One of the most common assumptions we hear from customers is that glass railings are hard to maintain as it takes a lot of effort to keep them clean year round, so they avoid even considering it. Truth to be told, they do take some effort, but it is not as high maintenance as one thinks. We like to say, it takes as much effort as it does your windows, if not less.
Jack and Alice have a whole upper deck of glass railings and my mother-in-law loves her glass CLEAN (and she is Dutch), and you know what they say about Dutch people (Hahaha...just kidding, Mom!) but here's what she has to say about how to clean them, and how often they need cleaning.
How to Clean the Glass in Your Railings
For the most part, you will find that very little cleaning is necessary. We usually only do spot cleaning and very rarely wash the glass down.
In the Spring, it is recommended that you check your glass for stains and any accumulated winter dirt, use a mild detergent, vinegar and water. Use 1 cup vinegar and a small amount of mild detergent, such as Dawn dish detergent in a 8 litre/2 gallon pail of water. Use a cloth or a soft scrubber to clean the glass and rinse with water. A garden hose works well. We would dry the wet glass with a towel first, and then with a fresh towel, go through it again, if desired.
If you encounter tougher stains, use household vinegar directly on the stain to remove it and rinse with water.
There are also glass railings where we have our salt water pool. We have 6 grandchildren, and they often come for a swim and make some grand splashes over the summer. With a salt water pool, the salt water tends to leave some stain once the splashes get dried up by the sun. Unfortunately in terms of maintenance around the pool, you will find that there is more work to it especially if vigorous swimming is involved. We keep a spray bottle of vinegar and water around the pool area to get the glass cleaned once the children are done with the swimming. If the salt is not caked on the glass, spraying it down with a hose and scrubbing it at the same time is the fastest way to remove the salt water stains.
How to Clean Your Picket Railings
Generally speaking, there isn't much cleaning involved with picket railings unless your railings are white in colour. If you so wish, in the Spring, rinse the railings with a garden hose. If needed, wash with water and a small amount of Dawn dish detergent in an 8 litre/2 gallon pail and rinse with a garden hose. Allow it to air dry.
Feel free to contact us at 226.984.1081 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about cleaning your railings and we will help you as best as we can.
Alice (and Grace
What are some things that need to be
taken into consideration prior to
building your deck?
For many Canadians, our backyard decks are an important extension of our living space during the warm summer months. Whether it be for a family meal, a morning coffee, or just hanging out and having drinks with friends, backyard decks are a favourite gathering place when the weather is welcoming. This means that it is important to ensure that you think through and plan your deck project well so that you can ensure that you are getting the most out of your living and gathering space, while also keeping it cost effective and low maintenance. Properly planning your deck project before beginning can prevent extra costs from arising once the project is underway.
A basic consideration to think about would be the materials you will use for the surface of the deck and the railing. Do you want to use wood, knowing that it requires more upkeep and maintenance over its life and will not last as long as some alternatives, or would you prefer to use a material like composite decking which will last much longer and is similar to work with when compared to wood? We have customers who have used alternative materials such as porcelain tile systems, aluminum decking, or exotic extremely hard wood species such as ironwood, ipe, etc. Whatever you choose to build with, it is important to not only consider the upfront purchase price, but also the long-term maintenance costs, which includes your time as well as the material costs. This is where aluminum railing is a vastly superior product to use rather than traditional wood railings because they will never rot nor need to be refinished; all they require is very minimal yearly maintenance and they will stay strong and beautiful for many years to come.
Deck Layout: Traffic Flow and Angles
Another important consideration to take into account is the layout of your deck. What are the plans you have in mind for your deck? Is it going to be a hangout space with couches and chairs, is it a dining space, or is it more just a pathway to get to the backyard? Depending on your plans it will affect the amount of space you need and where you want to locate your stairs to allow access and egress. Ensuring the traffic flows smoothly and easily according to your plans (and keeping in mind possible future plans) is essential to fully enjoying your investment.
Something else to consider regarding layout is that it is best to try and avoid strange angles, keeping to mostly 90-degree and 45-degree angles. Going with uncommon angles can increase the difficulty of installing railings and can increase the difficulty of installing the decking and framing depending on the materials used which ultimately increases the costs associated with the complications.
Timing and Scope of Project
A couple of other factors that will affect how smoothly your project is executed are the timing and scope of the project. If you are planning on building your deck with the help of family and friends, then this will not be as major a factor. However, if you are planning on hiring a contractor or installers like us, the availability factor will affect the timing of it all. Planning ahead of time (2 - 3 months in advance is minimum depending on the type of contractor you hire) will ensure full enjoyment of your deck for the season.
No matter what shape and size and material your deck is made out of, thinking of some of these beforehand can save a lot of time, money, and headaches during the building process. Making your railing decisions prior to building is also very important because it allows the railing suppliers/installers to coordinate with the deck builder to ensure that proper blocking and supports are installed – it is much easier to install blocking prior to the decking being built than after, and without proper blocking your railing will not be secured sufficiently. Just because the railing goes on last does not mean that it doesn’t need to be thought about until the end. The earlier you plan all of the elements of your deck, the easier the installation process will be able to go, and the faster you will be able to sit out and enjoy your little piece of paradise.
Written by Matt (and Grace)