The mention of the word balcony could engage different thoughts like those of romance or places with access from raised areas like doors and also windows but the meaning and the reality could be very different for people in construction that are supposed to deliver a solution to the problem of aging balconies that are a number of years old.
With comparison to decks, balconies also have different variations in terms of types and designs but they are typically merged with the footprint of a building or fixed horizontally out using the frames of floors as their fastening points.
Both wood decks and balconies have the same problems …
Both wood decks and balconies have the same problems when it comes to maintenance. Older wood balconies that are not horizontally fastened to the building need to be constantly checked for proper attachment to the outside wall. Fasteners made of nail are not appropriate for merging the balcony ledger and the building structure. Since these are common points of failure for these balconies, it is more suitable to use screws or bolt fasteners.
Since wood is the point of focus, the next logical issues therefore becomes checking for rots that are caused by water on wood surfaces. This type of inspection on the appearance should include investigating the wood for any: soft spots, odd stains or weaknesses in the components of the balcony. A problem located in one area could lead to a serious of ripple problems that come from that particular area. Balconies that are not projecting outwards often have a waterproof vinyl coating or rubber that has a drainage plane right below the floor boards.
Roofing experts and contractors could be sought to review the vinyl coatings as these balconies serve the same purpose of inhibiting water penetration just like the roofs of the building. It is also important to be cautious about the pillars that support the perimeter of the balcony. Some wood products like LVL’s that are designed to be used indoors find themselves in the outside with their theory of design that they can be coated with waterproof material to keep them safe. This is not applicable in most cases and when the waterproof coating allows water penetration then the coat holds in the moisture that causes even more damage to the wood that is inside through rotting.
Concrete balconies also have their own shortcomings …
Concrete balconies also have their own shortcomings but what brings them together with the wood products is damage from water. The concrete balconies are merged with the concrete floors to form a projected slab that sticks out. Given time, the slabs then create small and hairline cracks which allow water to infiltrate to the core of the slab. The rasping winters of Maine and high-rise condos that are close to the water bodies and the marine salts stimulate corrosion to start emerging on the steel that is supposed to offer backup support. The rust on the reinforcing steel mounts pressure on the concrete causing the already formed hairline cracks to be even wider and the concrete to fragment allowing progressive damage to the structures of the balcony.
Being able to support the 200 pound projection …
In similar fashion, the pivoting points of the post holding the balcony and the baluster railing systems are susceptible to the corrosion resulting to the rails not being able to support the 200 pound projection that is defined by the safety building codes regulations. In addition to the segmenting of the concrete surface noticed on the appearance, other reasons for concern are brownish water stains or caves that form from calcium carbonate that are draining from the slab’s interior.
With the manifestation of the numerous problems, it could be the perfect time for whoever managing the property to recommend a fit engineer or architect to take a look at the balconies for decency in their structures. The process may involve lifting equipment that will enable an up-close view the damaged components’ condition. Inspection techniques using mallets to listen to empty or cutting holes to determine the status of the concrete in its thickness or the status of the steel used for reinforcing.
Competent and credible contractors identify the problems in short periods of time and solve them by covering the cracks using aluminum or other concealers to eradicate the problem. Short-term solutions could result to long-term problems thus an even costlier comprehensive repair. If the core problem is not addressed, even no amount of coating could solve it. Safe and economical balcony repair projects that are completed with professionals are a good solution for going back into enjoying the romantic view.