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Balcony Signs of Damage that Every Landlord Should Know

Omid Ghanadiof

Aug 5, 2022

Balcony and Deck Damages

Decks are great places to unwind, relax, entertain, and enjoy the outdoors without leaving the comfort of home. They are outdoor spaces that add to a home or apartment's value and square footage without expending a lot of expense. Decks are attractive features for prospective tenants in communities where renting a home is preferred.

Decks can look pretty and stable outside while hiding dangerous damage inside their veneers. But, if necessary, they must be adequately maintained and repaired for the landlord to avoid liability issues relating to potential injuries or deaths.

Four types of decks are used regularly, and those include wood, concrete, composite, and stucco. Most often, decks are made of wood or stucco, requiring a sealant or waterproofing application. However, concrete and composite are lower maintenance options but still need regular attention.

What do landlords watch for?

Dry rot is big for structures made of wood or uses wood as structural support or a railing. Moisture damage can destroy a deck when the wood isn't properly treated or sealed to repel water. Wood warps in excess moisture and heat. Dry rot is caused by a fungus that grows and spreads under the proper moisture and heat conditions. It can reduce wood fibers to dust. It likes to hide in crevasses not easily visible to the eye.

When steel is used for substrates, support beams, or railings, especially with concrete and stucco, landlords will do well to watch for cracks, holes, and rust around the metal deck pieces. Water likes to travel the path of least resistance. That means water settles in low places. Water often seeps into cracks and holes, causing damage to steel's structural integrity. Rust is the result, a possible sign of weak materials. Be sure to pay attention to rust stains on stucco, paint, concrete, and composite materials.

Signs of comprised decking materials include:

  • Wobbly railings and boards.

  • Uneven or drooping floors.

  • Soft spots (areas where materials should be solid but aren't).

There's damage; now what?

Damage prevention is usually the best policy for decks. Unfortunately, despite the landlord's best efforts, repairs are still necessary to maintain a building's safety. Thankfully, all isn't lost, even if deck maintenance has been ignored. Wood and metal materials can be removed and replaced. Exterior surfaces can also be cleaned and sealed.

Call a local deck and restoration specialist. They can safely and thoroughly inspect a property. Local specialists are experts on regional conditions. For example, the humidity in the Midwest will differ from that of the West, and Alaska will be wetter and colder than Arizona. Another point to remember is no two properties are alike. So, every repair job will be different. Once a specialist can identify problematic areas, they can create a personalized recovery plan to meet the landlord's needs and expectations. Additionally, that specialist assists in finding the right contractors for the repair job, and the recovery work begins.

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