How to Ensure That Your Balconies Are Fit for the Purpose
As Australia is famed for its great outdoors, it's not surprising that so many buildings around the country are fitted with balconies, in order for the occupants to make the most of that pleasant weather. Still, many people are too busy to use their balconies as often as they like and sometimes, they can easily fall into disrepair. Remember, the weather can do a number on any outside part of your building, so you have to keep up with its maintenance. If you haven't given your balcony a second thought recently, why might you need to have it inspected and brought up to standard?
Force of Nature at Work
Certain parts of the country are renowned for their tropical characteristics and the amount of moisture in the air, on an ongoing basis. This moisture, coupled with summer rainstorms, can often eat away sections of the structural steel that holds up the balcony, together with the concrete that surrounds it. This may lead to a problem known as "spalling," which will lead to general deterioration.
Corrosion and spalling combined can weaken the integrity of the slab that holds the balcony up, as the moisture moves down from the fixing posts that hold the balustrade in place. Properties that are near to the ocean are even more at risk due to saltwater air, which can attack all of the fittings and fixtures as well, including plates, bolts, nuts and screws.
As a balcony is meant to be a place of relaxation, some owners introduce heavy elements such as terracotta flower pots and other ornaments, as well as chairs and tables. Unfortunately, many balconies were not built to withstand that type of weight from the outset.
What to Look for
Have a look at your balcony and see if you can spot any problems. In particular, is there any water pooling in one place on the surface without running away? Are tiny pieces of concrete in disrepair, or even falling off? In particular, look for signs of corrosion around the handrails and balustrades, or even rust stains below the balcony itself.
Bringing in the Experts
It's a good idea to get your balcony inspected if it hasn't been looked at in some time. You may need to have an expert assessment of the condition before proceeding, but can in any case plan to get everything fixed before the outdoor season arrives.
For more information, contact companies like Jeffrey Hills and Associates.