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Every year in the warm season, the balconies of apartment buildings are transformed into countless colorful, cheerful splashes of color. Their apartment owners transform the often gloomy parapet cladding into a colorful or even elegant ambience to enjoy their outdoor seating with a comfortable design.
What has long been a tradition at these rental apartments, but also increasingly determines the balconies of newly built homes.
A balcony cover is often confused with panels or protective mats. Their difference is that a balcony cover is made of a flexible material such as awning fabrics or plastic tarpaulins. A privacy mat, on the other hand, is made of a solid material.
What purpose do balcony coverings serve?
Every balcony owner loves his retreat area. Here he can enjoy the summer days and nights with his family or friends undisturbed or enjoy his unrestricted sunbathing. Therefore, the most important task of a balcony covering is to keep inquisitive glances from this balcony. But it also already serves as a windbreak when it has been installed up to parapet height. Both effects can be exacerbated by providing one or both sides of a balcony with a covering of at least 2 meters in height.
However, balcony coverings are also very helpful, especially in rental units to mask the outdated balcony balustrade that has become unsightly due to the weather.
How are balcony covers designed?
The most common form of balcony covering consists in a custom made of awning fabric or PVC tarpaulin, which is provided with eyelets all around. These eyelets such a fabric is attached to the top of the handrail or upper flange of the balcony railing and the bottom of the lower flange. The attachment is made with plastic cable ties.
However, this simple variant of attachment with cable ties has two major disadvantages. The cable ties gradually leave ugly streaks on the metal structure. In addition, they diminish the view quality of the entire balcony cover.
That's why resourceful DIY enthusiasts use their skills and make this covering independent of the metal construction of the balcony. They provide the connections of the balcony to the masonry of the house and in the front corners with bolted tabs. In a new construction on a private family home, these tabs can already be welded on site. Now they stretch between these tabs on each of the upper and lower belt a thin steel cable on which the fabric has been previously threaded through their eyes. Additional eyelets or bands in the corners ensure that the vertical edges are straight.
Prefabricated coverings contain in their delivery package several tensioning rubbers that tighten the fabric or tarpaulin. Homebuilders can also buy these rubbers individually.
Additional protection by a high covering
With a covering in parapet height, although a significant gaze and wind protection is already ensured. However, it can be extended by providing one or both sides of the balcony with high ceilings. This purpose is a metal frame, preferably made of aluminum, the house side firmly inserted in the masonry or screwed with dowels. On the other side he stands on the upper flange of the balcony parapet and is securely fastened there. If there is another over the balcony, the attachment should also be upwards. After all, such clothing must absorb a significant wind load. The attachment of the fabric to this frame is also carried out with eyelets and cable ties or other proposed fixtures.
Which materials are suitable for balcony coverings?
The classic material continues to be the sarcophagus. He can be processed with some experience himself and nationwide in Germany offer decorators, blind specialists and others the preparation and also assembly. However, awning fabric has the disadvantage that it fades even in the highest quality. Therefore, it must be renewed after a few years, which again causes costs.
An innovative material is PP. It is made of a polypropylene fabric and with its UV protection it resists intensified solar radiation. PP is weather-resistant, extremely tear-resistant and yet as flexible as fabric.
Only slightly less UV resistant are acrylic fabrics. They hardly differ externally from conventional awning fabric. Another variant is polyester fabric.
Advantages and disadvantages:
- traditional awning fabric - inexpensive, but very sensitive to light and dirt
- Polypropylene - the most expensive to buy, but more durable, UV-resistant and tear-resistant
- Polyacrylic - inexpensive, very weather-resistant, but also very susceptible to dirt
- Polyester fabric - slightly translucent, can remain in winter, no windbreak
Many balconies are standardized and for this the specialized trade leads prefabricated Balkonbespannungen. They are made in series and are therefore of course cheaper than its custom-made for the individual balcony. A covering of PP at 5m length and 90cm height is available in a simple decor already from 10 Euro. For production, the price is based on current square meters.
What to look for:
Be careful not to flutter in the wind so it can not be damaged. The fabric is provided at the top and bottom with eyelets. The balcony fabric is fastened with the turnbuckle and cable ties. The cable ties are usually obtained in addition to the balcony cover. They are made of polyamide, so that the railing is not damaged. Cable ties can be bought very cheaply in any retailer. Alternatively, the balcony fabric can be braided with a cord through the eyelets attached to the balcony railing.
The balcony protection should be cleaned regularly, it is recommended to use a special cleaner for awnings. The fabric can also be washed in the washing machine if it fits in the machine from the Aufmassen ago. A balcony cover as a balcony light protection ensures perfect, textile privacy in the desired color and shape. Thus, a pleasant, tailored to individual needs ambience can be created with little effort.