Balcony railings: they’re more than just an aesthetic feature of your building’s exterior. As crucial safeguards, they demand attention and care and are a critical part of your maintenance budget and plan. Our latest blog dives deep into why timely replacements and proper installation should be on your radar. We’ll discuss the signs that spell the need for a railing refresh and explore why this isn’t just a matter of aesthetics, but a critical component of tenant safety.
Signs Balcony Railings Need Replacement
In most cases, balcony railings are made of steel. Although steel is exceptionally durable, over time exposure to the elements leads to rust. Even the most well-maintained steel railings will eventually begin to fail, as rust eats away at the railing’s structural integrity making them weaker and unable to support a tenant’s weight. This puts tenants at risk. Along with rust, other signs it’s time to replace your balcony railings include:
- They have lost or are showing signs of losing their structural integrity
- They present a clear safety risk for residents, such as wobbling, bending, missing rails, crumbling concrete, separation from the walls, etc.
- They are becoming more troublesome and costly to maintain
Even when rust is purely cosmetic, an effort to prevent further rust such as applying new coatings is costly. Depending on the number of units, it often makes more sense to cut your losses and opt for railing replacement instead.
Steps Involved in the Replacement Process
Balcony railing replacement begins by cutting the exposed steel rails. “It’s important to understand that older rails were installed by casting them into the concrete balcony slab with the baseplates of the railing embedded in the concrete,” notes Alexander Ivanov, President of WellDone Inc. As a result, over time water and rust reach beyond the exposed sections of railings and start delaminating the concrete around the baseplates. When this happens it’s critical to remove all the concrete around the baseplates, take the old steel baseplates out, and then properly repair all the concrete that was removed in the process.
“Keep in mind, if this isn’t done properly, or the existing baseplates are not removed, the balconies won’t last and your investment in the railing replacement will be wasted,” adds Alexander. This is because the old baseplates left in the concrete will continue damaging the concrete slab to the point that removal is unavoidable.
In this case, the new railing must be removed and then reinstalled, and the concrete must be redone. Therefore, it is best to ensure the job is completed correctly to avoid this additional cost and further inconvenience for your tenants.
How WellDone Inc. Ensures a Smooth and Efficient Railing Replacement
At WellDone Inc. we follow the process properly and remove the baseplate, repair the concrete, and install the new rails. As a result, the project ends up costing less, takes less time, and results in happy tenants.
Also, a detailed schedule is usually the key to a smooth and efficient balcony railings replacement project. Based on our experience, one of the most important aspects in jobs of this nature and satisfied clients is making sure that the residents of the building affected by the project are aware of the process and notified in advance when their replacement is scheduled. Tenants should also be aware the balcony is off-limits due to safety issues until the replacement is complete.
At WellDone Inc., we are committed to improving the construction process, incorporating various innovations to improve efficiencies, reduce risk, and maintain cost efficiency. Reach out to our team today.