Balconies are great features for any home — a small outdoor space where one can relax and take in the surrounding view. They can also pose a safety hazard if not maintained as well as a danger to small children or pets if steps aren’t taken to make them as safe as they can be. Keeping your balcony in safe and sturdy working order is the most important step you can take to ensure your family’s safety — keep the following in mind.
Check for splinters and loose, warped or rotted boards. Sand down splinters or rough areas on boards. Refasten loose boards with wood screws and an electric screwdriver. Replace warped wood or rotted pieces with new lumber.
Concrete or stone balconies should be checked for cracks and crumbling. If you have thin cracks, you can usually use a cement-based patching compound or masonry crack filler to make the repair. All of the repair materials will likely differ in colour from the balcony but you may paint with an appropriate textured concrete coating for best results. For large cracks in the balcony floor, you may need the help of a professional, as structural issues can be very dangerous when concerning a balcony.
Inspect support posts, balusters and railings for any looseness, cracks, rotting, excessive rust or missing fasteners or other issues that can affect balcony structural integrity. Check the balcony railing wall and floor brackets. If they are loose, screw loose brackets back into the wall and floor with an electric screwdriver. Refasten or replace screws at the base of loose balusters.
Keeping your balcony clear of dirt and grime and water can make it last longer, especially with wood surfaces. Unchecked water and dirt only speed up the deterioration of balcony surfaces. Regularly clean it and keep it free of standing water and debris. Scrub the balcony floor until it’s clean and free of algae or mildew using a scrub brush and either wood or concrete cleaner, depending on the type of surface. Use a garden hose with high-power nozzle and an old knife or similar tool to get out dirt and debris from between cracks between floor planks.
Ensure that your balcony railing has proper spacing between balusters. The bars are there to keep children or pets from accidentally falling through to the ground below or becoming stuck in between them. Overcrowding a balcony or deck can be dangerous if the weight on the balcony exceeds its maximum load capacity.