It is always a pleasure to spend time on terrace or on balcony at home, especially in spring or summer, when the milder and more pleasant temperatures allow it. But balconies e terraces they are probably, due to their peculiar characteristics, among the most delicate and potentially critical points of a building. First of all because they constitute a connection between inside and outside and, therefore, they are exposed to weathering such as wind, rain, high and low temperatures, which cause deformation of the materials and which can cause significant damage over time.
Furthermore, their particular conformation makes them more fragile and delicate than other parts of the building, especially where there are design errors (even small ones) or structural defects. The overhanging floors of the balconies finally, they could suffer damage due to overload stress or seismic activity, if we are in an earthquake-prone area.
The main signs of balcony degradation: when and how to intervene
They are often seen balconies and protrusions with evident signs of superficial degradation (cracks, pieces of missing plaster, rust on the uncovered reinforcing bars) which could hide deeper problems and, in some cases, even dangerous for our safety and those who live together with we. It is therefore essential to intervene promptly, through a restructuring intervention and strengthening of the structure.
Of course, when you are in similar circumstances, it is always advisable to turn to expert hands, who know how to diagnose the problem competently and solve it perfectly done. It is always good to avoid the DIY when it comes to home refurbishing (or, as in our case, of to renovate balconies), unless you have the right skills for such an intervention.
Not all balconies are the same and, consequently, not all balconies have the same problems generated by the wear and tear of time, the action of bad weather or load stress. In any case, below we will analyze the most frequent problems that may arise for balconies e terraces and we will try to indicate the relative solutions.
Renovate reinforced concrete balconies
Often in the reinforced concrete balconies significant damage is observed to the fronts and sub-balconies, or to the parapets, in which large areas without plaster appear and, sometimes, without entire layers of concrete. This is particularly serious, because the missing concrete leaves the reinforcement rods uncovered which, when exposed to the elements, end up swelling and rusting. In addition, unstable pieces of plaster and concrete can fall over and injure passers-by. Therefore, it is not necessary to ignore these signals and it is essential to intervene promptly.
But how do we intervene in similar cases? The first thing to do is try to understand what they are the causes of the weakening and deterioration of the structure. Often it is not easy to identify them and for this it will be necessary to resort to the help of restructuring experts. Below we will see, point by point, how to remedy the most frequent problems encountered during renovation of concrete balconies.
How a reinforced concrete balcony is made and how to deal with structural damage
When we talk about cantilevered balconies in reinforced concrete, we refer to load-bearing structures consisting mainly of steel beams. The first thing to do is therefore to verify that the beams (where they are discovered) are in good condition and that they are not rusty. The rust is in fact particularly insidious because in the long run it weakens the beams, putting the stability of the structure at risk. Therefore it is necessary to intervene rather quickly by removing the rust with a brush and protecting the exposed parts with anti-rust compounds, proceeding in this way:
- remove all the parts of plaster and concrete that are unstable or in the process of being detached close to the reinforcements and oxidized beams;
- vigorously brush the oxidized irons to remove the rust and wash away all the residues;
- treat the iron and steel of the beams with anti-rust compounds;
- cover the treated bars and beams with a concrete mix (which must be previously mixed with water until a smooth and homogeneous compound is obtained);
- once dried, it is possible to finish with mortar or epoxy plaster, capable of resisting the action of atmospheric agents.
How to intervene on superficial damage in the renovation of a reinforced concrete balcony
Often the damage reported by balconies they do not concern the structural parts but could be limited, for example, exclusively to the surfaces of the concrete parapets. Even in this case, although the structure is not involved, it is necessary to intervene promptly, to prevent the damage from spreading and dangerous detachments from occurring. The mode of restructuring intervention in case of superficial damage it is the same as described in the previous paragraph.
In phase of renovation it is advisable to use finishing products capable of opposing high resistance to the action of rain, sun and wind, such as epoxy plaster which, unlike traditional plaster, has a remarkable durability. The plaster is in fact the skin of the building and must always be kept in perfect health to avoid water infiltrations that could damage the structural elements and compromise their tightness. A correct ordinary maintenancevery often it guarantees the good condition of a building and avoids the need for more complex and costly interventions maintenance.
