7 / April

Blog: Marine Environment

The good old British weather; anybody who has lived near the coast, or in an exposed location, has probably seen the worst of it! These areas tend to get even wetter and windier and our homes – including the windows and doors – bear the brunt if it! Having a marine grade finish on your windows and doors is therefore paramount in the battle against the elements.

A marine environment is described as a location within 5000 metres of a coastal shoreline where the levels of natural chemicals such as salt can affect the aesthetics, performance and therefore the lifespan of your windows and doors. Swimming pool enclosures should also be considered as marine environment because of the high levels of moisture and chlorine in the air.

Aluminium is usually the number one choice in a marine environment. It provides superb thermal and sound insulation as well as being versatile, highly durable and virtually maintenance free. It’s a more stable option than timber and tends to hold up better to the abrasive air than uPVC.

All aluminium windows and doors are normally powder coated. To meet industry standard, the powder coating film must be no less than 40 microns thick and is available in many different RAL colours to suit your décor and taste. In a marine environment, the powder coating film should have a minimum thickness of 60 microns to protect against the harshness of a marine environment.

Another option with certain manufacturers is Pre-Anodisation. This is a treatment to the aluminium prior to powder coating which protects the paint surface from beneath to reduce the chance of bubbling and lifting of the powder coating.

How the doors are maintained is significant in the battle against a marine environment. The slightest chip in the paintwork can mean pollutants get in under the paint which will lead to corrosion. The paint finish should be matt or metallic matt and joints should be sealed with an approved mastic. The frames should also have a regular maintenance cycle. Cleaning a minimum of twice a year with soapy water to prevent residue eating in to the surface over long periods of time will also significantly increase the life of the frames and keep them looking newer for longer. Many manufacturers will insist on this as part of their marine warranty.

If you’re planning a home renovation or new build project near the coast, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

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