• What can make balconies and decks unsafe?

    28 Feb, 2013 | 97 views

    Unsafe balconies and decks are a hazard and can place your family,friends, employees and visitors at risk of suffering serious injury or death.

    There are many things that can affect the safety of a balcony or deck over its lifetime.

    Insects

    Timber strength and condition can be affected by insect attack, such as termites and European House Borer (EHB)

    Wet rot

    Timber is affected by water. Wet rot can occur when timber is in constant contact with the ground or another timber member in the presence of moisture.

    Seaside and corrosive effects

    Corrosive environments, particularly in areas near coastlines, can affect unprotected steel structures, reinforcing steel and fixings such as bolts and fixing plates.

    Loadings

    Large pots, water features, furniture and the like provide additional loads for a balcony to support, for which the balcony may not have been designed.

    What can I do to ensure my structure is safe?

    Check if your balcony or deck has been designed and built correctly.Request a copy of the building approvals and plans from your local Government and compare them to the actual structure. You could also have it inspected by Houspect Building Inspections

    Materials can deteriorate when exposed to the elements. Fixings such as bolts and screws, can loosen or corrode over time. A visual inspection on a yearly basis should identify any potential problems.

    What if there is a problem?

    If there appears to be anything suspicious about the stability of a balcony or deck, you should avoid the area.

    It is recommended that you contact a structural engineer or other suitably qualified building practitioner such as a Houspect Building Inspecor to inspect the structure and determine the full scale of the problem.

    Call Houspect on 08 9240 8855

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