Renovating a balcony: what to do when the damage is not limited
So far we have talked about specific and rather limited damages against the balconies. But it can happen that the structure of a balcony is compromised to such an extent as to require a restructuring intervention more important and radical.
In this case, the first thing to do is the securing of the structure by one competent company which will also evaluate the type of restructuring intervention.
Certainly, in similar circumstances, it will be necessary to proceed very carefully, starting from the removal of the old tiles which will allow us to work on the slab of the overhang. Let's see, with order, what are the possible operations to be performed for a correct one renovation:
- removal of tiles and subfloor using a demolition drill;
- preparation of a system of boards that delimit the edge of the overhang, which will be filled with mortar;
- restoration of the screed, taking care to foresee a slight inclination (about 4 °) and to smooth it carefully;
- intervention on the under-balcony, covering the degraded parts with concrete without forgetting to treat any needles and exposed beams;
- waterproofing of the slab with a single-component layer applied in two coats and, if the area is particularly large, insert a nylon mesh between one and the other to make the surface more coherent;
- once the slab has dried, it is possible to proceed with the arrangement of the new tiles and finishing elements, taking care to provide joints capable of absorbing the deformations of the materials deriving from temperature changes;
- It is also necessary to intervene on the structural parts and on the reinforcement rods in the manner described in the previous paragraphs.
How much does the renovation of a balcony cost and to whom to entrust it?
La renovation of a balcony it is a very delicate operation, which must preferably be entrusted to expert hands to avoid making mistakes that, in the long run, would bring the balcony in conditions of degradation which, as we have seen, could constitute a danger to passers-by or to those who use it. Furthermore, the aesthetic aspect should not be underestimated. A balcony it is the visible element par excellence of a building. A renovation work carried out in a workmanlike manner it is a guarantee of durability but also of beauty and aesthetic pleasantness.
I restructuring costs of a balcony they can vary a lot depending on the type of intervention to be carried out. Of course i prices will be superior if the renovation will involve the structural elements, while they will be considerably lower in the case of superficial interventions that concern for example the restoration of deteriorated plaster (operations that must be carried out within the normal maintenance of a building).
Moreover, often the restructuring intervention it is not limited to just one balcony, but may involve more balconies of the same building. Therefore, the evaluation of a quote and price overall intervention must necessarily take into consideration all these variables and respond case by case to individual needs.
Today, thanks to the network and the ease with which it is possible to get in touch with companies specialized in the renovation of buildings, you can request online quotes very accurate to assess the feasibility of a restructuring intervention and possibly to compare multiple quotes to identify the one that seems most advantageous to us. It is useless to underline the importance, also for the purpose of saving, to rely on competent firms and experts in the maintenance and renovation of houses, that they can do a job lasting over time and, therefore, guaranteeing substantial savings in perspective.
How to restore your balcony and make it safe thanks to government incentives
When it comes to home refurbishing, sometimes we tend to postpone the decision for fear of finding ourselves facing excessive expenses that, in moments of crisis like the current one, it is difficult to sustain. It is also true, however, that with one's own safety and that of one's neighbor, one does not mess around and that one safety of buildings it must always be considered a priority for everyone, especially if our house is located in a seismic zone.
This is precisely why the Government has extended also for the whole 2017 le tax deductions in favor of those who will undertake interventions of renovation and safety of buildings. Until 31 December 2017 it will therefore be possible to obtain IRPEF tax relief (up to 85%, depending on the type of intervention carried out) for building restoration interventions, of restoration, of extraordinary and ordinary maintenance (for common parts of buildings) by put into static safety of renovation complete or partial of a building.
important relief they are also provided for all interventions of energy restructuring, aimed at reducing the impact of a building and increasing its environmental sustainability. Furthermore, the Stability Law 2017 also provides for an earthquake bonus, a very important option to keep in mind in all areas of seismic risk in our country.
Il Bonus earthquake makes available, in fact, IRPEF deductions up to a maximum of 85% in the case of interventions to put into static and structural safety of buildings for residential or production purposes in areas deemed to be at risk of earthquake. Investing in safety is never a cost, but certainly a gain for everyone.
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