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How to Restore Aluminum Railings on Balconies

Last modified: 2020-01-25 | Approximate reading time 3 mins

Amanda Harvey

Aluminum railings have grown in popularity for many homes to use on their decks, balconies or alongside entryways. These railings are being used more widely because of their versatility, durability and easy maintenance. Aluminum is easier to take care of than most traditional railing materials, such as wrought iron or wood. However, like all outdoor materials, aluminum railings can become damaged and deteriorate.


With that in mind, it is important to read up on a few tips and tricks to keep your railings looking their best. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place, as we are here to offer up tips for cleaning, maintaining and keeping those aluminium railings prim and proper!

Here's how to restore your aluminium railings!

Cleaning aluminium railings

aluminum railings around a

source: Flickr

Maintaining aluminium railings is relatively easy, as this material requires minimal care. We are recommending that you inspect railings at least once a year to determine whether they need to be repaired. If your railings are near a pool or a spa, they should be inspected more frequently. The most common way to clean an aluminium railing is to hose it down with your garden hose and let it dry completely.


Of course, this will only work to remove a minimal layer of surface level dirt. If you find caked on mud or dirt, you’ll have to take cleaning one step further. Using some muscle, pour a solution of non-abrasive soap with water and grab a sponge. Using the sponge, scrub away the grime. Make sure that the sponge is not dry or rough, as this will damage the railings and cause the aluminium surface to become scratched.


Once you’ve finished cleaning, rinse the solution off with water. Some aluminium railings contain glass panels, and these can be cleaned as any regular glass would be. Use glass cleaner, avoiding paper towels to wipe it off as this may leave streaks or lint residue. 

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Durability and powder coating

Aluminium railings are exceptionally durable, and will not warp or rot like other railing materials such as wood. Many of the newer models of aluminium railings come with a powder-coat finish which works to protect the colour and surface of the aluminium.


Although this finish lasts an exceptionally long time, over the years a white, chalk-like substance may appear on the surface of your railings. This is normal, and the aluminium should be cleaned and polished to get back its original glossy texture and shine. You can polish your railings using a soft cleaning product, avoiding anything with exceptionally harsh chemicals which will just make matters worse.



Aside from regular cleaning and polishing, your aluminium railing fasteners will need to be inspected. The fasteners are the joints that hold pieces of the railing in their place. Over time these may loosen, making them dangerous to rest upon or hold onto. Your fasteners will need to be tightened as necessary, making sure that the railings are in good working order.


It is recommended that you use a light coat of floor or car wax, applying it to the tops of each exposed fastener every 3 to 6 months. This will work to prevent oxidation, and also to strengthen the fasteners.  You may also notice surface rust forming on your aluminium railings. However, this is a normal part of the ageing process, and will not affect the integrity of the fasteners.


Coastline maintenance


source: Flickr

If you are living close to a coast, you may have to perform a few extra maintenance techniques on your aluminium railings. Salt and moisture from a coastline region can create a damaging buildup of salt on the railings.  Unfortunately, this buildup can be harmful to the aluminium, and cause it to deteriorate faster.


If this happens to be the case for you, make sure to check aluminium railings once a month in order to remove the salty residue. The salt must be removed carefully, and as before, avoid using a rough or harsh brush or sponge. 

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