It is always a pleasure to spend time on terrace or on balcony at home, especially in spring or summer, when 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.
Moreover, 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 attics in the projections of balconies finally, they could suffer damage due to overload stress or seismic activity, if we are in an area at risk from earthquakes.
The main signs of balcony degradation: when and how to intervene
They are often seen balconies and projections with evident signs of superficial degradation (cracks, missing pieces of plaster, rust on the exposed reinforcement bars) that could hide deeper problems and, in some cases, even dangerous for our safety and those of 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 wear and tear, weather or load stress. In any case, below we will analyze the most frequent problems that may arise in relation to balconies e terraces and we will try to indicate the relative solutions.
Renovate reinforced concrete balconies
Often in reinforced concrete balconies significant damage is observed to the fronts and the sub-walls, or to the parapets, in which large areas without plaster and, sometimes, without entire layers of concrete appear. This is particularly serious, because the missing concrete leaves the reinforcement bars uncovered which, exposed to the elements, end up swelling and rusting. Furthermore, the pieces of unstable plaster and concrete may fall with the risk of injuring passers-by. Therefore, it is not the case to neglect 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 irons and steel of the beams with anti-rust compounds;
- cover the bars and beams treated with a concrete mixture (which must be previously mixed with water until a smooth and homogeneous compound is obtained);
- once dried, you can proceed with finishing 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 good to use finishing products able to offer a high resistance to the action of rain, sun and wind, like 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 prevent the infiltration of water that could damage the structural elements and compromise the seal. A correct one 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 given in two coats and possibly, if the area is particularly large, between one and the other insert a nylon net that makes the surface more consistent;
- 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 bars according to the methods 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 incurring errors that, in the long run, would bring back the balcony in conditions of degradation that, as we have seen, could constitute a danger for passers-by or for those who use them. 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 to perfection 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 the deteriorated plaster (operations that must be performed within the normal maintenance of a building).
Moreover, often 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 The intervention as a whole must necessarily take all these variables into consideration and respond to individual needs on a case-by-case basis.
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 several quotes to identify what seems most advantageous to us. Needless to emphasize the importance, also for the purpose of saving, of relying 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 performed) per 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 impact 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 case of interventions to put into static and structural safety of buildings for residential or productive purposes in areas considered at risk of earthquakes. Investing in security is never a cost, but certainly a profit for everyone.
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