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EDUCATION & SOLUTIONS
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15. What are the weaknesses of
balconies/decks and what can be
done to protect them?
Balconies and decks are usually built without overhead protection….therefore all rain falls directly on the surface. The balconies especially have a lot of movement and move differently than the wall…this causes vibrations and expansion, and cracks where the stucco meets the wall. It is common to find any metal cap flashings on top of the wall terminated just against the finished stucco. This means that the water running along the metal cap runs into the stucco wall. If it is cement based/conventional stucco, it will be absorbed at that point and over time will cause damage to the wooden substrate. If it has a wooden cap, or worse a stucco cap, it will break down much more quickly. If the stucco is acrylic, or painted…then rot can be expected at each location or intersection of the balcony rail, with the wall. Sloping the cap to the inside with a piece of cedar shim can reduce the water impact. Today when we replace these caps we install a 3 dimensional boot flashing that is called a saddle joint. It totally protects these areas.