For some, the balcony is a beautiful lounge area decorated with plants, while for others it serves as a pantry. Gintaras Arbačiauskas, a representative of the building management company Civinity, shares tips on how to prepare a balcony or a loggia for the summer season.
The company representative reminds that the balcony or loggia firstly must be technically in order and meet all technical requirements. Apartment owners are obliged to personally maintain loggias and balconies, as elements of the building’s façade, in a good condition, to repair them if its further use brings danger for the human life, health or the environment. Besides of that there are few good tips on how to improve the space of balconies or loggias while preparing it for the summer season.
Choose the right floor covering
Owners are responsible for ensuring that the technical condition of the balcony or loggia does not deteriorate, that the concrete floor or waterproofing layer is in good condition and the water on the floor will not cause corrosion and damage of the building structures. For this reason, the floor covering in the balcony or loggia should be picked wisely.
You can choose polypropylene tiles for the floors of balconies and loggias. They are easy to install, these types of tiles are non-slip and durable. It is also possible to choose wooden (plank) floors. Just remember that wooden floors will have to be repainted every year so that the wood does not start to rot. Another alternative is plastic and wood composite (PWC) flooring. PWC floors are more durable and will not need to be renewed every year.
Keep in mind that linoleum is not a suitable flooring for balconies and loggias because the humidity gathers quickly and may damage the concrete coating and promote corrosion of the reinforcement. Laminate is also not a good option, because it swells quickly after receiving some heat and then takes in the trade water.
Choose materials and furniture for the outdoors
In Lithuanian climatic conditions, it is not recommended to use materials and furniture that are not intended for outdoors. The summer season lasts only three months in a year. If you use indoor furniture for the balcony or loggia, the remaining nine months they must stay indoors. That’s why it’s much wiser to decorate such outdoor spaces with moisture- and sun-resistant items and furniture (often made of plastic or metal) that can be left on the balcony or loggia in cold weather to wait until next spring.
Think about plant storage and watering
It is not recommended to hang flowerpots on the balcony railings, as the pots will bring extra weight and can damage the construction of the railings over time. If you still choose flowerpots to be hung on the railings, be sure to hang them inside the balcony. Flowerpots hanging outwards can fall and endanger neighbours or passers-by.
Do not make holes in the loggia ceiling and fasteners for hanging flowerpots. Such actions can damage the structure of the building, allow to get the wet on the floor of the building. It is better to keep the pots on some beamed shelves or on the floor of the balcony or loggia.
It is also not advisable to grow creepers, which over time can spread more and more on the facade, lower, upper loggias, or balconies of the building.
Watering plants should be carefully planned, as rainwater is usually not enough for plants stored on balconies and loggias. It is worth remembering that it is recommended to water flowers with less water more frequently, because otherwise big amount of water can penetrate through the flowerpots, fill the neighbouring balcony or loggia, as well as damage the floor covering.
Do not use balconies for grilling
Remember that according to the fire safety rules, cooking on open fire in the balcony or loggias of apartment buildings is prohibited. It can not only cause an undesirable reaction from neighbours, but also lead to an administrative fine or even a fire. Instead of it choose open spaces for grilling in nature.