Get Regular Inspections
Of course property owners need to conduct an inspection of their own building and balconies on a regular basis. However, it is also helpful to hire a professional to provide a high quality, detailed inspection on an annual basis. Generally, doing this in the early spring – before high use of the balconies happens – is necessary mainly because the freezing temperatures in the winter can create structural insecurities.
Look for warped wood and rotted out pieces. Refasten any loose boards present with new screws and anchors. Additionally, look for any splintering areas. Cracks in the cement or other material need to be noticed, especially if they are growing over time. Here are some additional things to know:
- Large cracks in concrete and stone require professional repair. When these are present in the floor of the balcony, an expert is needed to improve the structural integrity of the balcony.
- Support posts and balusters also are subject to wearing down over time and can pose just as much risk to the balcony user. Look for rotting, excessive rusting, and areas of damage.
- Railings are one of the most common areas to deteriorate. Rust, rotting wood and looseness are big factors here. Ensure these are secured properly.
- The railing floor brackets and wall brackets can come loose over time. This can create an easy situation for someone to fall. Check these every few months for safety.
Can You Make Repairs Yourself?
If you notice small cracks or crumbling cement, it may be possible to do some work yourself. It is always wise, though, to hire a professional to handle the repairs for you instead.
Crack fillers, which are generally applied using a caulk gun, work well for minor problems. You will need to choose the right product for the surface and material. You’ll also have to prepare the area properly and use a putty knife to level it. In addition to this, any type of concrete patching product needs ample time to dry and set. It will take time to make these repairs.
In any situation, if the surface, railings, or support structures of a balcony have any signs of damage or deterioration, take action. What you see on the surface is also an indication of what is happening deep within the cement pad or other structure. This is why you need an expertly trained professional to inspect (go here for a balcony checklist) and handle any and all repairs on your balcony for you. Do this on a regular basis to ensure the safety of anyone who uses it.