Warm holiday greetings…from Brent Chancellor
Yes, it’s that time of year again….when a certain chill fills the air, making your teeth chatter and your cheeks burn as you hurry home from the office. Maybe the chilly weather fills your head with thoughts of ski slopes or holiday traditions…or maybe it starts you dreaming of warm, sandy beaches far away from the cold.
No matter where your mind wanders, your body is planted firmly in the frigid, winter temperatures. When you arrive home, you remove your coat and shoes, build a warm fire, and make some hot chocolate to unwind from the stresses of the day. But as you sit by the fire sipping your hot chocolate, you suddenly hear a drip, drip, drip…and look up to see water dripping from the ceiling over your balcony doorway. That’s odd, you think. It isn’t raining or snowing. Where could this water be coming from?
As you walk to your balcony door to look for the source of the troublesome drip, you feel a chill creeping into your feet from the floor below. Why is my floor always so cold, you wonder? You paid good money for this home, so why is it having these problems?
The problems you are experiencing are most likely caused by thermal bridging of the concrete slab at your balcony. The concrete crosses the insulation layer of your home and acts like a heat highway, quickly transmitting heat out of your home. This concrete thermal bridge wastes heat and causes cold floors, which, in turn, causes the condensation you see above you on the ceiling.
But it didn’t have to be this way.
These problems can be prevented by using thermal breaks at the balcony slab. Thermal breaks insulate the concrete slab where the balcony crosses the insulation layer and can reduce the thermal conductivity at the slab by up to 90 percent.
In the late 1970s, Schöck founder Eberhard Schöck witnessed the exact same problems we are describing here. He was skiing in the Alps and noticed the condensation above the balcony when he returned to the chalet in the evening. Being the problem solver and innovator that he is, he set out to solve this problem. It took several years of research and development to find the right solution, but in 1983, Schöck began selling concrete thermal breaks. Since then, more than 10 million have been sold throughout the world.
So when you are looking for your next home, be sure to ask if the balconies are thermally broken before you make a commitment. This way you can enjoy your hot chocolate by the fire without any drip, drip, drips disturbing your peaceful evening.
For more information on thermal bridging, reach out to us here.