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Decks  /  March 9, 2022

Red Deer Home Renovations: Signs You Need To Repair Your Deck Railings

Signs you need to repair your deck

If your deck railings are damaged or worn out, they can affect the look of your deck as well as the overall appearance of your home itself. However, aesthetics are not the only reason why you should call deck services in Red Deer if they are showing their age.

The railings prevent people from falling off the deck or the stairs leading up to it. If they fail, then you, a family member, or a guest could fall and sustain serious injury. Depending on how tall your deck is, a person who falls off could even die. That is why it is so important to have repair services look at your deck railings if you even suspect they may be damaged. Here are some important warning signs to look out for.

1. Cracking or Warping

Regardless of what your deck rails are made out of, each piece should ideally be sturdy and completely solid. Cracks in the material could undermine its structural integrity. When pressure is applied, the railing could break, causing a fall.

Sometimes the material doesn’t crack outright. Instead, it may warp, taking on more of a bow shape rather than a straight piece at right angles to the other components. Warping, too, can compromise the sturdiness of the railing, making it less reliable. Cracking and warping may be most likely with wooden railings, but vinyl may be susceptible as well.

2. Rotting

An outdoor deck, including the railings, is exposed to weather elements. Over time, exposure to moisture can cause a wooden railing to rot. Water can soak into the material, making it softer and promoting mould growth. Water can also be an agent that causes cracking and warping.

Other signs that a wooden deck railing is starting to rot from being exposed to water include discolouration and softening. When you lean on the railing, you may find that it has more give than it is supposed to. If not repaired or replaced, a rotten deck railing could eventually give way completely.

3. Rusting

In some respects, a metal railing can be stronger than one made out of wood. However, it isn’t necessarily impervious to damage. While metal doesn’t soak up water the way that a wood railing can, contact between the two may produce a chemical reaction. Oxidation of the metal that occurs when it comes in contact with water causes the metal to gradually break down, leaving only flakes of reddish-brown, brittle material called rust. As the rust gradually consumes the metal, it becomes more unstable and could eventually break.

The screws and brackets that hold the railing in place are also made of metal and may be susceptible to rust. This is hazardous because, although the railing looks normal, it may no longer have the necessary support to hold it up. Some types of metal are more susceptible to rust than others, so it can help if, at the time of deck installation in Red Deer, you choose materials for the hardware or the railings themselves that are better able to withstand moist conditions.

4. Looseness and Wobbling

Wobbling or looseness is one of the most obvious signs that your railing needs repair or replacement. It is also one of the most urgent signs because, once a railing starts wobbling, it may not be long before it comes completely loose, perhaps at an inopportune moment when someone is leaning on it. Warping, rotting, and rusting are all things that can make a railing come loose and wobble, or the cause may be something less obvious.

You can check for wobbling or looseness of a railing by gently leaning on it to see if it moves or trying to wiggle it back and forth. Be careful as you do this or, if the railing does give way, you could lose your balance and fall.

Contact Handyman Connection for deck services in Red Deer.

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