In my last article we were examining different aspects of security on terraces and balconies taking special care on the safety features if there were children around. This week however, we will look at other elements that it may pass inadvertently but it could certainly be dangerous.
Let us take for instance the placement of those popular inflatable swimming pools. Some years ago the models available were few and usually used for toddlers. Now days I have seen swimming pools capable of sustaining many tones of water, think that 1 cubic metre is approximately 1 tone, so you can calculate yourself the weight of these pools.
1 cubic metre of water equal to 1 tone.
Consequently, be in the lookout for pools models with capacities that may not be supported by the terrace structure. Before placing a swimming pool of this kind, it is advisable to consult with an architect, because in principle it may cause all kind of problems, including making the terrace or balcony to collapse. Some time ago a similar event took place in Barcelona's property where a swimming pool (between 2,000 and 3,000 litres capacity, equivalent to 2-3 tones) was placed on a terrace. A six year old girl died and other three minors had minor injuries when the terrace ceded.
Other aspects that are overlooked are the maintenance of balconies and terraces balustrades and railings. I have observed that while the interior of houses and apartments are reasonably well maintained external balconies and terraces are not.
Maintenance of balcony`s balusters.
A hand of lead base paint and another coat of finishing paint will suffice.
The same manner that we can repair any damage around windows, is also recommended to do the same with the balconies balusters to prevent rusting or eliminate any existing rust stains and renew the balusters.
If you live in an apartment, the first thing we must take into account is the colour from the balconies of our neighbours, since we must respect the prevailing colours not being the case if you live in a single-family house in that case we can paint any colour or colours that we like most.
The first thing we must do is to remove the layers of any existing paint, which may have been neglected and deteriorated with the passage of time.
Usually balconies are metal manufactured, although they can also be made out of wood, something very common in bungalows and some single-family homes, so the painting removal process will be different in these cases.
A question of elbow grease.
For metal balconies a good strong emery cloth and a little bit of elbow grease will be sufficient. With the wood you must be more careful, and may use a bristle brush, for example, or simply sanding paper, or it may be sufficient to scrape the surface with a spatula. You may also use paint stripper products suitable to the material on which the paint is to be fixed.
After removing the paint, any rust stains and you have provided a coat of rust resistant base paint the surface is ready to proceed with the finish paint.
It is advisable not to evade a coat of rust resistant paint first, if the balcony is ferrous metallic material.
In the case of wood materials I normally use myself a wood protection coat called "Xilamon Fondo" followed by one or more coats of Xiladecor depending of the type of wood it porosity and the final colour required.
I normally use two coats of each minimum as I sand down the surface after each coat because the paint tends to raise the grain and it make the wood to look quite rough so a soft pass with sand paper machine after each coat will make the timber look much nicer.
After having protected the railing you can paint with the chosen colour, using a small brush, and removing excess paint to avoid staining the floor of the balcony.
The idea to remember here is that the maintenance done to the railings or balusters will increase the safety of the balcony or terrace substantially.