boarding up

A Complete Guide on Steel Boarding Up of Property

Home Improvement

Regardless of commercial, industrial or residential property, you must secure the access to each point like windows and doors. Although people opt for OSB or plywood boarding for securing the property yet these are not long-term solution. Protection of vacant property is imperative by securing doors and windows. Read on this guide to know how steel sheet comes into use of boarding up the property.

What do you mean by boarding up?

After making a property vacant by shifting to the new location; board up the property. It is essential for enhancing the security of the property saving the possessions from unwanted intruders. Boarding up is all about sealing the accessible points in the property such as basements, skylights, doors and windows.

It makes use of steel sheets and plywood boards for boarding up the property. Boarding up of the property using steel sheets refers to as steeling. Although a bit expensive yet it provides long-term and cost-effective solution to secure a property. It can serve you longer than the wooden boards.

Steel security origin

It was invented several decades ago yet it was until 20th century that it comes into use of security purposes. Steel sheet saves the property from the fear of theft and break-ins! Nowadays, steel sheet helps in securing both commercial and residential property.

In the last few years, steel sheet engulfs the entire market of plywood boards. You can find numerous brands in the market offering steel sheet solution to secure your vacant properties.

When you need steel security for your property?

Steel boarding is useful to save your property from possible illegal conducts for a long period of time. Otherwise, it becomes vulnerable to invade by arsonists, thieves and squatters. Many times youth access the property to use it as playing spot. After a property becomes vacant it comes under threat of numerous illegal activities. So, it is your onus to save your property from such illegal activities.

Reasons to use steel security rather than plywood

Whilst it is about boarding, you can find two options- plywood boards and steel sheets. Plywood is cheap and affordable while steel provides long-term solution for the empty property. Plywood will warp and delaminate over time offering easy access to the trespassers.

Also they are prone to fire and break easily. Steel sheet eradicates such possibilities provide much-needed pace of mind in the long haul regarding security of the property.

Boarding up the property for insurance purposes

Boarding of the property is imperative to make it secure and protects from illegal access. However, you have to do the work in such a way that it still comes under insurance policy irrespective of the current conditions. Most home insurance invalidates the coverage if the property remains unoccupied for over a month.

But the insurance policy plans differ from a provider to another. If you stop using any of your existing property then you must follow Practice for Unoccupied Buildings. You have to cut off the gas and water supplies, seal letterboxes and clean the waste. Then opt for steel boarding up for additional security.

Where steel security is in use?

Boarding up of the property is helpful for protecting it against criminal activity. It also validates insurance policies as well. Boarding up provides uniform security solution for range of buildings starting from commercial to residential and industrial ones. Each access point including fire escape ladder and staircase needs to board up for multi-storey buildings. It will ensure the safety of the property from criminal activity.

Which are the areas you need to board up?

Doors and windows of the empty property are key entrances to board up. But there are some other points which burglars use to enter in your premises. Those need to board up as soon as possible such as delivery points, barrel access, skylights and basements.

In case the property has conservatory then you need to board that up too. But most glaziers board up the main entrances in order to serve cost-effective option to the owners.

How long a property needs to board up?

No specific answer is there for the said question as different needs are there. Before demolition, you must keep the boarding up. However, there are various timescales for demotion of the buildings. So, always go with steel sheet instead of plywood. The latter will deteriorate over the course of time putting the building at risk of trespassers and illegal access.

Kinds of steel sheets available

Steel is in use in various industries with the availability in myriad of density. You can find two kinds of steel sheet in the market namely perforated and solid. Steel sheet are excellent unless you need some source of light to access the premise of the property. In such scenarios, you make use of the conjunction of both at 2:1 ratio.

What involves in boarding up procedure?

Firstly, the installers will assess the site condition to determine its vulnerability. Accordingly, they will choose the right kind of boarding material to secure it.

  • Counting the number of openings and access points
  • Measuring the dimensions of the openings
  • Calculating the need of number of steel sheets

Site survey is pertinent for addressing additional risks like access points close to flat roofs and fire escapes. Otherwise, these act as extra accessing routes for the criminals.

Which are necessary tools to board up the property?

Anti-tamper fixings are the most important thing in steel security. It helps in complete fixation of the steel sheet. These are resistant to forcible tampering by the burglars with the help of drills and screwdrivers! In contrast to plywood boarding up this one is highly-secured and has proper fittings.

Tools use to cut steel sheet

Installers will use perforated or solid steel by cutting them into the required size as per the doors and windows. They make use of the nibbler for this task. It helps in perfect fitting of the steel in the actual location without any sort of distortion. Manual cutting will leave punch holes in the sheet during extensive cutting.

How to board up the property using steel sheets?

Considering the access points of the property boarding carries out by numerous ways! Some uses tight fitting of special fixtures making it impossible to remove using domestic tools and crowbar. The combined use of anti-tamper screws, friction and wedge make the boarding flashing feature with the opening.

How steel sheet provide the authorised access?

Steel sheet are convenient to use for protecting the illegal accessible properties from intruders, burglars and trespassers. The standard size available in the market is 900X200mm along 5-lever 2 deadlocks at bottom and top of doorway. Keeping the occasional access in mind, numerous locking systems will consider on the basis of location and property.

Keys are only way to obtain the access to the property through steel sheet doors. There may be a combination of keys, same or different keys for the locks. In case you don’t want key holding facility then opt for keyless options. This comprises of smart locks, keypads and number pads. Contact with the security provider for selecting the ideal one as per requirement.

How long will boarding up take?

Total time needs to board up the property relies on its architecture and number of installers you hire. On an average, 3 team members can carry out the job for 30-40 windows in 8 hours. It comprises of building frames, cutting and measuring as well.

Location of doors and windows are pertinent to estimate the total time of boarding up. The job becomes relatively easy and consumes less time for the doors and windows on ground than that of higher floors. The installers need to use platforms and lifting machinery for those windows and doors.

Cost of boarding up a property

Boarding up cost depends on the material you are going to use for the task. Steel sheets are expensive due to their sturdiness. For cost-effective option you can go with plywood. However, it will warp in a year and any intruder can pull out the fixtures easily obtaining full access to your property.

So, steel sheet is the best security provider. By paying high amount you can rest assure about your property in the long run. But the price can upsurge for obscure and large windows and doors.


No matter which type property you have; always consult with the glazing expert regarding the perfect choice of boarding up material. Don’t delay if your property has security breaches and in need of immediate boarding up. Always keep the contact details of the 24-hour glazier handy for emergency boarding up in London. By this way you can restore the security of the property.

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