commercial_railings

Signs It’s Time to Repair Commercial Railings

Commercial railings are an integral part of any commercial building. They provide support for people as they traverse through the premises. But constant usage and even weather conditions can cause severe wear and tear on railings installed outdoors that could compromise the structure’s integrity. Several visible and hidden signs or indicators show commercial railings need repair. This blog focuses on those signs and how to recognize them. 

1. Visible Damage or Cracks to the Railing

Various factors can cause cracks and damages to commercial railings. Often, it’s due to the constant pressure of continuous usage by patrons that will cause the railings to lose their integrity over time. Environmental factors like wind, rain, or sun can also cause decay of the material, such as worn-out wood or rust on metal rails. It’s crucial to repair these damages immediately, especially if the railing is on a high-rise platform like a rooftop. When deciding how to fix these damages, it’s best to consult an expert who knows the proper procedures to repair commercial handrails.

2. Replacement or Repair of Banisters

By design, banisters or balusters help prevent small children from falling off a balcony, deck, or other elevated platforms. For stairwells, they provide the elevation for the railing along the staircase. Balusters can also offer additional support for commercial railings. But, banisters also tend to loosen or break over time, especially ones made out of wood. Since they are part of the railing, they require prompt attention if it seems like their integrity is compromised. Railings on concrete steps usually have banisters attached to them as one piece. So in the event of damage, the whole piece would have to be reinstalled, which could factor into the cost.

3. Pest Problems for Outdoor Commercial Railings

Most commercial railings placed on outdoor platforms, such as commercial decks and platforms, are traditionally made of wood. While outdoor metal railings face problems like weather conditions that can cause the rails to rust or corrode, wood railings have an enemy in pests such as termites and carpenter ants. These bugs will destroy the railing from the inside out. The best course of action would be to hire an exterminator to come in and terminate them. Then, depending on the amount of damage, an expert can repair or completely replace the rail.

4. Railings Feel Loose

As mentioned above, railings can lose their integrity due to the constant pressure of continuous usage. Because of this, commercial railings, especially ones that rely on balusters for support, can start coming loose or feel wobbly when anyone grips them. To test a railing’s sturdiness, simply push or lean on it. If it seems as though the rail is moving around too easily, then it’s time to repair it. 

5. Failing Grades on Inspections From Governing Bodies

Routine inspections of railings help ensure they are up to OSHA standards. Railings can fail inspection for various reasons, such as missing or uneven rails if they’re on stairways or even due to the reasons mentioned above. If governing agencies give failing grades during an inspection, they will usually detail why in a written report. Building maintenance staff or third-party service providers can refer to this document when doing the proper repairs so that the railings will pass the next inspection.

Streamline Commercial Handrail Repair With The JOBS Group

Commercial handrails should be installed with safety in the mind. To function as designed, they must receive the proper attention and care—meaning routinely scheduled inspections and maintenance and immediate repairs when needed. The JOBS Group helps connect building managers with certified experts who are guaranteed to be perfect for whatever job is needed. Click here to connect with one of our experts today.

handrail_and_guard_definitions

Handrail and Guard Definitions to Know

When installing, repairing, or replacing handrails and guards throughout a commercial building, contractors can use terms and vocabulary that may seem intimidating. Luckily, we are here to help! Knowing some of these handrail and guard definitions will come in handy when hiring a contractor to work on them.

Load Requirement

Load requirement refers to the amount of weight that the handrail can withstand. Uniform load applies to the load capacity of the railing per foot. The weight capacity of a railing in a single point of the handrail is defined as a concentrated load of the rail. Building owners and managers can manage load requirements depending on the materials used.

Toe Board

A toe board is a part of the guardrail placed on the walking surface that serves as a protective barrier to notify people of potential hazards, such as tools or other objects falling from elevated surfaces or someone falling from a floor opening.

Top or Midrails

Top rails are the part of a structure that should always be elevated and make up more handrail and guard definitions to know. Top rails provide support for people when walking, climbing stairs, or navigating any angled platform. Midrails refer to the railing between the top rail and the surface. They provide additional reinforcement for the railing and can also double as support for small children. 

Handrail and Handrail Systems

Handrail and guard definitions also include knowing what forms true handrail systems. A handrail is a rail fixed across staircases and other elevated surfaces to support people while climbing or walking. A handrail system is a barrier in the form of balusters or sheets of commercial glass, on which the top rail is affixed to provide additional support for users. 

Handrail Continuity

Handrail continuity refers to how far the railing goes up. In accordance with OSHA Guidelines, the handrail must continue along the entire length of the stairway or ramp. 

Handrail Size Limitations

Handrails must be within ¼” – 2” in diameter, as this is the size that provides equivalent graspability. Railings must be between 34 to 38 inches high measured across the sloping plain so that it runs smoothly along the stairway or ramp.

Equivalent Graspability

Equivalent graspability is usually applied to handrail gripping surfaces that have a non-circular cross-section. These handrails must have a diameter of a minimum of 4” and a maximum of 6”. The cross-section should have dimensions that are no more than 2 ¼”. 

Bracket Clearance

Bracket clearance refers to the required clearance between a handrail and other building elements. Clearance is different for horizontal and vertical brackets. Horizontal clearance must be 1 ½” “ between a wall and railing and have a maximum of 4 ½” projection. 

Vertical Clearance

Vertical clearance must be 1 ½” between the underside of the handrail and bracket arm. However, the International Code Council (ICC) and Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) have since reduced it to ⅛” for each ½” over 4” of the railing.

