Undoubtedly balconies can add charm and value to any home or commercial building. Balconies are often the first feature that one notices. Materials used to create this building component can range from glass to masonry with many variations in between. Each building material has varying aesthetic appeal as well as inherent water resistant properties. This short article will give a general overview of concrete balcony restoration parameters and include photos of some actual restoration conditions.
Why is my balcony crumbling away?
First a brief overview of why balconies fail. Basic components of a concrete balcony will vary but may include:
- Reinforcing steel system embedded in concrete.
- Structural support such as steel beams, and connections.
- Metal deck.
- Railings and protective coatings.
Physical degradation of concrete balconies is usually related to the effects of moisture penetrating the balcony system. Moisture intrusion may lead to the following conditions.
- Metal corrosion.
- Spalling due to freeze-thaw Cycles.
- Change of concrete PH due to contaminants carried by moisture and air.
Many times the original placement of the embedded steel reinforcement is too close to the exterior surface which will exacerbate the above conditions.
How do I properly repair my crumbling balcony?
Restoration of concrete balconies includes:
- The removal of loose and deteriorated concrete.
- Exposing and cleaning embedded steel reinforcement.
- Priming and pinning
- New modified concrete repair mortar.
- Protective coatings.
These steps are essential for a lasting repair. Adhering to these repair procedures is also necessary if a manufacturer’s warranty is to be obtained on the repair project.
Protective coatings will beautify as well as preserve deck concrete repairs for many years. A variety of colors are available to accent and enhance the building aesthetic. Aggregate mixed into the coatings will provide slip resistant surfaces.
Coatings also help maintain a water tight seal at railing posts. These coating systems are primarily urethane systems that are liquid applied. Substrate preparation is critical for a lasting system.