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Thursday, March 7, 2013

2 Big Reasons Vinyl Railings May Not Be an Ideal Choice for Your Multi-Story Application

Most would agree that vinyl railings are aesthetically pleasing and look great on a variety of applications, whether commercial or residential.

Although vinyl certainly does have its benefits, there are some points a building designer must consider prior to specifying this type of railing system on a multi-story structure.

1.  Vinyl Railing Has Limitations - Have you ever wondered why vinyl balcony railings are such a rare sight on multi-story buildings?  The answer is simple - it all comes down to code.   Vinyl railings are only permitted on facilities up to three stories.  In other words, if you're designing a high-rise hotel or condominium, vinyl cannot even be a consideration.

2.  Steel Inserts May Present Significant Problems - Many vinyl railings feature aluminum inserts and components.  However, for systems utilizing steel, two major issues will most likely arise:
1. Corrosion- The steel posts underneath the vinyl are - put simply - an accident waiting to happen. Due to steel's propensity to corrode, maintenance personnel may be unaware of the damage until the railing system itself fails - thus, posing a serious life-safety issue.
2.  Rust - Not only is rusty steel dangerous, it's unsightly to boot.  That clean, flawless look of vinyl railing might soon be marred by trails of unsightly rust stains spilling down the building's facade.
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