Made of wood, stone, or concrete, your balcony is exposed to many external aggressions, such as rain, snow, humidity, etc. All this causes its inevitable deterioration, hence the interest in renovating it. All this causes its inevitable deterioration, hence the interest in renovating it. You can choose between total renovation and partial renovation, depending on the condition of your balcony. Discover in this article the different steps and methods to renovate the 3 most common types of balconies (wood, concrete, and fiberglass).
Diagnose the condition of your balcony
Diagnosing the condition of your balcony allows you to identify damaged elements (such as splintered boards for wooden balconies or cracks for concrete balconies), determine the appropriate renovation type, and get an idea of your future balcony.
Moreover, you don’t have to wait to renovate it until it is in bad shape. In fact, you can do it at any time according to your desires, your needs, and if your budget allows it.
Find out about the regulations in force.
Before starting the work, find out about the urban planning regulations of your city through the Local Urban Plan. If you live in a condominium building, you should also find out about the condominium regulations, which are binding contractual documents defining your rights and obligations in relation to the other residents.
Indeed, these regulations may require you to take administrative steps, such as requesting prior authorization. And this depends on the scope of the work, especially if you want to enlarge your balcony.
Call in a professional
Whether total or partial, any balcony renovation can be complex and even dangerous when demolition is necessary. It requires the intervention of a professional who is composed of a versatile team, capable of dealing with any type of material on your balcony, and ready to offer you a quality service.
Proceed differently with the renovation depending on the type of balcony
Renovating a concrete balcony
When the elements of your old wooden balcony are salvageable, you can carry out a partial renovation, including sanding, stripping, and applying a de-greasing product to the wood.
If not, a total renovation is required. To begin, build a wooden structure of your choice with the same dimensions as your old balcony. This structure is anchored to your wall with concrete screws.
Next, place joists on metal stirrups at constant intervals of about 16 inches. Continue with the addition of a wooden screw surface to accommodate the floor. Then install the floor boards, screwing them in at a 45-degree angle to hide the screws. For safety, install a railing made of wrought iron and illustrated with patterns, which is ideal for a wooden balcony.
Finally, you can proceed with the finishing, installing a handrail, and applying varnish or a specific paint to protect the wood of your balcony.
Renovation of a wooden balcony
On the one hand, a partial renovation is sufficient for simple deterioration, such as those caused by the detachment of certain elements (guardrail, slab, etc.). First, remove the damaged concrete, moss, and dirt from all the corners of your balcony using a specific product. Fill cracks and holes with cement concrete and polymer concrete. However, avoid filling the expansion joints to allow the slab to shrink by covering them with tape. Then, prepare the concrete according to the chosen brand, and spread it over the entire surface. Remove the adhesive tape and wait for about 24 hours before applying the hydraulic transparent sealant.
On the other hand, for deterioration with a certain severity, such as concrete splintering, it is necessary to proceed with demolition with a jackhammer and complete reconstruction of the balcony. The latter is done in 3 stages:
- The manufacture of the formwork
- The reinforcement of concrete with reinforcement
- The laying of concrete
Renovating a fiberglass balcony
Being extremely durable, waterproof, and fire resistant, the fiberglass balcony rarely undergoes a total renovation. However, for a better aesthetic result, it should be partially renovated.
To do this, fill any cracks with fiber mastic, apply it and sand it onto the surface. Then, take and lay a piece of fiberglass cloth sufficient to cover the damaged surface. Then, clean the affected surface with a cloth soaked in acetone and apply a coat of polyester resin. Remove any air bubbles with a blaster. Finally, let the whole thing dry and harden.
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