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Case Study: A Door Frame Near an Infinity Pool

June 7, 2024

The Setting

An infinity pool on a roof deck in South Brisbane provides a stunning architectural feature but also poses significant challenges for construction materials. The proximity to saltwater and continuous exposure to harsh environmental conditions require materials and installation techniques that ensure durability and reliability. The door frame in question was a four-sided structure with a sill atop a concrete bund, constructed using Zincanneal ZF100, leading to a pump room.

Despite initial confidence in the material choice, the door frame rapidly deteriorated due to:

  1. Inadequate Material Selection: Zincanneal ZF100 was not suitable for the aggressive saline environment near the pool.
  2. Substandard Installation Practices:
    • Dyna Bolts: Incorrectly installed, compromising the frame’s stability.
    • Caulked Sealant: Poorly applied and insufficient, allowing water ingress.
    • Hollow Frames: Not properly filled with grout, leading to internal corrosion.

These issues led to severe corrosion, compromising the structural integrity of the door set and incurring significant maintenance costs and safety risks.

To prevent such issues, specifying the right material is crucial. Stainless Steel (SS) 316 2B with a high-build etch primer would have been the appropriate choice. SS 316 2B offers superior corrosion resistance, particularly in saline environments, and the high-build etch primer adds an extra layer of protection, ensuring durability and performance.

Equally important to material selection is the quality of installation and proper maintenance. Professional practices include:

  1. Correct Use of Dyna Bolts: Ensuring the proper number and correct installation for maximum stability.
  2. Effective Sealing: Applying a high-quality, adequately deep caulked sealant around all edges to prevent water ingress.
  3. Grout Filling: Properly filling the frames with grout to eliminate hollow sections that can trap moisture and lead to internal corrosion.
  4. Maintenance: Regular maintenance in accordance with the Operations and Maintenance Manual will be a warranty requirement but also ensures long term durability and function.

Conclusion

This case study highlights the critical role of expertise and quality in specifying and installing door sets, particularly in challenging environments like those near pools. The inadequate material selection and poor installation practices underscore the need for detailed, fit-for-purpose specifications and professional installation. By specifying SS 316 2B with a high-build etch primer and adhering to quality installation practices, we can avoid similar issues and ensure that our construction projects stand the test of time.

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