A balustrade is a type of fence that is usually made of glass, metal, or a combination of the two. They are commonly used on balconies or poolside areas and are usually a metre or so in height. They’re not as tall as full-size fences, and usually cover just half the height of an average person. They are attractive and easy to maintain, which makes them quite popular.
Glass balustrades offer a lot of advantages. They can be framed or frameless, and are usually held in place by poles made of stainless steel or wrought iron. These poles are the balusters from which the fence gets its name. If your glass balustrade is frameless, it will be supported by rubber bushing, metal pins, and external support rails instead of metal balusters.
Balustrades made of glass have a lot of benefits. They are beautiful to look at and easy to clean. They offer a great, unobstructed view, and allow natural light into partially enclosed spaces. They also add a modern, classy touch to your residence. They’re convenient in tropical areas because they stay solid in warm weather.
While glass dishes and ornaments break all the time, the kind of glass used in buildings and cars is much tougher. It’s made to withstand both time and atmospheric conditions, so it needs to be particularly sturdy. Most cars and buildings use safety glass, and balustrades are no different. Safety glass minimises damage and injury in case of accidents.
There are different options for glass fencing. It can be tinted, mirrored, coloured, stained, or transparent. It’s also available in varying thickness from 6mm to 10mm. To figure out how long glass balconies last, it’s important to look at the things that can damage the glass.
Physical force can break glass, so if you sprint and ram into it, or throw a very heavy object at high speed, the balustrade is likely to break. There won’t be many injuries since the glass shatters safely and is held together by a safety film, but it will still be expensive to fix.
Glass can also be harmed by scratching, so it’s best to avoid abrasive cleaning products. Natural abrasives like sand and salt are unlikely to damage your balcony, even if you live by the seaside. This is because when the sand or salt particles blow in the wind, they don’t have enough speed or force to harm the glass.
At worst they will form a film of sediment that can be wiped off with a soft, damp, non-abrasive cloth. Be careful while you wipe, and use gentle, circular motions. If you’re too rough when you wipe off the sand and salt stains, you may end up scraping them against the glass and damaging it.
Glass balconies can also be broken by applying heavy loads on them. This includes the heavyweight of too many people standing or leaning on the glass. Fortunately, balustrades are specifically manufactured to withstand the weight. If you lean on the balcony, the weight will be supported by the metal railing rather the glass itself so that the glass will remain intact.
You might also damage your balustrade by trying to scrape off solid spills like paint, melted rubber, or dried cement, so be careful. Instead of trying to scrub it of yourself, use turpentine, or call in a professional glass cleaner. Never scrub your balustrade.
The glass is also susceptible to temperature changes, as seen when hot water is poured into a glass and the glass cracks. Balustrades are specifically made for outdoor use, so they are constructed to withstand ordinary fluctuations in temperature.
You’re often advised not to wash your balustrade on a hot day, but that’ not because the glass might break. It’s more because the water and soap will dry too fast, leaving watermarks and increasing the amount of repetitive cleaning you have to do. In the same way, washing with hot water gives a cleaner, streak-free result.
Glass can withstand the effects of chemicals, both acidic and alkaline, so it can’t be damaged by cleaning agents or food spills, Just wipe them off. With all these benefits, it’s quite hard to accidentally damage your balustrade. You’d have to be consciously trying to break it.
You could, for example, cut it with a glass cutter, or scrape it with steel wire. Other than that, your balustrade can stay in place for decades. Just remember to clean it once or twice a week so that it stays in pristine condition and doesn’t get cloudy or grimy.