The durability of wood-framed balconies varies widely, with too many suffering from leaks, visible damage on the finishes below, and concealed structural damage from continued water migration. Balconies are vulnerable to decay because they catch rainfall and direct it to a myriad of intersecting planes.
Multi-family balconies are often framed with cantilevered wood, with a concrete covering and gypsum or vinyl ceiling. Structural drawings for a project typically contain a note describing the quality of lumber materials assumed and used by the structural engineer in the structural design process.
Most deck-related accidents are caused by failure of the deck-ledger connection or the guardrail—this can lead to serious injuries or death. Decks are often designed as a collection of individual parts, rather than as a ‘system’ of interrelated components that must function correctly.