It is important that these are well maintained as they provide a key embellishment of the building, and hence, the value of the property.
Being made of cast or wrought iron, they also need careful maintenance to protect them from rust. Because of the loads they may carry, it is particularly important that balconies be securely fixed to sound stonework, and treated against rust.
Balconies, usually fitted to drawing-room windows on the first floor, contribute greatly to the decorative quality of Georgian facades. There are four basic types:
Balconies usually rest on the projecting string course at first-floor level, being fixed to the stonework with lugs which form part of the floor grid, staved into undercut holes.
In some cases, a heavier balcony is supported on a bracket of cast or wrought iron of various designs. The base and wrought-iron coping rail of the balcony itself are usually built into the wall.
Balconies running the length of a street are tied back to the stonework with wrought- or cast-iron bars at the party walls; these ties sometimes take the form of decorative cast-iron panels fixed across the balcony to separate adjoining houses.
Mostly the bracket is wrought-iron, fixed at top with lug set in lead, fixed at bottom by bolts grouted into masonry.
All ironwork should be inspected annually for any signs of breakdown and decay.
All ironwork will need repainting:
Re-painting should using the principles of thorough painting. See Repainting Balconies for more information.
The grid floor panels of continuous balconies need to accommodate a certain degree of thermal and structural movement; welding in situ can restrict movement and cause further cracks.
Water penetration may occur if fixings have been realigned on the wall face, leaving sinkings in the stonework. These should be made good with a mortar repair.
Covered in detail on separate pages.