Maintaining Aluminum Railings

By Robert Robillard on Decks And Porches

Many folks these days have chose to use aluminum railings for the entry ways, decks and balconies as opposed to traditional wood or iron railings.  The attraction to theirs railings is usually based on one or more of these factors:  ease of install, lower cost, durability and low maintenance.  Maintaining aluminum railings is easier than traditional railing maintenance and well worth the effort.Maintaining Aluminum Railings

Ease of Install:

Aluminum railings are lightweight and relatively easy to install they typically are installed by either two lag screws into a wood porch or deck or with stainless steel expanding bolts into masonry.   Typically each vertical post has two holes for fasteners, spaced every five feet or so.

Lower cost:

Wrought iron is amazingly beautiful and expensive and wood railings have issues with peeling paint and rot so using an aluminum railing can give you the look of wrought iron from a distance without the headaches of wood railings.


Aluminum is a durable alternative to using wood railings and will obviously will not warp, rot, or peel like wood.  Aluminum also does not rust like steel or iron railings do.  Many newer aluminum railings come with a powder-coat finish applied at the factory to protect the aluminum or add a specific color.  Powder coating is a high end, quality finish that lasts a long, long time.

Low Maintenance:

Low maintenance does not mean no maintenance.

Maintaining Aluminum Railings is easy and fast to do.   Aluminum railings need minimal care and maintenance.  It is recommend that you inspect and clean the railings at least once a year in a standard outdoor living space. Near swimming pools and spas, aluminum railings should be checked and cleaned every 6 months, which makes fall yard cleanup and pool close-up time ideal for giving your railing a quick once-over.

Maintaining Aluminum Railings – Cleaning:

Maintaining Aluminum Railings simply means inspecting, washing and maybe adding some wax.  that’s it!


Mix a solution of warm water and mild detergent. Test a small, inconspicuous area to ensure that no color change or damage occurs.   Use a soft cloth or sponge to wash and rinse the whole railing system well.


Use a car paste wax to coat the railing.  The wax will remove any oxidized paint, bringing back the original color and add a shine of your system.  It will also protect the finish and make cleaning the railing in the future easier.

If you live in a coastal areas frequent water spraying is recommended to reduce accumulations of salts and dirt.When cleaning inspect the attachments to the house and deck to ensure they have hot corroded or the substrate has decayed or rotted.


  • Abrasive Cleaners – Solvents
  • Cleaners with Solvents
  • Abrasive Material- Steel Wool, Scrub pads.
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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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