Replacing the railing on deck and rear stairs

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Old 09-19-08, 11:49 PM
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Smile Replacing the railing on deck and rear stairs

I have a handrail system on my rear deck and wood stairway at my office which needs to be replaced. One problem was at the junction of the spindles and lower handrail where rotting occured during the winter and from rain. A knowlegeable friend recommended placing a small square of roofing paper between the spindle and base rail in the new installation. The alternative is to caulk around this joint. All the wood will be prestained and touched up if necessary . I would appreciate any thoughts from people based on their experiences.
 
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Old 09-20-08, 05:13 AM
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Use pressure treated wood to help prevent premature wood decay. You didn't say whether the spindles were 2x2 standard deck balusters or turned spindles. Caulking a flat rain collecting surface only moves the rotting process to where you haven't caulked.
Another thing you mentioned is "my office". Do you own the building? If not, don't take on the liability relegated to the owner to replace the balustrade.
 
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Old 09-20-08, 09:28 PM
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Addressing chandler questions

Chandler, Thanks for your reply and thoughts. I am using high grade cedar and do own the building (otherwise I would have the landlord may the repairs). What did you think of the roofing paper idea? I like outside Chicago (a cold, wet climate in winter) with the deck facing the west which means maximum sun. Any other thoughts?
 
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Old 09-21-08, 05:05 AM
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We get so many renters that want to dive into a repair, we have to make sure they don't cross that line. That is what prompted my question. Since you have a west facing, I don't think you will benefit from anything blocking the water. It needs to dry out daily, and trying to block it in one area will just force it to another area. In addition, the area you try to stop the water will actually hold the water and cause rot from within. I liked Chicago winters too. I had to work at O'hare the winter of '93, thank you very much. Wind chill of -65 on the tarmac. Lake Michigan frozen as far as you could see (13 miles?). Lewis Grizzard was right....Chicago has 2 seasons....winter and the 4th of July.
 
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