When a wood balcony fails, it's usually sudden and catastrophic. To prevent this from happening, building-science guru Joe Lstiburek recommends a comprehensive waterproofing strategy that includes both drainage and properly detailed flashing. Of course, the devil is in the details, as Lstiburek explains in the most recent Building Science Corporation newsletter.

"The waterproofing of the balcony deck needs to connect to the waterproofing of the walls. Remember the first principle of building enclosures? Connect the water control layer of the wall to the water control layer of the roof and to the water control layer of the foundation? Well, a balcony is a roof that you walk on. The aesthetic complexity results in construction complexity. The detailing and execution of the detailing is a big deal. It is probably the most difficult thing to get right and probably the most important thing to get right." Read More