Investigating your options for deck railing with an eye towards low-maintenance, easily handled materials? This brief guide to low-maintenance deck railing solutions will have you ready to make a choice in no time.
Inexpensive, easily maintained and cleaned, and highly versatile, vinyl avoids many of the issues common to higher-maintenance deck railing materials such as wood without breaking the bank. Thanks to the wide array of vinyl railing designs out there, you can easily use vinyl to imitate wood and various high-maintenance materials.
Just make sure you’re investing in a high-quality product, as low-end vinyl will begin to fall apart in a few years—it won’t require maintenance then, it will require complete replacement. This may be acceptable as a temporary solution, of course.
Metal deck railings, usually made of aluminum alloys or similar metals, have a lot to offer if you’re looking to minimize maintenance. Despite it’s light weight, aluminum is quite rugged and resilient. Add in a good powder-coating and you have rails that are unlikely to bend, break, or dent while also being immune to common problems such as insect infestations, rot, rust, fading, etc. You won’t need to re-stain, re-seal, or replace an aluminum railing for decades. As it’s also eco-friendly, easily installed, and inexpensive, metal is one of the best choices for a low-maintenance railing solution if you’re satisfied with how it looks.
Stainless steel cable railing makes for a great modern deck railing solution, but there’s good news and bad news in terms of maintenance. The normal challenges of deck railing maintenance aren’t an issue, as the stainless steel cables will hold up under any beating nature might send your way, but you will need to periodically adjust the tension of your cables to keep them appropriately taught. It’s a simple job, just a few turns of a wrench per cable, but it’s maintenance all the same.
You’ll need to consider the material the posts and top rail are made up of, however, as these will offer familiar challenges. If you want to use real wood for your railings, this can be a way to split the difference; you’ll still need to maintain the wood sections of your cable railing installation, but it’s going to be less work than maintaining a railing made entirely of wood.
What About Wood?
Wood may be a classic building material for decks, but it’s quick to wear away in the face of moisture, heat, cold, and physical damage from impacts. Keeping a wood deck looking great demands more attention than nearly any other material, even if you opt for more rugged composites. You’ll need to re-stain and re-seal wood railing every few years just like any other wood component of your deck.
There are plenty of reasons you may prefer a wood deck railing to the alternatives, but maintenance isn’t one of them.
Of course the material and design of your deck railing isn’t the only factor in how much time and money you’ll spend on maintenance. How you use your deck, what preventative measures you take throughout the year, and various other factors will shape the lifespan of each component of your deck—including your railings.
Deck Railing Installation in Maryland
You can learn more about your options for deck railings and other components of your deck by getting in touch with a Diamond Decks team member online today! We’ll be glad to walk you through the possibilities and help you figure out your perfect match.
Contact us online or call (443) 688-6072 today!