Whether your deck's wooden railing is old and splintering or you're looking for a modern update to your deck, replacing your current railing with vinyl is a switch that's easy to make. Wooden railing tends to deteriorate over time due to rain and moisture, and the continued staining and resealing can be a maintenance hassle. Vinyl railing is low-maintenance and can be easily installed over your existing wooden posts. Here are three reasons why replacing the wooden railing on your existing deck with vinyl is a significant upgrade.
1. Reduces Maintenance Requirements
The number-one reason to upgrade your wooden deck's railing to vinyl is that vinyl requires almost no maintenance. Whenever it becomes stained, you simply wash it with soap and water. You don't have to worry about sealing vinyl railing since it doesn't rot.
Rot resistance is particularly important for deck railing due to the difficulty involved in fully sealing the railing against moisture. Much like your deck's platform or a wooden fence, your wooden railing needs to be power-washed and resealed every two or three years in order to protect it from moisture and prevent it from rotting. It's difficult to seal railing because of all the nooks and crannies created where two different segments of wood meet. If your sealer doesn't get into one of these small cracks and leaves a spot of bare wood, your railing will quickly begin to rot. Since vinyl isn't susceptible to rot, it's a much more resilient choice for your deck railing.
2. Easy to Upgrade From Your Current Wooden Railing
As long as your current wooden posts are in good condition, it's easy to upgrade your deck railing to vinyl. Railing manufacturers sell vinyl wraps that can be placed on top of your current wooden posts, completely encasing the post in vinyl and protecting it from the elements. Vinyl railing can then be installed between the posts in order to create a uniform look.
Your deck is a good candidate for vinyl wraps as long as the posts are properly secured and free of rot. Encasing a rotting post in a vinyl wrap is dangerous — the rot may eventually eat through the wood to the point where the post simply snaps when someone leans against your railing. Inspect your wooden posts carefully in order to determine whether or not you can use vinyl wraps. Your posts should have no evidence of rot and should not be wobbly or loose.
3. Offers More Styles Compared to Wood
Vinyl railing comes in a wide variety of styles that allow you more customization opportunities compared to wooden railing. This allows you to match the vinyl railing to your home's siding or contrast the railing to the color of your current deck. If you prefer the earth tones of natural wood, you can simply purchase vinyl railing in a textured beige or tan color.
Overall, upgrading your deck's wooden railing to vinyl is a way to significantly improve the appearance of your deck while reducing the maintenance it requires. A deck that's in good condition can be easily upgraded using vinyl wraps for the post and new vinyl railings. If you have decided it's time to update your old deck, call a deck installation professional from a company like Rainier Fencing & Decking to inspect your current deck and create an upgrade plan.