It’s always been crucial to select exterior products that offer long-term durability, but especially now, given extreme seasonal weather events are increasingly common. Here John Abernethie, Managing Director at Birkdale explains why galvanised steel fence post systems provide the ideal solution for landscaping and fencing professionals.
The impact of climate change is making itself increasingly evident across the globe, with extreme weather becoming a regular occurance. In recent weeks devastating floods have swept through Europe and parts of the UK, with storm warnings swiftly following heatwaves. Likewise, in 2020, the UK was struck by storms Ciara and Dennis, which both damaged infrastructure across much of the country. Experts have consistently warned that an ever-warming climate would cause aggressive winds, increased rain and heat extremes, and this trend is only going to get worse.
For UK fencing and landscaping professionals, this has direct implications on future work, as resolutely durable products will become increasingly required to offset the challenges of extreme weather. Traditionally, timber and concrete have been many installers’ go-to options when it comes to selecting an option for fence posts. Whilst they do possess some benefits, both materials have problematic weaknesses.
Concrete, for example, offers tremendous strength, but is also prone to chipping and hairline cracks, leading to water ingress. If left untreated, this results in further damage to the concrete post, before it eventually snaps. Similarly, timber is liable to rot and warp over time and will typically rot at the base, causing the rest of the structure to weaken and fail. The weakened fencing is then unable to offer the required level of protection against high winds.
An ideal alternative is galvanized steel, which will not rot, warp or twist over time and requires zero maintenance. Specifically, DuraPost® by Birkdale is designed to deliver maximum durability: the galvanized steel is cut and rolled through a specially made die to create a unique, patented H-section profile. To examine the extent of DuraPost’s strength, the product was tested by the Building Research Establishment Ltd (BRE), where it was proven to withstand winds of up to 110 mph, the equivalent of 625kg of force. As a result, Birkdale is incredibly confident regarding the durability of its product and supports it with a guarantee of up to 25 years.
Another key performance benefit of galvanised steel fence solutions are their ease of installation, largely due to steel being up to 80% lighter than concrete. Crucially, this means that steel fence posts are easy to transport to site, carry and install by just one tradesperson – unlike concrete which typically requires two people per installation. Switching to steel can therefore significantly reduce transport and labour costs, while also saving time, allowing fencing and landscaping professionals to move on to their next job faster.
When it comes to aesthetics – concrete is considered by many to be aesthetically unappealing, and has limited design possibilities. Timber posts for example, have always been popular due to their aesthetic appeal. However galvanised steel offers greater flexibility, with powder-coated finishes available in a variety of colours such as the ever popular Anthracite Grey. Furthermore, customers also have the option of selecting complementary colour matched accessories, such as post caps, capping rails and gravel boards. This means steel fence posts are also ideal for design-centric garden projects.
Finally, material shortages continue to be an issue for many due to the pandemic. However by utilising a UK based manufacturer and supplier of galvanised steel fence posts, for example DuraPost® By Birkdale, it means fencing and landscaping professionals can rest assured that their project won’t be affected by delays in product availability.
So, as extreme weather frequency grows in the coming decades, DuraPost® offers a durable solution, which does not require any compromise when it comes to other performance credentials or aesthetics. Galvanised steel combines the strength of concrete, the longevity of steel and visual appeal of timber – all in one lightweight, visually appealing system.
If you would like to learn more about DuraPost® or find your local stocksist, please visit: