Maintaining Cable Railings

With modern, high-quality materials, homeowners shouldn’t have to do significant maintenance.  Keeping their cable railings looking nice and functioning correctly, even close to the ocean, is easy. Because stainless steel can rust, most manufacturers recommend periodic cleaning with water and possibly a mild detergent. Afterwards, do a thorough rinsing.

However, with more coastal areas facing extreme weather, like tropical storms and hurricanes, homeowners need to check on their railings after these events.

Cable railings are high-tension systems, and their lower overall surface areas should protect them during extreme winds. But, after a hurricane or tropical storm, carefully inspect the entire railing system, not just damaged areas. The tension of the cables may pull on other deck components and can create issues down the road. If any posts appear to be loose or twisted, reach out to your contractor.

Cable Railings Cleaning Guidelines

If you choose a RailFX cable railing system, the cleaning guidelines are easy:

  • Use clean water and a soft cloth for coated surfaces.
  • Use mild dishwashing soap with water and a soft cloth for stronger cleaning needs.
  • Remove minor scuff marks or scratches from aluminum posts and rails using a product like Soft Scrub™ (Note: bleach-based products should not be used on stainless steel.)
  • Do not use strong chemicals, household cleaners, harsh abrasives, etc. This is especially true for bleach or products containing bleach. Bleach will stain and discolor stainless steel quickly and easily.
  • Remove sap, tree seeds, bugs, etc. as soon as possible as additional sun and heat exposure can make them stick to the coated surface making them more difficult to remove (but not impossible).
  • Clean glass infills with regular glass cleaner or (made for glass) soap and water.
  • Always test cleaning products on a small, inconspicuous area before applying any product.

And if you have a question about maintaining your railing system, the RailFX team is happy to help. You can email us at or call us at (206) 453-1123.

Daylight Saving Time brings with it the promise of longer days and warmer weather – inspiring many homeowners to refresh their outdoor spaces and create an oasis that can be enjoyed with friends and family all season long. With this in mind, getting your deck season-ready may have already shifted to the top of your weekend to-do list.

Consider these helpful tips as a kickstart to this year’s outdoor living season.

Inspect and Repair

Prioritizing safety is a smart start to your warm weather preparations. During the off season, shifting temperatures, inclement weather and a lack of consistent maintenance can take a toll, causing deck boards, railings, and hardware to loosen or shift. By taking the time to complete a thorough inspection you can ensure the safety of everyone and extend the life of your deck.

Check out the RailFX® article, Inspect the Deck, published for last year’s deck safety month (May). You’ll find simple – yet important – tips to help you complete an annual inspection of your deck’s structure and materials, including the railing. Likewise, our friends at This Old House have created a deck safety checklist with great advice on how to check for signs of deck damage caused by bugs and mold and mildew, along with suggestions on how to contend with cracks, rotted wood and unexpected creaks.

Refresh, Renew and Replace

Now that you’re confident your deck is safe, are you equally as positive about how it looks? There’s no better time than now to get a head start on sprucing up your deck for outdoor entertaining or an upcoming staycation. But, before you begin decorating your space, take the time to remove debris or weeds that likely collected over the winter; eliminate any corrosion that may have occurred; and clean the patio furniture. The experts at True Value share these Five Tips for cleaning and prepping your deck for summer. If you have – or are considering – a RailFX® aluminum cable railing system, cleaning will be quick and easy. You’ll appreciate the insight we share here,  on how to clean cable railing or choose one that will work best for your existing deck.

With the bulk of the work out of the way, you can turn your attention to the fun stuff – decorating. Creating a space that you’ll love is filled with decisions – is it possible to extend your indoor living, to outdoor? What are best solutions for dining, capturing the view or complementing the existing style of your home’s exterior? Check out these ideas from House Beautiful or get started dreaming when you visit the RailFX Inspiration Gallery.

