Whether you’re working for a municipality looking to improve the safety of your highways or have a private residence with a perilous driveway, you may want to install guardrails. As you’ve considered the different options at your disposal, you’ve probably found yourself wondering why some guardrail beams have a plastic coating.

Two methods protect and reinforce the steel in guardrails: PVC coating and galvanization. People often choose PVC because it prevents corrosion, is cost-effective, and can blend into the natural environment.

Plastic Helps Prevent Corrosion

When clients choose to invest in guardrails, they want a product that will last. A PVC coating affords them the desirable resilience by being extremely effective at curtailing the effects of corrosion. The coating acts as a protective barrier on the steel, blocking out moisture. Without a protective layer of PVC or zinc, the steel stays exposed to the elements, and rust is far more likely to form.

Plastic Reinforces Strength and Durability

Besides guarding the steel against the natural elements, plastic coatings protect the guardrails from external forces. The PVC will be the first layer to absorb the shock of impact from accidents. For less severe crashes, the scratches in the plastic will only be superficial without affecting the integrity of the steel beneath. Once the steel becomes scratched, the chances of corrosion developing increase.

The Color Helps the Guardrails Blend In

If you’re looking for a guardrail that disappears into the surrounding environment, your best options are timber or PVC coating guardrails. However, in high-speed or high-traffic areas, a timber guardrail might not be an appropriate option. In those environments, a green plastic coating can blend into the grass. Alternatively, a blue one can visually meld into the nearby water. These colors can thus help improve the aesthetic of the drive. Blending in might be especially crucial at tourist destinations where it’s a priority to preserve views while also managing a high number of drivers inexperienced with the roads.

If you’re interested in why some guardrail beams have a plastic coating, you now hopefully understand their importance in preventing corrosion and damage from accidents. Whether you’re in the public or private sector, you may be looking for a trusted guardrail installation contractor to give you more information about PVC coating for your project. Durham Fence & Guardrail’s experienced team is ready to help!