Now that the winter is winding down, people are starting to plan to spend more time outdoors. If you live in a house, that means trying to bring your back yard and patio in order, but if you live in an apartment building, your best chance of having a little oasis of peace outdoors is a balcony or a terrace.
However, just because you have a terrace or a balcony in your apartment doesn’t automatically mean that you will be able to enjoy countless lazy hours in the sun and fresh air just like that. You need to check that it is safe and sound before you start using it regularly. There are companies like http://www.xperagroup.com/ which specialize in providing inspection and appraisal services. However, if you wish to do the basics yourself, without professional help, here’s what you need to pay attention to.
The Weather Can Make a Huge Difference
Whether your terrace or balcony will be safe and in good condition can be largely down to the weather. Strong gales and heavy rain can have a hugely detrimental effect on the metal parts of your terrace including the construction and the railing.
If you live near the ocean, you need to take extra care, since the air is full of salt which promotes corrosion even more than water. Needless to say, earthquakes tend to have a big impact on the stability of buildings and terraces and balconies are no exception. If you’ve experienced any significant earth tremors, you will need to have your balcony inspected.
Apart from natural weather and similar issues, one of the most damning problems balconies have to contend with is general neglect. A lot of people simply do not think about balconies in terms of maintenance and repair. This is especially important if the balcony is used by a lot of people at the same time, since the structural integrity of the construction may be compromised by prolonged exposure to significant weight.
What to Pay Attention to?
The common wisdom is if it moves and shakes, there’s something wrong and you need to have it inspected and ultimately fixed. When picking a balcony inspection company, make sure that their credentials are in order to make sure that you are getting the best and valid advice.
Another very common thing which can result in an accident are railings which are improperly mounted on the balcony. When checking the rails, make sure that they are properly installed and embedded into the floor of the balcony. On the other hand, if the rails are made of wood, the first thing you need to inspect for is rotten wood, but loose and rusty screws are a potential problem as well.
The Floor of the Balcony
A lot of the problems which can plague balconies and terraces can be inspected visually and may not be too difficult to spot, particularly if the damage is extensive. However, there are some more insidious problems which cannot be spotted without proper equipment or serious knowledge that only professional inspectors have.
The floor of the balcony is not easy to assess without proper equipment and knowledge, which is why this kind of job should be left to professionals.
Spending your leisure time on your balcony sounds like a great idea, but you need to think about safety first, so inspect your balcony before using it this season.