Options in New Railings to Keep Your Deck Safer

If your old deck has worn or wobbly railings, then you should have them replaced for safety reasons. As long as your deck is still sound structurally, then keeping the deck and just having the railings replaced is a good way to improve the deck while controlling your costs. Here are why your deck railings should be secure and some options in new ones.

Loose or Weak Railings Are a Safety Hazard

Railings are present for safety reasons when your deck is elevated. Even a small fall could be dangerous if someone steps off the deck and doesn't expect it. The railings should be strong enough to support an adult leaning on them. Old railings might give way when someone falls or leans against it. A family member could be seriously hurt by the fall or from a splintered post or spindle. Also, secure railings make your deck safer for kids and pets to play on without the fear of falling off the edge of the deck. Plus, if a guest is injured by lack of maintenance on your deck, you might have to pay for their medical bills.

Options for New Deck Railings

Your installer has to install the railings according to local codes, which specify the maximum distance allowed between posts. However, you still have a lot of choices when it comes to the style of the railings. You'll want to consider appearance and safety. Cable railings offer protection against kids and pets going off the deck between posts, but when they're applied in a grid pattern, small kids might be able to climb right over the top. You could install aluminum spindles between the wood posts for a contrast in color and texture. If you want to keep small kids and pets corralled on the deck, be sure the spindles are spaced close enough together so they can't slip between them. You could even have the entire railing system made of aluminum since these are often more decorative than wood, and dark aluminum railings would complement a wood deck.

When choosing the new railings for your deck, consider how easy they will be to maintain. If your old wood railings wore out much faster than your deck, then you might want to switch to aluminum since aluminum doesn't decay and you won't have to paint or stain each individual post, rail, or spindle every few years.

You don't have to choose a decorative or expensive option for your new railings since their primary purpose is safety, so talk to an installation company like Rainier Fencing & Decking about basic options if you need to keep costs low.