How to Repair Railings on Concrete Stairways

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If the railings have broken free on your concrete steps it becomes a hazard. In order to replace or repair railings on concrete stairways, follow the steps outlined here.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket wrench
  • Liquid lubricant
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Shop vac
  • Hammer
  • Block of wood
  • Hacksaw
  • C clamp
  • Wood workers clamp
  • Sawhorse
  • Threaded rod (usually 5/16-inch)
  • Nut and split lock washers the same size as your rod
  • Pencil
  • Hammer drill with a 6-inch heavy duty masonry bit
  • Quick set cement

Repairing a Broken Railing

  • Look for exposed surface bolts that attach the railing to the concrete. Loosen and remove each bolt. Lift up on the stair railing to remove.

  • Inspect the railing carefully. If the repair needed is too extensive you may want to purchase new railings

  • Repair iron-based wood railings by remove the piece of wood needing repair. Using this wood as your template, cut another piece exactly like it, and put back together. If the problem is a result of loose nails, remove the nails one at a time and replace with screws. This should provide for more stability.

  • Take wrought iron railings to a professional iron worker or welder to repair.

  • Return the repaired railing to its original position and tighten down the bolts.

Re-anchoring a Railing to the Concrete Stairway

  • Follow the instructions in Section 1, Step 1, to remove the wrought iron railing.

  • Use a flat headed screwdriver to dig out the hole where the footing of the wrought iron railing had been attached, making it bigger. Use a shop vac to remove the debris from the area.

  • Drill away the concrete using the railing bracket as your template. If only one bolt has broken loose, leave enough concrete so that it does not compromise the other bolt. Use a hammer masonry bit for this job.

  • Replace the railing into the original position and drive a new threaded rod (usually 5/16-inch) through the hole in the railing foot, anchoring it in the hole. This will allow you to mark where you want to cut the threaded rod. Make certain that when you mark it you leave enough room for a nut and lock washer.

  • Secure the rod with the clamps to the sawhorse and cut with a hacksaw to the appropriate length.

  • Mix up enough quick set cement to fill the hole. Once the hole is filled replace the railing and insert the rod (rods) into the holes in its mounting foot. Anchor the rod in by placing a wood piece on top and hitting the wood with a hammer.

  • Put the lock washer on and then screw on the nut, slightly tightening it.
    Complete the process when the concrete is dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the bolts seem stuck due to rust or aging, apply a lubricant like WD-40, Kroil or Liquid Wrench. Let it sit 5-10 minutes before trying to loosen again. If the bolts have been removed but it is difficult to lift the railing you may also want to apply the lubricant.

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