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Why are glass balustrades so perfect for coastal areas?

Glass balustrades make a beautiful additional to virtually any property – but why are they so well-suited to homes and businesses in coastal areas? Rob Gilbert, Production Director at SHS, explains.

Architects and developers have always faced unique challenges when working in coastal areas – and one of the biggest challenges is dealing with the effects that nature can have on certain materials.

Corrosion, in particular, is right at the top of the list when it comes to deciding which materials to specify as part of any coastal development: any property within 15 miles of the coast is going to be exposed to different environmental conditions, mainly because of the amount of salt in the air.

This is why glass balustrade systems are so much better-suited to coastal areas than metal-based products.

Why is salty air more corrosive?

Saltwater is bad news for metal – but the combination of salt, moisture and air is even worse. This combination eats away at certain metals, weakening it and causing it to fall apart.

Saltwater corrodes metal five times faster than fresh water does and the salty, humid ocean air causes metal to corrode 10 times faster than air with normal humidity1.

This means unsightly, damaging and dangerous rust can form surprisingly quickly on iron-based fixtures and fittings in coastal areas.

So why does that make glass so perfect for the coast?

Put simply, glass does not corrode in the same way: it is far more impervious to the effects of the sea air, and that makes glass a far better material for coastal areas than balustrades.

The weight and strength of toughened glass also makes it a good choice of material as it will not be bent or moved by the wind.

infinity glass

What about the fittings?

Stainless steel fittings are the best choice for coastal areas as it is far more resistant to corrosion that other forms of steel.

Are there any other benefits?

Aside from the fact that the sea air won’t make your glass balustrade rot away, there are other benefits as well:

Low maintenance

In addition, it can be maintained far more easily: it only requires cleaning rather than frequent coats of paint to keep it looking fresh.

Cost/value

A glass balustrade is very unlikely to need to be replaced within your lifetime. Balustrades and barriers made from inferior materials might cost slightly less to begin with, but they won’t last as long, will need to be replaced, and will cause a lot more hassle while they are installed, too. As the old saying goes: buy cheap; buy twice.

Appearance

An estate agent would call it ‘kerb appeal’ – but regardless of what it’s called, a glass balustrade can make a huge improvement to the look, atmosphere, desirability and even value of a coastal property.

You can find out more about our glass balustrades here, or head to our online quote page to enquire in more detail.

  1. https://sciencing.com/effects-saltwater-metals-8632636.html – “The effects of saltwater on metals”.

 


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