Why Thermoplastic Railing Is the Only Choice for Coastal Salt Environments
Coastal salt environments are brutal on traditional building materials like metal and wood. Because of the moist, salty air, intense sun, heavy winds, and beach sand, there was a time when property owners and managers simply accepted the fact that handrails and guardrails wouldn’t last long. That’s why thermoplastic railing systems have changed the game.
Old steel railing systems require constant attention to fix chipped and flaking paint, prevent rust, and maintain structural integrity. Aluminum railing won’t rust like steel, but corrosion, pitting, and flaking and peeling paint are still a problem.
Paint and clear coat protection on metal are only a few millimeters thick at most. The inevitable scratches are noticeable because you can see the contrast from paint to metal. Meanwhile, constant abuse from the natural elements accelerates the structural breakdown of exposed metal. You can touch up the paint, but the railing will never be truly fixed.
How Thermoplastic Railing Systems Are Built to Last
Thermoplastic railing was originally invented at the Jersey Shore, specifically for coastal salt environments. At the time, vinyl siding was emerging as a longer-lasting alternative to aluminum siding. Property owners started to ask, “If you can use vinyl siding on a house, why isn’t there a better option than metal for railing?”
It wasn’t long before thermoplastic was developed and applied to railing systems.
A thermoplastic railing system is reinforced by aluminum or steel, which is encapsulated in a thick wall of heavy-duty plastic tubing. This provides the added protection and durability that are missing from metal railing systems.
The color goes throughout the thermoplastic tube. Because there’s no difference in color, scratches are barely noticeable. Salt, sand, and any other substance just wipes right off. The more you wipe down thermoplastic railing, the shinier it gets. Thermoplastic is a no-maintenance product that retains its beauty over the long haul.
Thermoplastic railing also remains structurally sound because the aluminum or steel reinforcement is never exposed to the elements. For decades, thermoplastic continues to provide the strength you need on the balcony of a penthouse in a high-rise hotel. In fact, the first thermoplastic railing systems we installed in the early 1990s are still going strong.
Where to Install Thermoplastic Railing in Coastal Salt Environments
AVCON installs thermoplastic railing systems at oceanfront properties up and down the Eastern Seaboard, including:
- Condo complexes
- Hotels and motels
- Amusement parks
Look back from the water and there’s a good chance you’ll see thermoplastic railing installed by AVCON, whether you’re visiting the Niantic boardwalk in Connecticut, the Asbury Park boardwalk in New Jersey, oceanfront properties in Ocean City, Maryland and Virginia Beach, or hotels by Hilton, Marriott, and Holiday Inn.
Architects recommend us to building owners and condo boards because our 30-year track record speaks for itself. With engineers on staff and modern CAD software, we can customize thermoplastic railing for virtually any application. Let us design and manufacture safe, strong, and aesthetically pleasing railing systems that can stand up to your coastal salt environment.
Unfortunately, traffic is down in oceanfront communities and properties are operating at less than full capacity due to COVID-19. The good news is, you can upgrade your railing system in stages without disrupting your guests. Contact us today to request a free railing consultation