Renovation and maintenance are not often a piece of cake.
If a balcony has cracked or even collapsed, this was probably caused by the infiltration of water that rusted the structure. Then the weight of the balcony was not supported any longer and it cracked.
In one cracked or collapsed building structure, there are quite a few aspects involved. Here are some: neglected maintenance, renovation without involving a specialist, owner responsibility, implications for neighbors.
We warn you to be attentive and not to neglect security issues of your house or apartment renovation. Check out our tips below and keep an eye on your property to avoid problems.
1. Preventive maintenance is important
It is still common for people to seek maintenance services only when defects appear. No wonder “prevention is better than cure” is such a well-known saying. Prevention and maintenance are fundamental.
For example, the structure of wooden roofs deformes over the years. Ideally, you should check your wooden roof once a year, replace damaged parts and reapply protective paintwork.
Another example, you can easily test circuit breakers of your electrical power network every six months. Just push each switch down to see if the electric power has been cut and then return it to the normal position. If what you have done did not cut the power down, it is time to change this circuit breaker. And you would be better off to call a technician to do that.
External paint of the house fades and should be reapplied every certain number of years. You can hire a professional for a general evaluation. Remember that how often your house needs to be repainted depends on many factors, such as weather, paint used, number of paint covers applied, etc.
2. Your house gives signs. Stay tuned to what it says.
The best way to keep your house or apartment in order is to observe small problems and repair them before they become big. For example, if, when connecting two electrical appliances at the same time, the electric power fluctuates, it is the right time to check the electrical wiring and loads.
If you notice cracks or infiltrations on walls, call a professional before the problem evolves! Some signs to watch: cracks, leaks, broken taps, circuit breakers cutting off or lights suddenly oscillating.
Also make small tests: check that all outlets function properly, observe if all circuit breakers are suddenly cutting off or if lights are oscillating frequently, see if there is enough water coming out of the shower, if all taps work well and if there are no infiltrations or apparent cracks.
3. Beware of DIYs
Don’t let the repairs accumulate and avoid improvisations to solve problems. If you don’t know how to do it, you’ll have to redo it and you’ll spend more time and money. For example, you do not know how to solve an electricity issue and decide to put yet another extension cord or a splitter?
An exaggerated use of splitters and extensions is very dangerous and can cause serious accidents due to overheating that causes short circuits and even fires. Beware, you can get a problem with something that would, otherwise, have a very simple resolution! Playing with electricity is usually not so funny.
4. It is often better to hire a professional
Those who prefer to do repairs themselves without any professional help may lose warranty (for devices or products) if there is a problem in the future. Your house is a complex system. Sometimes you will fix one thing and end up ruining another.
You need to know the risks involved and plan how to do the repairs without affecting other elements of the system. Only make repairs if you know the subject well and if there is no risk of a physical injury. There are many repairs that can only be done by qualified professionals. Find and hire one!
5. Do not modify core structural elements
Only an engineer or an architect can tell with certainty if a wall can be removed. The same goes for support elements such as beams, columns and slabs.
An architect or an engineer will only agree to a removal of any part of the holding structure if this change does not compromise the over structure and safety of the house or apartment. In addition, if necessary, it will indicate the required reinforcement so that you can make the desired change.
If it is not possible to remove or break what you want to remove or break, do not do it. Make sure that you do not run any safety risk in your renovation project. You do not want to live with cracks on the walls, or, worse still, cause a landslide!
Today many constructions are made via a structural masonry. That is that each and all walls seal and complete the house, supports it and gives it its structure. It cannot just decide to demolish a part of a structural masonry, this does not work!
6. Beware of increased loads
You want to drill a large hole in the balcony? Or install a new water tank for more water reserves? Or you are thinking about leveling the balcony floor with that of the living room?
Exiting house or apartment structures may not support the extra weight that you will add (or remove)! If you would like to make such a change, it is necessary to call a professional who will analyze if the house is prepared to receive this additional load and will suggest what needs to be done to reinforce the original structure.
We hope that your renovation project will become a pleasure and will be completely free of hassles and issues, and, especially, from serious accidents. Good luck!
Take a look at this quick video, talking about key house maintenance tips: