Glass Balustrade Water Drainage
To price your balustrade requirement first choose the shape most similar to yours
An issue that’s encountered occasionally is the subject of water passage and draining under glass balustrade systems. Railings, and in particular ones that have a continuous bottom rail can block water and hold it in position, creating localized or greater pooling. One does not want water pooling or standing on ones balcony and solution to this is critical. Glass balustrade owners need water to drain from their balcony and the concern that the bottom rail, sitting on the finished floor level, will block water is a justified concern.
At Balconette, we've developed a straightforward yet highly effective solution to address this issue. We've introduced a spacer designed to elevate the bottom rail, allowing water to pass through. This 5mm spacer can be supplied together with the balustrade. It's a solid plastic accessory, approximately 40mm wide, featuring a slot for the screw. This accessory is positioned directly beneath the fixing that secures the bottom rail to the floor.
As a result, a continuous 5mm gap is created underneath the rail. These little plates are installed at every fixing point, typically spaced every 400-500mm. This configuration ensures a consistent 5mm gap beneath the bottom rail, providing ample space for water to flow freely. This offers a perfect solution to any drainage issues beneath the bottom rail.
See How Water Can Drain Away Under the System’s Bottom Rail
Spacers for the SG12 frameless bottom rail.
A similar solution for creating a space under the bottom rails of the hybrid system is also available for the SG12 frameless glass balustrade systems. These however are made of aluminium and not plastic as the loads and compression on the SG12 Frameless bottom rails are much higher and required a more solid material.
Gaps in the Glass panels
Occasionally, we are asked what happens to the water that collects in the bottom rail between the glass panels or at the edges.
There is no issue with that. The bottom rail will not retain water. It is not sealed at the edges, and it has plenty of room within it to allow water to flow outside of the bottom rail. Normally, the bottom rail will not hold water, but even in cases where water does accumulate in it for any period of time, this does not present a problem. All the materials used, including the aluminium rail, stainless fixings, plastic glass packers, EPDM rubber, and monolithic toughened glass, are more than sufficient to withstand standing water for decades.
Laminated glass that utilizes PVB should not be left immersed in water. PVB has a tendency to absorb water, and glass panels with a PVB interlayer may develop whitening or delamination issues if they are allowed to remain in contact with water.
After installation, it is important to verify that water indeed drains out from the bottom rail, and nothing is obstructing its flow. There should be no factors causing water retention within the bottom rail; it should readily drain out. Whether it's rainwater or regular hose spraying, water should not accumulate within the system; instead, it should easily find its way out. If you notice water pooling, the solution is to drill drain holes into the bottom rail to resolve this issue.