Like all other parts of a property, balconies, terraces and walkways require maintenance and repairs. Most old balconies, terraces and walkways consist of concrete elements. Water will pool and penetrate if there is a lack of an effective waterproof membrane. This in turn will cause the concrete to deteriorate.
Balconies, terraces and walkways will suffer cracks and corrosion caused by the water ingress and carbonation, which is the reaction of carbon dioxide in the environment with the calcium hydroxide in the cement paste. If left unrepaired the balconies may lose their structural integrity.
Typically repairs include defects to the undersides, front edges and top sides of the balconies, terraces and walkways. These will need hammer testing and all loose and defective concrete will need to be removed.
Any exposed steel reinforcing rods that were corroded need to be cleaned and made sound using mechanical abrasion. All areas of the balconies can then be grit blasted using a Safe Blast system to remove any existing coats of paint and all evidence of rust from exposed steel.
There are a number of high quality balcony, terrace and walkway waterproofing and coating systems available to solve this problem. Working with IKO, McCarthy Partnership have prepared a specification for the recovering of the balconies and remedial works to the underside of the balconies to 24 flats in south west London. It was a small block of flats constructed in the 1920’s which, as the picture shows, was showing classic signs of concrete deterioration. In this instance the work was carried out in 8 weeks and will be guaranteed for 20 years.
If you live in, or are responsible for maintaining a block of flats, and are concerned about the structural integrity of your balcony, terrace or walkway contact McCarthy Partnership and we can discuss how we can help.