Cantilevered balconies are a popular structure in some areas and may be a common feature on most homes or apartments. However, cantilevered balconies can require a higher amount of maintenance and regular inspections to ensure they remain safe.
One of the biggest concerns with cantilevered balconies is ensuring the joints on the wall remain free from moisture collection and wood rot. Additionally, drastic weather changes can expand and contract the wood weakening the connection between your balcony joist and the house or apartment building it’s attached to.
Visually Inspect Your Balcony
With cantilevered balconies, regular visual inspections are extremely important. Homeowners can inspect the joints and any connected points to ensure they are dry, tight, and securely attached.
If any moisture, mold or wood rot is noticed, or if the securing hardware seems to be loose due to the contracting and expanding of the wood throughout different climates, your cantilevered balcony should be considered unsafe to use until proper repairs have been made.
Repairs can be as simple as caulking and resealing the joists, or may be as drastic as completely removing and replacing the balcony with a different style. This will, unfortunately, also require structural repairs and alterations to the exterior of the house or building itself making it a costly and time consuming endeavor.
Safer Options for Balconies
Cantilevered balconies are not normally considered the safest option when it comes to balconies. Another balcony option that has a much higher safety rating overall is an aluminum or steel bolt-on balcony. This structure does not expand or contrast like a wood cantilevered balcony would, which makes it a versatile and durable choice for a wide range of climates.
Additionally, bolt-on balconies can have a range of railing types including cable, glass, or acrylic panel. They’re affordable to purchase and install, when compared to other balcony types, and offer one of the highest balcony safety ratings overall.
If a bolt-on balcony is not possible for your type of building, another option would be a stacked balcony. This is popular with apartment complexes or single family homes with multiple levels. Stacked balconies are extremely durable, very safe, and structurally secure overall. They are durable enough for many climates, and can withstand drastic temperature changes exceptionally well.
Finally, a false or Juliet balcony is another option. While not large enough for outdoor seating or entertaining, it does offer a small space for you to enjoy a breath of fresh air or place a few potted plants. It’s structurally extremely sound, has a very high safety rating due to its small size, and is perfect for brick facade housing complexes such as apartments, duplexes, or multiplexes.
Unfortunately, while they are stylish to look at, cantilevered balconies are not touted for being the safest balcony option around. There are much safer and more durable options out there which may work for your home.
Installing a new type of balcony may be costly and time consuming, but your safety and the long lasting appeal of the balcony is worth it.