The balcony is traditionally perceived as a place outside the apartment, from where access to fresh air is wider: here you can drink coffee, talk «in the fresh air» with friends. Many use it as a clothes dryer, storage for temporarily unnecessary things.
Balcony — a multifunctional corner of the apartment
Recently, more practical owners use the balcony as an additional «sleeping» corner, part of the children’s room, a continuation of the kitchen, an addition to the interior, which radically changes the look of the room. If size permits, a Japanese garden with an aquarium is laid out on the balcony.
But for this, in addition to decisiveness, courage, and design fantasy, insulation of the balcony is required. Then it becomes not only original, but also useful, moreover, multifunctional. One of the most successful solutions for heating can be the installation of an air conditioner, for example, Mitsubishi Electric household air conditioners do an excellent job with this task.
Materials for insulation
The balcony, despite its location «outside the apartment», is still part of the home. Therefore, everything that is used for wall insulation is also suitable for warming its individual territory — a balcony.
- Aerated concrete. For example, in «cold» regions, aerated concrete blocks are used along the walls. Modern warm windows are installed above them. According to the possibilities and depending on the intended functionality, floors are laid or insulated.
- Styrofoam. Not the best, but the most economical material for insulation is foam. The best of its types is extruded foam, which differs significantly from traditional types. If you put it on the floor, on an even solution, then the surface turns out to be quite hard: you can safely lay tiles on top, or even laminate or linoleum. In this case, plywood is not needed to level or harden the surface.
- Mineral wool. Mineral wool is not a very convenient material for insulating the ceiling of a balcony, because it is hygroscopic, it “pulls” moisture, which affects the performance of the material.
Mineral insulation must be separated by a heat-reflecting membrane from the balcony space.
Related problems when repairing a balcony
During the insulation of the balcony, a number of related problems arise that cannot be treated with disdain.
- First. Additional heat supply to the balcony, from the side of the room. It should be determined exactly whether it will be enough from the adjacent room, or whether an additional heat source should be installed or a warm floor should be installed. Experts recommend not complicating work by laying an additional branch of central heating, but limiting themselves to converter heaters with thermostats. Not always an additional heat source solves the problem of «point dew.» A well-thought-out room ventilation system sometimes helps to “drown” it deeper into the wall, without even resorting to an additional heat source.
- Second. When insulating the floors, it is not always possible to avoid differences in the levels of the floors of the room and the balcony. There may be additional costs here.
- Third. The inhabitants of the upper floors will have to carefully consider the thermal and waterproofing of the roof of the balcony. If possible, install a gutter or canopy over the balcony. This is very important functionally, albeit more expensive in cost.
- Fourth. Also, in advance, it is necessary to think over the device for lighting and supplying electricity to this additional corner of the apartment. It must be treated as the arrangement, repair and construction of an ordinary room.
Related article — insulation of balcony walls from the inside.
You should not get hung up on the embodiment of an idea for the sake of an idea. The insulated balcony is an additional corner of the living area. But initially it was invented for a person to get out of a confined space and communicate with nature. You can simply close an ordinary balcony from the external environment using the so-called frameless glazing system. It looks very nice, it is warmer and more comfortable under it.
However, arguing about tastes is a hopeless business. Choose for yourself how best to equip your balcony, and you can always realize the idea without outside help, with your own hands.