We live in a leasehold (nearest US equivalent: condo) flat (apartment) at the top of a seven-storey building. Only our floor has real balconies, and the floor of each balcony is effectively the roof of part of the flat below. It's very solidly sealed/tanked. We have two such balconies, each on a corner of the building. Each has two downpipes from the gutters around the roof, and each downpipe feeds into an open drain. One of these drains is at the top of a slightly incline in the surface, and mostly only drains the gutters. The other is at the bottom of a slightly incline, and (in theory) drains the balcony as a whole, as well as another downpipe from the gutter.

On both of the balconies, the latter drain has a plastic cover about 1cm thick, which looks like it was designed for a slightly bigger drain (the openings represent a bigger space than the drain does), but it works. On one, it is loose, but doesn't end up moving around, so this is fine. On the other, it has been stuck down.

All the way around.

With sealant of some sort, I think. At least, we think we can feel something around the bottom of it. There's no evidence of any sort of screw or fitting, and the two drain covers look identical.

So on the balcony with the loose cover, the water running off the balcony itself can actually get 'under' it (not too efficiently, but it works), while on the balcony in which it is stuck down, the water only drains if it's over ~1cm deep. Then stops, unless we brush it so it is locally deep enough to go over that edge.

Is there any way we can safely, without damaging the weather-proof surface (which generally has decking tiles over it), un-stick that drain cover?

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    Are you sure there aren't any screws holding it down and hidden under whatever type of sealant was used? Maybe contact the landlord/building manager and ask them to take care of it for you (they'd be sure to bill you for damage to the floor, may as well let them be the ones to cause damage).
    – FreeMan
    Jun 26, 2020 at 17:28
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    @FreeMan It's a leasehold flat - we 'own' the flat, the freeholder owns the land/building as a whole, and the freeholder is a company limited by guarantee made up of the leaseholders. So there is no landlord. There's a managing agent representing the freeholder. Speaking to them is definitely on the cards (their suggestion that something on our balcony - and our responsibility - is causing a leak in the flat below is what prompted this discover). It looks from the top the same as the loose one on the other balcony; will edit question to clarify. Plus we can feel something in the 'gap'.
    – SamBC
    Jun 26, 2020 at 17:36
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    Maybe include pics of the two drains (clearly identifying which is stuck & needs to be removed & which isn't) from the top and the sides.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 26, 2020 at 17:37
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    @FreeMan good idea... will add that in a bit. Can't get a good photo as my phone is kaput, but my old tablet will take something.
    – SamBC
    Jun 26, 2020 at 17:38


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