Commercial Handrail Repair And Maintenance

commercial handrail repair

Commercial handrail repair and maintenance is vital to all commercial properties. After all, handrails offer support and protect people as they roam the premises. It’s essential to make sure these handrails are up to code and will provide good protection.


The Purpose of Commercial Handrails

What is the purpose of commercial handrails? Like other handrails, they exist to support people as they make their way through an establishment. They are commonly used in stairways and escalators to prevent falls and injuries. Moreover, they help the body in various areas, such as bathrooms and balconies.


Signs of Handrail Damage Needing Repair

What are the signs that commercial handrail repair or maintenance is necessary? Here are some things to watch out for the next time you inspect your commercial property.


1. Visible Damage to the Railing

Damage to the RailingOne of the most obvious signs is visible damage or cracks to the commercial railing. Railings are often subject to a lot of pressure, especially in high-traffic areas. Continuous use can also cause damage over time, even when no one instance has applied tons of pressure.

In addition, environmental factors are one of the major causes of deterioration. Simple things like sunlight, rain, and winds can cause the metal or wood to decay. They can rust or be worn out through wear and tear. It’s important to repair these damages as soon as you spot them. Pay special attention to handrails on high-rise platforms like rooftops and high balconies.


2. Compromised Banisters and Balusters

Balusters and banisters prevent small children, pets, or even people from falling off an elevated platform like a deck or balcony. They also offer elevation for staircase railings. However, these balusters and banisters can break or loosen over long periods, especially when made of wood.

It’s vital to repair, maintain, or replace them when their integrity seems compromised. Some railings may have attached balusters, such as those on concrete steps. In this case, the entire piece will need reinstallation or replacement.


3. Pest Problems

Commercial railings often line outdoor platforms and decks. Some are made of metal, which is prone to water damage, leading to corrosion and rust over time. Meanwhile, wooden railings tend to attract pests like carpenter ants and termites, which will destroy the railing from the inside.

In this case, hiring an exterminator is best to get rid of the pests. An expert can also repair or replace the railing if it has been damaged too much. Remember to keep an eye out for pests on outdoor wooden railings.


4. Loose Railings

Loose RailingsDo the commercial handrails feel loose? When they lose their integrity, railings can loosen up after continuous use. This is especially true for railings that use balusters for support. When they feel wobbly or loose when someone grips them, it’s time to conduct an inspection.

Test how sturdy the railing is by leaning or pushing on it. If the railing moves quickly, you know it’s time to hire an expert to repair it.


5. Inspection Failures

Commercial facilities often require regular inspections to remain in shape. If the railings fail in any of your routine inspections, it’s time to call an expert and have it repaired.

It’s possible for railings to fail inspections for any number of reasons. The railing might be uneven or missing parts. Meanwhile, some railings fail inspections due to infestations or visible damage. Regardless, check the report given by the governing agency to understand why the railing has failed the inspection.

Commercial property owners should have their railings inspected periodically. Afterward, they should hand the report to third-party service providers or maintenance personnel. The report should give them an idea of what to fix.


Considerations for Commercial Handrail Repair

What are the most important considerations when it comes to commercial handrail repair? Before your next repair project, remember the following.


1. Handrail Location

According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, handrails in different locations will have varying requirements. What is the standard for safety handrail constructions? Consider the following location requirements during your commercial handrail repair project:

  • Stairwell Railings. Commercial handrail height requirements require stairwell railings to be at least 30 inches above the ground along their elevation. Circular railings must be at least 1.25″ but less than 2 5/8″ in diameter. As for non-circular railings, the edges must have a 0.125″ radius.
  • Walkway Railings. Railings on walkways must have a projection of at most 4.5 inches. Circular railings on walkways need a diameter between 0.25 and 2 inches. Non-circular rails need a perimeter between 4 and 6.25 inches. Moreover, they must run along the walkway’s elevation.
  • Balcony Railings. Railings running along balconies must be at least 30 inches from the surface. Meanwhile, they need balusters and ornamental patterns with a 4-inch diameter sphere.


2. Support

Many railings need mid-rails to support them. They can also support small children who walk along walkways, staircases, and platforms. Moreover, some commercial property owners can strengthen the handrails using concrete. This provides support by ensuring the handrail remains stationary.


3. Load Requirements

Commercial handrail codes have specific requirements when it comes to load. Handrails should withstand 200 pounds of concentrated weight atop the railing. It should also withstand at least 50 pounds throughout the railing.

Unfortunately, inspectors can usually not test these load requirements, so building managers should offer engineering information that confirms their capacity.


Railing Cost of Repair vs Replacement 4. Cost of Repair vs Replacement

The cost of repairing commercial railings can sometimes be steep. If it’s too high, consider the replacement cost as an alternative. Replacements are also a wise choice when the damage is so severe that the repair replaces the whole railing.


5. Long-Term Maintenance Cost

Commercial handrail maintenance costs will add up over time. Riling maintenance can be affordable or expensive depending on the make and material. If you’re doing a repair or replacement job and need new materials, consider the cost of maintaining each type of material before you start the project.


Getting It Done Right

Commercial handrail repair can be tricky, especially since there are stricter rules for commercial properties. After all, commercial facilities have higher foot traffic compared to residential buildings. It’s vital to get the repair done right with a reliable company.

Are you in search of a commercial handrail repair company? Look no further than Maintenance Specialists, Inc. We offer trustworthy maintenance services for commercial establishments. Call us today at 704.405.6000 or get in touch with us online to learn more!



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