If you have a deck, chances are you have railings around it. If not, it may be time to invest in installing some.
Railings serve as an essential purpose for the safety of those who use the deck. Since they are outdoors, it’s important that you continue to take care of them to maintain their structural integrity.
Keep your outdoor railings in top shape by using the following five tips.
Know the Type of Wood
Before doing anything, you need to know the kind of wood used to make the railings. What you do to clean one type wouldn’t necessarily work for another kind. Knowing the type of wood allows you to pick cleaning products that are meant to protect and seal that specific type.
Use Non-Harsh Cleaners
Certain cleaners are too strong to use on wood as they can strip the finish. With your railings, you want them looking like new for as long as possible. Try and stay away from detergent cleaners and go for non-detergent ones.
For a more heavy-duty clean that will protect the wood, look for cleaners that are meant for outdoor wood, and even better if you can find products that won’t harm the environment. If you can’t find any, non-detergent dish soap works fine. Water and white vinegar is a good combination for tough stains.
Apply an Oil or Sealant
To keep the wood shiny and looking like new, apply a sealant or protective coating to the railings. This step is what helps protect the wood from the harsh elements, especially when winter rolls around.
When applying a sealant, rub with the grain and ensure that you get into all the crevices in the wood as well. Allow the product to soak into the wood before wiping any excess product off with a clean rag.
Inspect for Wood
You should regularly inspect the railings to see if any nails are sticking out, slivers to remove, or if there are any broken pieces. For any nails sticking out, you should immediately drive them back in to prevent any snagging.
If any parts of the railing are damaged, it could put the whole railing in jeopardy of falling apart, and that is not something you want to find out if someone is leaning against it.
Stain the Railings
Even a good stain will fade after a while as it sits outside. Between the sun, rain, cold, and snow, at some point, you’ll need to restain the railings. To keep the railing looking like new, adding a fresh stain every five years is a good guideline to follow. When that time comes, stain the railings as you stain the deck to maintain the same colour and look.
Get the most out of your railing by taking care of it and having a maintenance routine. Even as simple as cleaning the railings regularly will help maintain the health of the wood so that you’re left with a strong and healthy railing.