Structural report for balconies

Balconies are an appealing feature to a home or property but can be a troublesome element on the building.  

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Balconies are an appealing feature to a home or property but can be a troublesome element on the building.  

Modern day balconies are designed with a good deal of consideration but those on historic buildings were perhaps less rigorous.  Problems can arise if the balcony begins to slope too much, the floor is cracked or a balustrade doesn’t feel as sturdy as you would like.  It may also be there are problems with the  brackets supporting the balcony or how they fix to the main building or even some distress to the main building that supports them.

Other professionals in the construction industry such as surveyors, builders or architects may give advice on such matters but unfortunately their advice cannot always be relied upon.  For that reliable advice, you will need a structural engineer.

Historic balconies often used Yorkstone or timber slabs supported on cast iron or stone brackets which in turn are supported by the external wall of the main building, but each of these elements are somewhat susceptible to effects of time and weather.  Similarly, balustrades to balconies are often cast iron and were designed with appearance in mind rather than durability or strength.  Signs of such problems might be you may notice a crack on the underside or top of the slab, or rusting of decorative iron bracket or cracking in brick or stone where that bracket fixes to the wall.

A balcony might also form the roof of an area of the building below or a bay window.  These are notorious for poor or deteriorated weather-proofing so rainwater makes its way through to begin rotting the structure beneath.  Your first sign of this might be discolouration on the ceiling below the balcony, but this can conceal more serious issues.

Structures-Made-Easy would visit the property to inspect the balcony, its structure, the balustrade and the supporting building.  This would include inspecting the rooms behind the balcony as their structure can have a strong influence on the balcony.  We will then provide a report describing why the problems have arisen, their severity and how best the cause can be addressed and options for repairs.  We will also recommend if further investigations are required by a specialist in, perhaps, stonework or cast iron.  

If you would like to discuss further please feel free to contact us using our email support@structures-made-easy.co.uk or call us on 0207 965 7376  

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