We are fast approaching the dead of winter – if you own a property with a balcony, you may not have used it in weeks. Now is the perfect time to conduct a quick safety check on your balcony and check for any repairs it may need.
It only takes a few minutes, but it may prevent falls and accidents come summer – this is especially true if you have children, or have children living in one of your investment properties.
A faulty balcony not only poses risks to health and safety, it can also pose a significant financial risk if you are a landlord of a property with a balcony. It is the landlord’s responsibility to be aware of all the risks in their investment properties to ensure the safety of the tenants.
All our PropertySafe Reports inspect the balcony and we ensure that every listed risk is checked and a fully detailed report is produced, this includes extensive photos and explanations for each risk. In addition, the report contains an action list with specific recommendations on what needs to be addressed.
Each year, around 50 children fall from windows or balconies in Australia.
What can affect the safety of a deck or balcony?
Insects – Termites and borers can weaken and destroy the timber and compromise the structural integrity of decks.
Water & rot – If the timber of a balcony is untreated, simple exposure to the elements, particularly water, can rot the wood, causing railings & beams to become insecure.
Corrosion – If you live near the coast, your deck could be exposed to corrosive elements – Salt in the air can affect most steel components of a balcony, including bolts and other fixings.
Heavy loads – If you regularly entertain friends, or have a lot of furniture, such as BBQ’s, pots and couches on your balcony, you could be at risk of overloading. Allowances for these additional loads may not have been accounted for in the original design of the balcony.
Is the balcony structurally sound?
While extremely rare, balcony collapse can be a devastating occurrence – the first step to ensuring balcony safety is to check for cracks or loose poles & rails. Also check for rot and corrosion as mentioned above.
It is of utmost importance to have these issues fixed if found on your balcony. Our PropertySafe Home Safety inspection inspects all areas of the balcony to advise of any risk areas.
- Additional safety features
There are a number of additional safety features you can install on your balcony to increase safety. Everything from double lock doors, automatic closing doors, extra high railings, protective glass and even climb deterrents (such as small spikes on-top of a railing) can all be used to minimise the risk of balcony injury.
For a comprehensive inspection of your deck or balcony, book an inspection today to make sure your investment or home is safe.