is that you may be able to apply it right over the top of your tile with thinset, tape your seams, and tile again. You are going to have the extra weight of new tile so better make sure your joists can support the extra weight if you go this route.

Or, if you can, take up the old tile and cement board and put it down.

You can get the 1-800-# off the roll of ditra and call a representative.

They also have a product that is called schlueter kerdi, and it is a thinner membrane that I use on shower walls to make them waterproof. This may be another alternative if you can get your tile off the cement board, smooth it out, and lay the kerdi down, then tile.

This is a great site for decks and Richard has done a great job putting it all together.

Florida tile is also a supplier of this product, but usually only sells to contractors. And probably charge a little more too!

If you use this product, make sure you follow the directions to the 't', or schluter will not honor their guarantee.

John
ShedKing.net

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