Published: June, 2021
Do you live by the sea or in mosit areas? Environmental conditions, cost, durability and appearance will all influence your edging purchase decision, and we hope this guide to the options will help you make the right one.
It’s a well-known fact that saltwater will cause steel to corrode more quickly than freshwater. Where edging is placed in relation to the water will make a difference to how quickly corrosion will take place. As a rule of thumb, any exposed steel within about 3,000 feet (900 metres) of the shore is likely to experience faster corrosion. If coastal flooding at high tides or during inclement weather is a risk, this should also be taken into account.
So if you live close to the sea or any saltwater area, what metal edging will be best for your landscaping? Let’s take a look at the various metals used in landscape edging.
Uncoated, untreated steel is highly vulnerable to oxidation – more than 100 times more prone to it than aluminium, for example – and is therefore unsuitable for use in coastal areas.
Applying a protective coat to mild steel will delay oxidation. A powder-coated finish is the better option as paints require regular and frequent maintenance and repainting.
While Corten steel relies on the elements to form its protective oxide layer, this process can in some instances be impeded by a coastal environment, to the extent that it equals that of unprotected mild steel.
The galvanisation process applies a zinc coating to steel which helps resist corrosion. Rust will however appear over time where the surface is scratched or worn. In the harshest environments, red rust stains may be visible in less than three years.
However, steel is harder than aluminium and therefore more resistant to scratches and to warping, deforming or bending when exposed to weight, impact or heat.
We offer a range of steel edging that suits a wide range of applications.
The biggest benefit of using aluminium edging in coastal areas is its higher corrosion resistance. It requires no surface treatment or maintenance to protect it from the elements, although like Corten steel it has a protective outer layer of oxide and this can be broken down by salt.
One possible downside of aluminium is that it is only available in the metal’s bright silver finish, which may not coordinate so well with some landscape designs.
It is also important to check you are using the correct grade of aluminium as some – 2XXX and 7XXX – are unsuitable for coastal environments.
Our aluminium edging is all fabricated from 6XXX grade, which in addition to its suitability for coastal regions, has a better mill finish and good bending properties.
We offer two aluminium edging products that are suited to coastal areas.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. Environmental conditions, cost, durability and appearance will all influence your decision, and we hope this guide to the options will help you make the right one.