Windbreakers For Decking Rails

Dogs looking through fence

Great homes with the best views often have fierce strong winds that come with the fantastic views. 

It is relatively easy to install a windbreak on your deck railing if you want to enjoy the outdoor deck space without the pesky wind.

What You Should Know Before Building A Deck Windbreak

Most vertical structures will have a tendency to catch the wind. In addition, most deck railings will block some wind at least, although some work better than others. 

Railings that break up the moving wind will be subject to force acting on it, and those that completely block it are subject to even more forces from the wind. There is a dilemma at play because as the windbreak works to block the wind in one way, it simultaneously blocks the prime view in the other.

Some people choose to cover their deck railing with trellises that stop at about head-height. This helps block the wind very well, however, it drastically reduces your visibility. However, if you live in an apartment high above the ground and wish for more privacy, this may be exactly what you want. Keeping in mind the liability aspect of this though, there’s a good chance that your privacy screen will break loose and end up in the streets below during exceptionally high winds during a storm. That’s hardly a desirable outcome at all.

Windbreak Options For Deck Railings

A shorter railing structure can still significantly reduce the amount of wind that hits a deck. You don’t need an excessive windbreak like a head-high lattice attached to your balcony railing. Due to the deflection of the air molecules by the lower railing, many of them will make random contact with one another, thereby changing direction and reducing the intensity of the wind.

When air molecules cross a vertical structure, even if it is relatively low, they get deflected upwards, which creates an upward air flow, which further deflects even more air, resulting in a calm air zone. 

No matter the height of the railing, windbreaks of any kind will reduce wind speed by up to three times the distance of their height, which can really boost your enjoyment of the deck while on a windy day.

Here are some options to consider:

Metal Railings As Windbreaks

Generally, metal railings are better able to withstand high winds than wooden railings, regardless of whether they’re made of aluminum or steel. Despite this, the majority of balusters are narrow, so they provide very little wind block. A railing is often made of expanded metal instead of balusters, or is made from a decorative metal plasma cut in the shape of curves. However, they necessarily block the view, even if they are effective at disrupting the wind.

Wooden Railings As Windbreaks

Different wooden railing options may be considered. They can be more traditional, which use 24 uprights, or a lattice attached to the post. Wood is a low-cost and versatile option for a deck rail windbreak. However, it lacks transparency. Therefore, it may block views significantly. Unfortunately, the more wind-blocking it provides, the more intrusive it becomes. Decorative wooden windbreaks require some skill to appear more than just afterthoughts, so they pose a bit of an aesthetic challenge from an aesthetics perspective. A wooden structure is vulnerable to moisture, so frequent replacement and maintenance are required.

Glass Railings As Windbreaks

The glass railing industry is an emerging one, especially outdoors. Glass railings give the advantage of top and bottom rails, along with tempered glass panels suspended in between metal posts. With a metal bottom and top rail fitted, they are even more durable, due to such a robust mounting system. 

Seaside homes and glass railings complement each other well because glass doesn’t corrode because of salts or moisture. Several styles of glass railing are available, including paneled options that completely enclose the space between the posts. Windbreaks are well suited for these railings. One disadvantage is the difficulty involved in installing glass panel railings, particularly in a DIY scenario. It is fortunate that some manufacturers offer a simple glass railing slide in, giving most people the option of installing their glass railings on their own.

Glass railings are the most effective deck railing windbreak out of all the railing choices available currently. They also ensure that you can fully enjoy those wonderful deck views, even when high winds always seem to come with those views. 

An advantage of glass railings is that they are not as fragile as they appear at first glance – they can handle strong winds. So you get strong, but with a great view – perfect.

Installing a glass windbreak has become easier thanks to the Fortress Building Products’ Pure View system. It is made up of glass panels that can be installed very quickly and easily, and it can be used among various building materials, including wood and composite wood, and metal posts. Top and bottom rails are designed to give stability and a handhold, while maintaining a minimal profile so the view remains unobstructed. 

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