When did you last check your balustrades – are they still safe?
Whilst adding style and sophistication to your outside or inside space, a balustrade also acts as a safety barrier.
Whether it’s made from glass, wood or metal the balustrade is positioned on the edge of a higher area where there is a drop, so it prevents falls and subsequent injury.
Wherever they are situated, staircase or balcony balustrades are popular. However, it can’t always be assumed that once installed they will continue to be safe and do the job they are intended for. Balustrades work by resisting the force and pressure of someone falling against it. It absorbs the impact so it shouldn’t budge but transfer the force through the entire balustrading. If any part of it moves, is indicates a weak point which will need to be repaired or replaced immediately.
What to Check
It is essential there is absolutely no movement on the balustrade or any of its component parts. Check for movement in the following way:
- Whether you have glass or wooden balusters you must check to see if they are loose or move. They are designed to give strength and structure of the whole system as well as the physical barrier to stop people falling through it.
- Check each post between the balustrades to ensure they are completely intact. Any missing fixings or screws need to be replaced urgently.
- Handrails should not move when held.
It is important to check the materials used for any damage too:
- Wooden balustrades tend to be made from Hardwood which is dense and strong and therefore hardy. However, it is susceptible to pests like woodworm. It can also attract algae and be affected by heavy weathering. Any damage to the balustrade will compromise its strength
- Glass balustrades are usually made with toughened glass, so they are incredibly strong. This type of glass will chip not shatter. However, if it is severely damaged it could crack out from the centre of the impact. If there is any damage the strength of it will be compromised.
- Stainless steel is rust-proof and aluminium also offers resistance to damp and rain. However, check the joints for any damage or movement and repair if any is found.
- Check to see if there are any changes to components. Any clamps, brackets, welding, screws and fixings should be checked for damage, wear and tear and definitely no movement. If there is, replace them.
Does your Balustrade System meet Current Regulations?
A balustrade system could have been in place for a long time. Though they will have met the building regulations at the that time, they probably won’t meet current building regulations.
How Often Should I Check Balustrades?
External balustrades should be checked for damage after heavy storms or sustained bad weather. For interior balustrades, check on a frequent basis, especially if the balustrade is continually used. All balustrades should be checked for movement after an extended period of inactivity or where it has received impact or actually broke a person’s fall.
Whether you’re looking to replace your balustrades due to damage or you just fancy a change, Sunrock Balconies have the solution for you.
Sunrock’s Infinity Glass balustrades are not only the necessary safety barrier, but they are the ultimate design feature for breaking down visual barriers between your indoor and outside living areas. Beautifully engineered, ultra-modern and completely frameless, they deliver a wonderful feeling of space, while at the same time being compliant with regulations and extremely durable.
Have a look through our product range to get some ideas, or if you are ready for the next step then request a quote today. Alternatively get in touch – we’d be happy to answer any questions or discuss a job you have in mind.