If you're in the process of building your new home and you've decided on cable railings for your exterior stairways and decks, you'll need to be prepared for the maintenance. Cable railing from companies like Tampa Bay Hand Railings provides a beautiful addition to any home, but it does need to be cared for properly. This is particularly true if you've decided to go with a stainless steel cable and wood combination for your rail system. Here are some instructions that will help you extend the life of your cable railing.
Clean the Entire Rail System
Since your railing will be outside and exposed to the elements, you'll need to keep it clean. Things like bird droppings, dirt, and tree sap can wreak havoc on your railing. The best way to avoid damage is to clean your railing several times a year. If you notice a significant buildup of bird droppings, dirt, and tree sap, you should clean the railing more often. Begin by rinsing the railing off with your garden hose. Use a mild detergent to clean the entire rail system. If you have bird droppings or sap that have caked onto the railing, apply a small amount of soapy water to the area and allow it to soak in for a few minutes. Go over the area with a soft kitchen sponge and then rinse thoroughly with clean water. Be sure to clean each individual cable to get rid of all the dirt and gunk.
Provide Protection for the Stainless Steel
Because your cables will be exposed to the elements, it's crucial that you provide adequate protection against damage. The best way to do that is to treat your stainless steel to a deep cleaning at least twice a year. Use a cleaner designed specifically for stainless steel to get rid of the dirt residue that can make your cable look dull and lackluster. The semi-annual treatment with stainless steel cleaners will also help reduce the development of pits in your cables.
Finish Off with the Wood Framework
If you've opted for a wood framework for your cable railing, you'll need to ensure that the wood is protected as well. Each time you clean your railings, you should spend some time cleaning the wood with a good wood soap. This will remove contaminants that will ruin the appearance of your wood. Finish up by applying a wood wax or sealant. This will help prevent water damage and extend the life of your railing.