Breaking surf airborne moisture takes its toll on coastal homes within 5km of the beachfront. Burglar guards can deteriorate quickly due to salty sea spray, rain and salt carried by the wind. But there are certain types of burglar proofing that are suitable for seaside homes, especially if maintained properly.
Fixtures and fittings need more maintenance at the coast than inland homes. External walls must be repainted regularly, wood must be revarnished or repainted, and metal surfaces need to be cleaned regularly to keep them in good working condition.
The same question applies to heavy industrial areas, even if they are inland, because these areas are considered similar to marine environments due to the heavy pollution in the air.
Burglar guard design choices
There are many different types of burglar guards to choose from, whether you live at the coast or inland. This particularly applies to South Africa, where window burglar guards are an essential part of any family’s home security plan.
The burglar bar designs for windows include:
- Cottage pane burglar bars that match cottage pane windows or create a cottage pane effect.
- Trellis-patterned burglar proofing that is attached to the window and does not open or close.
- Trellis-patterned burglar bars that can slide open for easy window cleaning.
- Polycarbonate bars framed with aluminium to make it stronger.
- See-through clear guard security screens with an aluminium frame.
- Louvre shutters with built-in strength and locks.
- Rolling shutters that roll up to expose the window or down to protect it.
All these products are made from either steel, which rusts in coastal conditions, or aluminium, which can corrode, or a combination of steel and aluminium.
Burglar guards suitable for coastal conditions
Certain types of burglar guard bars survive better under coastal or marine conditions than others.
- Galvanised steel products. Galvanising adds a protective layer that helps to slow down rusting.
- Aluminium, which does not rust, making it a popular choice for coastal homes. But it does corrode over time and may develop holes as a result, although this can take years. Generally, it performs well at the coast if it is of good quality and is regularly cleaned.
- Powder coated products. This paint process provides steel and aluminium with an added layer of protection against rust and corrosion, so if burglar guards are powder coated, they will last longer in coastal homes.
- Some manufacturers apply an additional protective coating to steel and aluminium products before powder coating them, to help prevent the burglar proofing from deteriorating in harsh conditions.
Where to find burglar guard bars suitable for coastal homes
All Trellidor security barriers are manufactured at an LPCB ISO audited factory where the manufacturing process includes pre-treatment for enhanced corrosion and UV resistance before undergoing powder coating.
This process helps to retain the quality finish of the window burglar bars and other security barriers. It increases the lifespan of the barrier, making them suitable for both coastal and inland conditions.
The company manufactures all the different types of burglar guards listed above.
How to increase the lifespan of burglar guards at the coast
Any burglar proofing fitted to windows in coastal homes or homes in heavy industrial areas must be maintained properly to increase its lifespan. This means regular cleaning according to the installer or manufacturer’s instructions. The regular cleaning requirement is usually part of the warranty supplied by the installation company.
Regular cleaning in marine conditions means every one or two weeks if you live within 500m of the beachfront or every two to four weeks if you live 500m to 5km of the beachfront.
Cleaning involves the following process:
- Use a premium quality (salt free) car wash liquid, mixed with water as per manufacturer’s directions and a soft cotton cloth to clean the entire unit.
- Never use abrasive cleaners, detergent based cleaners, or solvent based cleaners such as scouring agents, dishwashing liquids, washing powders, thinners etc as these could adversely affect the expected life of the product.
- Hard to reach areas may require the use of a soft nylon bristle brush such as a dishwashing brush.
- Dry the unit with a soft cotton cloth or chamois.
If you have burglar bars that can open and close, do the following after cleaning them:
- Use a lubricating spray, generally available from your burglar-proofing supplier, for all moving parts, especially all hinge points inside the channel sections and into the top tracks. Remember to read the warnings on the label as the product is highly flammable, must not be ingested and is irritating to eyes and skin.
- Shake the can of lubricating spray well, apply to a clean cotton cloth and wipe the entire unit, or spray directly onto the unit from about 20cm.
- Wipe off the excess residue. This will form a protective barrier against moisture and contamination of airborne pollutants.
- A second application may be required if the unit has stood for too long without being lubricated and has become stiff, dry, and difficult to operate.
- If your burglar guards have a lock, do not spray any lubricant into the keyhole of the cylinder where the key fits.
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