Whether you are buying or selling or not you want to be sure you can rest easy on your balcony!
With vast areas of Australia having experienced floods or torrential storms over the past twelve months, homeowners are being urged to conduct safety checks on their decks and balconies.
According to Archicentre Queensland State Manager, Ian Agnew, the summer months are times where deck or balcony collapses are likely to occur because of the sheer weight of the number of people who may go out onto the deck or balcony to party.
“Balconies are usually used by a small family group of three to four people, however, when fifteen to twenty adults gather on a balcony the stress on the structure often reaches breaking point and the balcony collapses causing serious injury,” Mr Agnew said.
“Added to this weight factor is often the large BBQ, plus tables, chairs and heavy planter boxes filled with flowering plants to brighten the ‘alfresco dining’ area!
“Large stone tables have also become a trend for outdoor living along with steel and cast iron outdoor furniture, which increases the load factor on the deck or balcony.
Mr Agnew suggested that homeowners who are unsure of the condition of the balcony or deck should request a safety report by a qualified registered person such as an architect or engineer.
- Check Documentation:
– to see evidence of building approval before purchasing a property as decks can easily be built without the statutory checks and balances.
2. Check Timber:
– for rot and rust as timber or metal fixing failure can trigger a collapse.
3. Check Concrete:
– for cracking or flaking as water may penetrate and corrode steel reinforcing, particularly in coastal areas.
4. Be Wary of Loads:
Large, well-watered pot-plants can accelerate timber deterioration whilst a large group of guests gathered for a photo in one corner of a deck or balcony can bring a party to an abrupt end.
Source : Quartile Property Network (11 November 2011)