Beauty and Durability for the Long-Term

Investing in updating or designing an outdoor living space is big decision.  The RailFX® FlexFX Program allows you the flexibility to fashion your deck, balcony, or stairway just the way you want – combining your choice of materials – wood, composite, or metal with durable cable railing from RailFX®. 

Is this your first-time considering cable railing for your deck? It’s a smart choice! It delivers unobstructed views, adds value to any home by offering an upscale look (in a variety of finishes) and it’s durable – backed by a 10-year warranty.

Curious to learn more? Contact us to get started.


A clean, contemporary, and modern rehab transformation

For more than 20 years, Dee Thompson spent her career as an executive IT project manager where she managed the complex systems of multi-billion-dollar institutions.  Midway into her career, she went to buy her first Chicago home and not only found the cost of entry high, but she also was not finding homes that were a perfect fit for her tastes.  “Everything needed to be updated,” said Dee. So, her realtor suggested that she buy a fixer-upper and put her project management skills to the test.

“It was nothing like IT,” said Dee, now the owner and chief construction office of Urbane Home. But she was determined to use her strong IT skills to bring organization and discipline to her construction challenge and developed a detailed project plan like she would do for all her IT clients with all the tasks, dependencies, durations, and resources included. “I made my fair share of mistakes because I didn’t know what I didn’t know,” she added. “I tweaked the plan based on new knowledge as I went along and over time, perfected the process to maximize efficiency.”

After a couple of years, she couldn’t ignore the “rehab bug.” She sought out in search for the worst property on the best block and renovated it with extreme detail.  Over the years, she kept improving, and what would have taken other contractors 12 to 14 months to renovate, she managed to streamline the process down to five to seven months. Then people began to ask if she would build for them. “I always said no, and I only do this for myself,” Dee added. 

When she was pregnant with her first child, a daughter, now eight years old, she thought to herself this was a perfect crossroads to reevaluate her career.  She got her real estate license and threw a bid out for a teardown. “If I got the house, I knew it would be a sign, and I can test this out,” she said. “If not, I loved my IT career and would stay the course.”

Racine Rehab

That was eight years ago. Dee formed an LLC, Urbane Home, and she would build one to two spec homes per year and sell. Taking extreme pride not to ignore the details, her homes would sell pre-construction or within 30 days on the market and often close to or above asking price.  Today, Dee has a team of four colleagues which includes designers, brokers, and a marketing coordinator. Dee is the chief construction officer and manages any engagements that are permit-related, from gut rehabs to new construction.

One of Dee’s recent projects involved one of her best friends, who had just gotten married.  Each of them had a Chicago home and she lost the dice roll and moved into her new husband’s place, in what she called the “bachelor pad”. The townhome, located in the prestigious area of the West Loop of Chicago, was purchased more than 20 years ago, and in today’s real estate market, it is impossible to reproduce the square footage for anything under $1.5 million.

“We gutted the entire place and maximized the home to improve the overall flow and make everything new, new, new,” said Dee.

Within seven months, the 4,000-square-foot home was transformed into a clean, contemporary, and modern home that is like nothing in the market for the overall cost of investment. “We wanted the space to be timeless and not too edgy and we definitely achieved that,” said Dee.

The overall aesthetic that Urbane Home used in their design was silvered grey wood and black, grey and whites for clean polish. The tones are truly neutral with a bit of color in the right places and rich tones. To complete the contemporary look, Dee’s supplier, Standard Lumber Co., recommended a cable railing for the interior staircases that aligned with the client’s inspiration.

“It was visually what our client wanted,” said Dee. “It removed the heaviness of closed-in stairs and allowed an open sightline. We chose the RailFX aluminum railing in black finish with stainless steel cable infill installed throughout.”

“It was our carpenters’ first-time using cable railing, and the RailFX customer service team was not only incredibly responsive when we called but also went above and beyond to meet us onsite to walk through any product questions we had to ensure the best install,” said Dee.

I will definitely be using RailFX again. They are certainly a vendor that uses many of the same customer service and quality principles that are critical to our business." ~ Dee Thompson