Possibly the bane of almost every apartment dweller’s existence, the balcony is notoriously difficult to clean without water cascading onto neighbors’ balconies.
And while some renters have the luxury of a water hose to wash off dirt and grime, you’ll need a different solution when it comes to balconies without any drainage system.
Here are different techniques to help you avoid flooding your balcony while cleaning it:
- squeeze mop
- towel or cloth
- paint balcony walls
After investing in a balcony carpet, high-end furniture, rugs and plants, it’s understandable that you’ll want to keep your balcony space looking nice.
But how are you supposed to do that without the fear of water pouring out onto other peoples’ homes or the street below?
Whether you’re after a fast and simple, or a long-term solution, this article has got some ideas to help you clean your balcony without flooding the area around you.
What kind of drain do balconies need?
Wet balconies are bad news.
They can increase the risk of slipping, they can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew, and they can lead to the growth of algae and other harmful microorganisms.
They can also lead to bad odors, as accumulating water in a balcony leads to the growth of bacteria and other harmful microbes.
By definition, a balcony is something that is a bit higher than the ground level and it is usually attached to an apartment or house on the outside. This means that there will be water runoff generated at some point, and it needs to be drained properly.
As a result, it is important for the balcony owner to be aware of which type of material they need to use when designing a drainage system.
While many balcony flooring materials are waterproof, not all of them are. In some cases, balconies could have a waterproof coating over them, such as concrete flooring, but if the coating is damaged in any way, this can cause water to seep through and accumulate.
In this case, it is important for the balcony owner to make sure that they have either a drainage system installed or an easy way to remove water from their balcony.
Most balconies will have a drain, but they need to make sure that they are using the right type.
The most common types of balcony drains are:
- area floor drains
- scuppers and canales
- trench drain or balcony grate drain
- gutter drain Related: Can You Put Gutters on Your Balcony?
- steps and ramps
- raised floor system with a subfloor drain drainage system
How to Clean a Balcony Without a Draining System
1. Sweep away any dirt and debris
Fancy a summer barbecue? Or maybe, you want to throw a party in your backyard?
Regardless of the occasion, if you’re hosting guests and your balcony is covered with dirt and debris, then that could be quite embarrassing.
So before you plan anything else for this summer, it’s best to start off on the right foot by cleaning your balcony.
Sweep away any dirt or debris that may be clinging onto the surface of the floor or wall.
If you need to, use a small broom, and gently sweep across your balcony to remove any dirt. When done, take the broom and dustpan with you, as well as any other tools that were used for cleaning and place them back where they belong.
While the balcony floor is easy to clean by simply sweeping away all the debris, the wall may be a bit trickier especially if the balcony doesn’t have a drain system installed.
If that’s the case, then you’ll need to clean the wall by using a damp towel and wiping away any dirt or debris.
2. Remove spider webs and bird nests with a long-handled sponge or stick
Perhaps, you’ve got insects and uninvited animals making your balcony their home.
Spiders and birds will probably be your biggest problem when it comes to outdoor cleaning. So, here are some steps on how you can remove their nests without getting yourself hurt in the process.
First, remove any loose materials, such as tree branches or clothes that are lying around the balcony, as they could easily fly off while you’re cleaning.
Wear an all-purpose face mask that is a good fit for your face.
Then, obtain a long-handled sponge or stick that is well-suited for removing spider webs and bird nests. If you have an outdoor sink, then get it out and wet the sponge using warm water.
Once you’ve done this, hold the wet sponge in your hand and apply gentle pressure to the desired target area.
Repeat the process if necessary until you’re able to remove all of the webs and nests.
3. Vacuum the floor
Vacuuming your balcony is the most effective way to cleanse it from dirt, dust and other unwanted particles.
For a wooden floor, you can use a vacuum cleaner with a soft non-abrasive attachment. You may also want to test the cleaner’s suction power by removing the wand attachment and running it over your hand.
If you notice that dirt and debris are still not being pulled up, then you should consider getting an attachment that has stronger suction power.
For a concrete floor, you may want to consider using a vacuum cleaner with a long hose attachment.
It’s also possible to use a handheld vacuum cleaner for a concrete floor.
Make sure that the cleaner is set on a low setting and has a rotating brush attachment to clean up debris that’s stuck on the floor.
Before you start cleaning, make sure that you’ve turned off all of your electrical appliances, so as not to trip over wires and break them.
If you’ve got a large balcony, then it’s best to use a power-assisted vacuum cleaner that has a long extension hose so as not to constantly stop and move the machine to a new location.
Also, make sure that you’ve removed any furniture or other items that may hinder the suction of the vacuum cleaner.
4. Use adjustable squeeze mop to clean the floor
In order to achieve a shine and a beautiful clean floor, you need to clean it with something a bit wet.
And while vacuuming is the most obvious option, they are cumbersome to use and their power will diminish over time.
So, if you want a fast and efficient way to clean the floor, then you should consider using a squeeze mop instead. The best type of mop cleans the floor with a little bit of water, which results in almost no dust particles being left behind.
Adjustable squeeze mops offer a couple of features that make them ideal for cleaning outside areas such as balconies.
For example, most of them have adjustable telescoping poles that offer a long reach for cleaning walls and balcony ceiling.
Plus, the pole also folds down easily for storage purposes.
Although you can obtain both a squeezable and a bucket type mop, it’s best to get the former if you plan to use it outdoors as the bucket type could easily spill over.
Using an adjustable squeeze mop is also a great way to prevent your floor from becoming slippery, as the water is not poured directly onto the floor.
5. Dry surfaces with a towel or cloth
At any rate, if you can’t or don’t want to use a broom and some other tools, then the best thing to do is to simply take a towel or cloth with you and dry up the surface of the balcony.
Before starting off, you should make sure that the surface is free from all debris and grease.
If not done first, then wiping off the flooring with a towel could be rather messy.
Also, try to make sure that you use a clean and dry towel so that it won’t leave any streaks on the surface.
After wiping off the flooring with a towel, you’ll need to check if anything has been missed by simply walking across the surface of the balcony floor.
While the task itself is relatively easy, it’s important to note that you have to make sure that the cleaning process is done correctly in order to avoid any accidents.
6. Apply new coat of paint
Ugly and dirty walls?
If you want to spruce up the look of your balcony, then a simple way to do so is by applying a new coat of paint on the wall.
When using a paint brush and roller, it’s best to do so in a well-ventilated area where there’s plenty of sunlight.
Read More: How to Get More Sunlight on Balcony
Also, make sure that the surface is clean before starting off or else it’ll be much more difficult for you to complete the task without running into any problems.
Observe the surface for any stains or spills and then, use a cleaning agent to remove that.
The next step would be to apply paint over the surface of the wall.
To ensure that your balcony is well-protected, make sure that you apply at least two coats of paint on the surface and wait for each layer to dry completely before proceeding on to the next one.
Walls that show signs of chipping or peeling may also require you to use a primer in order to restore the original appearance of your balcony.
To wrap up
Cleaning the exterior of your house is never fun – particularly if you have no outdoor drain to use to dispose of the dirty water.
However, as long as you’re willing to invest in a few supplies and take the necessary precautions, you should be able to clean your balcony without feeling too overwhelmed.
If you don’t want to take an extra long time sweeping and cleaning your home, you should invest in a wet dry vacuum.
It is far easier to clean every day than spend hours sweeping, especially if you want to avoid causing a lot of dust to fly around everywhere.
Hopefully these tips will help!