A balcony is a structure which protrudes from the main “body” of your home. Balconies are built in this way for aesthetic reasons, and to allow a better view from a higher ground. As such, they are exposed to the elements because they “stick out” from the main structure (your house). This poses no problems during the summer months (except for the lack of shade if you haven’t installed any shading). During the winter months however, a balcony can become a disaster waiting to happen if not protected and constructed properly from the start.
During the winter season, rain, snow and ice often covers the balcony and cause it to become slippery. This poses great danger to anyone who goes out and sets foot on it during the winter. People can slip, fall down and hurt themselves this way. This is especially dangerous if your balcony has no fence – people can fall from such a height and end up with life threatening injuries. Considering that most balconies are built at a height, securing your balcony with a fence is a must during any season, let alone in the winter.
If you have used the wrong construction materials and techniques, people can get injured even with a fence in place (slippery surface). You can easily break an elbow even from a standing position if you lose footing in the wrong way. For these reasons, it is very important that you take all the necessary steps to make your balcony a safe place to walk on during the winter season. A balcony can be kept safe quite easily just by implementing the following three construction elements in
Raise the Roof
You should build a roof over the balcony to protect it from the elements (snow, rain). This will prevent the ice and snow from building up and forming a slippery surface. On top of that, a roof will keep your balcony clean and you won’t have to clean the snow and ice during the bad weather. A roof will also provide a few extra hours of shade during the summer season.
Get The Right Kind of Tiles
The floor should be covered with special heavy duty outdoor tiles. These tiles are different than indoor tiles because their surface is coarse and prevents slipping. These tiles provide an excellent grip during all weather conditions and effectively complement the roof.
Fetch Yourself a Fence
A fence should be constructed immediately after the balcony is built, as it is the only structure which prevents people from falling and injuring themselves. Choosing the right fence is quite easy as there is a wide range of materials available on the market. Cemented Roman/Greek styled fences, chrome fences, iron fences and wooden fences. The design is limited only by your imagination.
Making your balcony safe is very important, especially if you have small children who like to explore the house while you’re out. It’s a lot cheaper to install a fence and outdoor tiles than to pay for hospital bills and watch your child in pain with a broken arm.