Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


BIA Warns of Potentially Unsafe Balconies

BIA Warns of Potentially Unsafe Balconies and Balustrades

The Building Industry Authority today issued a public reminder that certain balconies and balustrades on houses and apartments could be in danger of collapsing and causing a serious accident.

BIA Chief Executive Dr Bill Porteous said it was timely to remind people of the potential danger as Christmas and the summer holiday season drew near, with an associated increase in outdoor living.

Balconies, decks, and similar structures at risk are those that rely for their structural support on timber beams that may, or may not, be hidden behind cladding. Those at greatest risk include balconies on buildings with flat, lightweight claddings with plaster-type finishes, balconies supported by untreated kiln-dried timber, and balconies on which water pools.

A balustrade is a barrier built around the edge of a balcony, deck, or similar construction, to prevent people from falling. The types at risk are "enclosed balustrades" covered with a flat, lightweight cladding with a plaster-type finish. Water can leak inside the cladding and rot the framing timber. If this has happened, the balustrade may appear solid but can no longer support the weight of a person leaning on it.

The BIA advises people with at-risk balconies or balustrades to seek advice from an appropriately qualified expert.

"Assessing the extent of the risk is difficult because in many cases the danger is literally hidden behind the cladding – there is no external evidence. However, it is a real risk."

"If people are worried about a balcony, deck or balustrade, they should get it checked by an expert as soon as possible. In the meantime, we strongly advise that they should not use it at all.”

Risk Factors
Balconies at greatest risk are those: using untreated kiln-dried timber for structural support on buildings clad with lightweight materials with plaster finishes with a surface on which water forms puddles that move when walked on, or where there are damp spots or stains below where the balcony joins the main construction. These signs may be seen from inside or outside the house. These balconies are mostly found on split level, or 2-3 storey houses or multi-storey apartment buildings.

Balustrades at greatest risk are those: clad with lightweight materials with plaster finishes with a flat top on which the water sits with a railing attached to the top where water can leak down screw holes or other penetrations that wobble or where damp spots or stains can be seen on the cladding. These balustrades are mostly found on split level or 2-3 storey houses or multi-storey apartment buildings. They may or may not be associated with at-risk balconies.

It is important to stress that, in the case of either structure, there may not be evident warning signs and the danger may be completely hidden.

If I'm concerned, what should I do? Get it checked by an expert as quickly as possible. Any delay could be unsafe and the problem will only get worse. Expert advisers will also be able to give you the best advice on any repair work needed and the estimated costs.

How do I find a qualified expert? If you need help finding an expert adviser, the following organizations can assist: BRANZ: call 0900 5 90 90, or visit: www.branz.co.nz or Institute of Building Surveyors: call 0800 113 400, or visit www.buildingsurveyors.co.nz. Alternatively, your local city or district council will be able to help you find an adviser.

Further information on at-risk balconies and balustrades is available on www.bia.govt.nz

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Government: Northland To Move To Orange, NZ Prepared For Omicron

Northland will move to Orange at 11:59pm tonight, 20 January 2022, while the rest of New Zealand will remain at Orange as the Government prepares for Omicron to enter the community.
“Vaccination rates have continued to increase in Northland and are now at 89 percent first dose. The easing of the Auckland boundary over summer did not drive an increase in cases so we believe it is safe for Northland...


Gordon Campbell: On Responding To The Need In Tonga

The power of the Tonga eruption (and the size of the aid response being mounted) have been sobering indications of the scale of this disaster. The financial impact is certain to exceed the damage done by Cyclone Harold two years ago, which was estimated at the time to cost $US111 million via its effects on crops, housing and tourism facilities. This time, the tsunami damage, volcanic ash, sulphur dioxide contamination and villager relocation expenses are likely to cost considerably more to meet...


Science Media Centre: Omicron Outbreak Would Move The Country To Red - Expert Reaction

The Prime Minister has announced if Omicron cases spread into the community, the country will move to the traffic light system's Red setting within 48 hours. Jacinda Ardern also mentioned there will be changes to the country's testing regime, with more use of Rapid Antigen Tests... More>>

Government: New Zealand Prepared To Send Support To Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today... More>>

Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Immunisation Starts For 5 To 11-year-old Tāmariki

More than 120,000 doses of the child (paediatric) Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to over 500 vaccination sites around New Zealand as health providers prepare to start immunising 5 to 11-year-olds tamariki from today, 17 January... More>>

Statistics: Departures Lift Border Crossing Numbers

The number of people crossing New Zealand’s border went up in November 2021, mostly due to an increase in departures, Stats NZ said today. There were 28,700 border crossings in November 2021, made up of 12,300 arrivals and 16,400 departures... More>>

Financial Services Federation: Open Letter To Government From Non-bank Lenders: The Path Forward On CCCFA Changes
Responsible lenders are not interested in telling the Government “I told you so” when it comes to unintended consequences of changes to lending laws that are now causing grief for everyday Kiwis seeking finance... More>>

CTU: Too Many Kiwi Workers Financially Vulnerable As Omicron Looms
With New Zealand on the precipice of an Omicron outbreak and the economic upheaval that comes with it, the CTU’s annual Mood of the Workforce Survey shows the vast majority of kiwi workers do not have the financial resources to survive a period of unemployment... More>>




InfoPages News Channels