Project #183 | Failed Deck Damages on High-End Condos, Atlanta, GA

Project: High-End Multi-Unit Condo with Failed Deck Damages Caused by Leaks, Atlanta, GA

The Problem: Failed Deck Damages from Water Leaking into Bedroom from Roof Deck

A high-end four-story/six-unit condo building had water leaking into a master bedroom below the upper tile deck. The tile installer contacted Duradek of Georgia for help. The initial inspection did not show any areas of damage so there was not a clear path to the leakage. An investigative estimate was offered to the homeowner but was declined.

A year later, a desperate homeowner now had continuing leaks from the upper deck and the lower deck was also failing and becoming soft due to rotting wood. This time an investigative inspection was completed.

Failed deck with damages from poor waterproofing
Poor waterproofing details around the fireplace and railings caused moisture to penetrate this deck which resulted in leaks into the master bedroom below. Failed deck damage can have far-reaching repair costs, which if not addressed, will continue to grow.

After complete removal of the surface tiles on both the upper and lower decks, it was determined that the upper deck had failed due to poor details around the railing posts and fireplace. The lower deck was a tile assembly failure with a substandard subfloor.

Failed deck with damages from poor waterproofing
An inadequate subsurface allowed moisture to compromise the structure of this lower level deck.

The Duradek Solution:

Due to the previous expensive problems with the tile surfaces on both decks, the owner wanted to take a different approach and use tiles with pedestals for a floating tile system (where the tiles would not be glued down). That type of pedestal system would allow for easier repair or replacement if needed. This is where  Duradek’s Plazadek System comes in.

Duradek of Georgia advised the owner that with Duradek’s Plazadek System, any water or moisture that passed through the tiles would drain off the deck without ever reaching the substrate, eliminating the risk of damage to the deck structure and the building below.

First, the substrate on both decks was replaced. Untreated T&G 3/4 inch plywood was installed on the upper deck and was properly prepared for the membrane application.  The lower deck was rotted and also needed to be completely rebuilt to new building codes. After the structural repairs, the Duradek membrane was installed.

Plazadek system with Duradek waterproof membrane installation
The Duradek membrane adhered to the deck surface at installation, with inside perimeter counter flashing into brick about to be completed.

Duradek waterproofing products are only available by trained, authorized deck and flat roof waterproofing professionals. The level of a Duradek installer’s skill in this specialty ensures the installation is completed with an appropriate slope, drains, and other water routing details.

tiles being laid on deck using pedestals over in Duradek's Plazadek System
Tile setters could begin work immediately as Duradek membranes have no drying or curing time.


Stone tiles being laid on pedestals in the Plazadek System
The stone tiles being set on pedestals protects the membrane from friction; the membrane protects the building envelope. This high wear surface can handle cracks or movement without risk of failed deck damage to the building.

Once the membrane was installed, the tile installer could get to work immediately as Duradek membranes do not require any drying or curing time. The tile was installed by the use of pedestals to support the stone tiles using Duradek’s recommended assembly details for the Plazadek system. This allows water to pass through the tiles and drain off the membrane without any moisture reaching the deck structure.

counter flashing and drain detail on pedestal installed tile deck waterproofed with Duradek's Plazadek system
Waterproofing details like drains, slope, and perimeter details make this deck completely waterproof, so no matter what happens to the tiles above, the structure remains protected.


counter flashing waterproof details with tile flashing
A counter flashing detail integrated the waterproof membrane into the building envelope to provide reliable waterproof protection. The beautiful tile flashing finishing detail gave this high-end home an aesthetically worthy finishing touch.


Finished tile deck waterproofed below by Duradek's Plazadek system
The end result was some beautiful stone tile decks with reliable waterproofing below, protecting the structure of this multi-unit building.


Duradek membranes used in a floating application with the Plazadek System protects the structure from moisture – even if surface damage occurs to tiles or pavers above occurs. There is no need to worry about issues with the high cost associated with failed deck damages that can affect multiple areas of the building.

View or download the .pdf version of Case History #183 with project photos and installer details.

View or download the .pdf of Compare Protected Deck and Roof Deck Systems or visit our Compare Deck & Flat Roof Deck Products page.

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