Living on upper floors and dealing with windy conditions requires additional attention to secure your balcony is something I learned the hard way. We live on the 9th floor and it does get scary when the wind blows wild and whistles hard enough to send items flowing away.
Sometime ago, I planned to install planters on our balcony wall. I’ve set up the metal clamps and plastic planters ready. I was supposed to buy some more strings to secure them, but I wasn’t able to do so early enough. I had put some terracotta pots as weight but those weren’t enough to deter the wind. Everything went flying out on to the first floor’s roof – a self-made plexiglass meant to protect the owner’s cat and plants. Their balcony was a bit bigger than ours, protruding somehow that it’s inevitable to get hit by falling objects.
Thank goodness, the cat was alright, but there were holes left by the terracotta pot and metal clamps, they were an eyesore. Thank goodness, our insurance paid for everything and the owners were kind enough to understand. We still say hello to each other and ask about our cats when we meet by the lounge or outside our building.
That aside, you can avoid such dilemma by being cautious. We now have a net installed which both serves as a protection for our cats, and for stuff flying away when the wind blows hard. Here are some specific measures to consider:
- Install sturdy railing: Ensure that your balcony railing is strong and meets safety standards. If it doesn’t, consider upgrading it to a more robust and secure design.
- Wind-resistant furniture: Opt for furniture designed to withstand windy conditions. Heavy and solid pieces are less likely to be affected by gusts of wind. Look for furniture with a low center of gravity and wide bases for added stability.
- Tie down or anchor furniture: Use furniture straps, bungee cords, or anchors to secure your furniture to the balcony railing or the floor. This prevents items from tipping over during strong winds.
- Consider furniture with anti-slip features: If your balcony is prone to rain or gets slippery, opt for furniture that has anti-slip features, like rubber feet or anti-slip pads, to prevent accidental movement.
- Windbreakers and privacy screens: Install windbreakers or privacy screens around your balcony to create a barrier that can reduce the impact of strong winds. These screens can be made of mesh, glass, or other materials.
- Wind chimes or flags: Hang wind chimes or wind flags on your balcony to give you an audible and visual indication of strong winds. This can help remind you to take extra precautions with your furniture during windy conditions. I have installed metallic pin wheels which is more to deter birds but it works the same way.
- Locking mechanisms: If you have foldable furniture or items with moving parts, consider using locking mechanisms to secure them in place when not in use.
- Use heavy planters: If you have potted plants on your balcony, use heavy planters to prevent them from being knocked over by the wind. I have plastic ones but I have now secured them with strings tied to the clamps that are also securely locked.
- Regularly inspect and maintain: Regularly inspect your balcony furniture and fittings for any signs of wear, loose screws, or damage. Tighten any loose parts and repair or replace damaged items promptly.
- Store lightweight items: When strong winds are forecasted, store lightweight items, such as cushions, small tables, and decorations, indoors to prevent them from being blown away or damaged.
- Be cautious during windstorms/storms: During severe wind blows or storms, it’s best to move all furniture and loose items indoors or to a safe location until the weather conditions improve.
Remember to check with your building management or homeowner’s association about any specific rules or guidelines for balcony furniture and security in your residence.
By taking these precautions, you can help ensure the safety of your balcony furniture and protect your belongings from the elements. As well as keep your neighbors safe in such harsh weather conditions.