A number of recent news articles on balcony collapses is a critical reminder to anyone holding gatherings on their decks or balconies, it’s essential that they are maintained to minimise the chance of injuries or at worst fatalities of friends or family.
The concerning cases of balcony failure are becoming more and more common, and although the risks increase as the age of the structure increases, it is just as important that checks are carried out on new construction, and that documentation is checked – new buyers should request evidence of building approval, to confirm that balconies are built in line with the Building Code of Australia and relevant Australian Standards. Essentially the structure must be able to withstand the loads and stresses that would be reasonably expected to be placed upon it, and decks can easily be built without the statutory checks and balances. See article is a building inspection really worth it?
With regard to existing structures, it is essential that any timber is checked for decay, weathering, rusted steel components or brackets, deflection, or other defects that can trigger failure of the structural members. Concrete balconies must be checked for cracking, spalling and corroded steel reinforcement.
Large well-watered vegetation or pot plants can fast-track any deterioration, and a group of guests concentrated in a corner can instantly have devastating effects. In addition to the suffering incurred as a consequence of any collapse, there will also be costs to repair damage and the possibility of legal action that will need to be attended to.
If you are looking at purchasing a house or apartment with a balcony, you might consider engaging an expert to provide a report specifically on the balcony. Here at Melbourne House Check we conduct very thorough Pre-Purchase or New Home Building Inspections which will always include checking the condition of any balconies or decks that are present.
Call now on 1300 729 352 to speak to one of our very experienced inspectors about any queries you may have or to obtain a quote. Online enquiries or further information can also be found at melbournehousecheck.com.au