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How to Repair a Loose Wood Deck Railing:

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

  1. Tighten Loose Bolts and Screws: If you feel the railing is wobbly when you push or pull it, it's likely a loose connection between the railing post and deck frame. The posts should be securely fastened to the deck joists and beams with strong bolts or screws, and surrounded by sturdy blocking. Tighten each bolt and screw with a power drill or ratchet until each piece is fully driven, to ensure the safety of your deck.

  2. Add Extra Blocking: Installing extra blocking in a zig-zag pattern between the perimeter joists of your deck can help make the rim joist sturdy and prevent movement over time. This will strengthen the railing attachment and prevent any wobbling in the future.

  3. Replace Loose Hardware: If the posts are sturdy, but the wooden rails between them are loose, you need to inspect the screws, nails, or connectors used. If the metal hardware has corroded or become loose, remove the old hardware and replace it with a new piece. Steel or nylon post and rail connectors are recommended to keep the costs low and the deck rails securely in place.

  4. Replace Damaged Rails: Sometimes, the issue of a wobbly railing is not with the posts or hardware, but with the wood deck rails themselves. If you see any damage such as bowing, warping, or rot, it's best to replace the damaged rail with a new piece of lumber. If a lot of your wood railing is damaged, it may be time to switch to a new railing system altogether.

As a property owner/Manager in Los Angeles, it is essential to be aware of California Senate Bills 326 and sb721, also known as the "Balcony Inspection Laws." These laws require mandatory safety inspections and repair of any damaged exterior elevated elements, including balconies, decks, stairs, and catwalks after Berkley balcony collapse. Our company has taken the initiative to educate our clients and the public about the difference between inspection sb721 vs 326 and repair requirements of these new laws through.


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