• Thomas Haynes

The best balustrades for coastal properties by the sea: The case for glass

Being based in Sussex on the south coast, we are well versed in dealing the potential problems of coastal environments and how they will affect your balustrades. Below we have highlighted the potential issues your balustrades will have to stand up to when installed in coastal marine environments.

There are three concerns when choosing appropriate fall protection for coastal properties. Firstly, the weather, as coastal properties are far more likely to face high winds and driving rains that can cause real issues for the fabric of a building. Secondly are the high levels of corrosion due to salt air speeding up the oxidizing process of nearly all building materials. Thirdly is not interrupting those beautiful seaside views that you have paid a premium for. With these three concerns in mind anyone looking at installing new balustrades to their property will need strong, proven, and tested balustrades that are made from highly corrosion resistant materials that do not spoil those highly sought-after views. After all most homeowners have paid a premium for being by the sea, so why spoil those views when you do not have to. This is where glass balustrading and Glass Juliet balconies really excel over the more traditional styles.

Glass balustrade systems are rigorously tested, more so than wrought iron, steel and timber balustrades due to the high level of governance set by building regulations. Glass has come a long way over the years in assuring rigidity, with thick 10mm panels going through a tempering process to make them 4-5 times more structurally durable. On frameless glass balustrades typically two 10mm pieces of glass are laminated together to further add strength to the overall balustrade system, meaning if one side was to fail, the other side would be able to ensure the balustrade stays in please until a replacement is installed.

Corrosion resistance is also ensured, as using the correct materials glass balustrade systems can stand the test of time. There are typically two metals that are used to support glass in our glass balustrade systems. There is 316 marine grade stainless steel and anodized aluminium. Both materials will far outlast mild steel, wrought iron and timber in these marine environments as the salt air has a much smaller effect on these metals. This means they are perfect for resisting corrosion in what is probably the most corrosive natural environment there is for metals. This also means you will not have to spend valuable time on the maintenance of traditional balustrades Also, glass is not permanently affected by salt air and therefore it makes sense to use glass as much as possible in place of more corrosion susceptible materials.

Not spoiling views was probably why glass balustrading was invented to start with. Glass balustrades – especially our frameless system can give you all the above benefits without the drawback of unsightly infills and metal panels blocking the light though and spoiling the views.

If you would like to know more about how glass balustrades can enhance your coastal property, please give us a call. We would be delighted to help

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