Railing Extensions

Railing extensions refer to the amount the railing extends from the ramp runs on either end of the handrail. Railing extensions must extend at least 12” from either end of a wall-mounted ramp rail as well as for staircases.

Handrail Returns

Handrail returns are the individual segments that connect the end of the railing to the wall and another part of the handrail and guard definitions building owners need to know. They help protect people from the sharp edge of the rail. The returns traditionally should be towards the wall. However, there has commonly been a gap between a return and the wall. But this is usually frowned upon by inspectors.

Know the Handrail and Guard Definitions to Ensure Your Building Adheres to All Required Codes

Handrail and guard definitions can be challenging to memorize. But hopefully, this served as a handy little guide for them. The right partner will have several resources to help you become more knowledgeable about all aspects of commercial building maintenance. Connect with EDS to schedule a consultation now.

commercial handrail repair

Top 5 Considerations in Commercial Handrail Repair or Replacement

Handrails are an integral part of any commercial real estate. They provide safety and security for the building’s employees and clients who interact with the building. Commercial handrails offer support for those who require it, and when installed on the rooftops of buildings, can also prevent fall hazards. However, factors such as constant usage by patrons, weather conditions, and more can cause wear and tear, leading to repairs or replacement. But apart from damage, there are a few other factors to consider when facing a commercial handrail repair or replacement. This vlog will explore a few of the things to think about when fixing or replacing commercial handrails. 

1. Is the Railing for a Walkway, Stairwell, or Balcony?

Commercial handrails are different depending on where they are placed, per OSHA Standards. Various locations in buildings have different requirements. 

  • Walkways – Walkway handrails are required to have a projection no more than 4.5.” Circular railings must have a diameter between 0.25 – 2 inches. Non-circular rails require a perimeter of at least 4” but no more than 6.25”, and they must run along the elevation.
  • Stairwell – Railings running along a stairwell must be 30 inches above the ground while going along its elevation. A circular railing should be at least 1.25”, but no more than 2 ⅝” in diameter. Non-circular railings should have edges with a .125” radius.
  • Balconies – Railings along balconies must be at least 30” from the surface. Railings on balconies must have balusters and an ornamental pattern with a sphere that is 4” in diameter.

Before scheduling a commercial handrail repair or replacement, be sure to inspect your handrails and determine their logistics, such as measurements and materials, so that the expert can plan accordingly.

2. How Will the Railing Be Supported?

 Many railings are required to have a mid rail to provide extra sturdiness. These can also serve as support for small children. Along with this, regularly maintaining and cleaning the handrails will ensure their longevity and, as a byproduct, will improve the aesthetic of the building. If appropriate, there’s also the option to strengthen the handrails with concrete ensuring that the railing will be stationary.

3. What Are the Load Requirements for the Commercial Handrail?

Commercial handrails should withstand a load of at least 50 pounds throughout or a concentrated weight of 200 pounds if placed atop the railing itself. Inspectors cannot test these requirements, so the building managers must provide engineering data that confirms the same. 

4. Is the Rail Cost to Repair Going to Exceed a Likely Replacement Cost?

When deciding whether to do a commercial handrail repair or a replacement, it is important to inspect the condition of the railing. For example, if the handrail on a concrete stairwell is damaged to the point where the “repair” basically turns into a full-on replacement job, says Angi.com, it’s much cheaper to get a new one installed. So the managers need to make that executive decision based on what makes the most sense for the safety of others.

5. How Much Will Long-Term Maintenance Cost for a Railing of a Specified Type?

Depending on the material the handrail is made from and how durable it is, the cost of maintenance will vary. Rails can be made of anything ranging from strong metals like aluminum and zinc to plastics, vinyl, and even wood. The resilience of every substance will vary, which will factor heavily into the cost of installation and maintenance. 

Make Better Handrail Repair and Replacement Decisions by Choosing the Right Partner

Finding the right commercial handrail repair specialist can be challenging, especially if you don’t know where to start. JOBS Group connects you with licensed experts who specialize in specific aspects of facilities management, including handrail repairs and replacements. Request a consultation with The EDS to get started.

commercial_handrail_installation

What Are Commercial Handrail Installation Services and Why an Expert Is Key

Commercial buildings are required to have handrails installed on the premises. Per OSHA guidelines, railings must address fall hazards, especially on rooftops. From a consumer’s point of view, this may seem like a trivial issue. However, commercial handrails are a vital part of any public establishment to ensure that the customers are safe within the confines of the building. Depending on the area of the structure, OSHA also dictates the materials used and dimensions of commercial handrail installation. On top of installing commercial handrails, it’s important to periodically get them inspected by a professional and subsequently get them repaired or replaced if necessary. For example, commercial handrail installation might not seem as important as laying the foundation of a building. However, ensuring the safety and security of the public who utilize the facilities in the building Is very important.

What Are Commercial Handrails and Where Are They Required?

Commercial handrails are railings that support people as they navigate through an establishment. Commercial buildings are required to install as per OSHA regulations. Handrails are required along staircases, along with mid-rails, which should be placed halfway between the handrail and the surface for reinforcement. Mid-rails can also provide support for small children who need  it. Commercial handrail installation is also required on rooftops and must be between 39 to 45 inches above the surface. Railings must be made of durable material with a smooth texture to avoid injuries. The diameter of the handrail should be at least one-quarter-inch thick. It is best to rely on experts to provide commercial handrail installation services. They will handle everything from installing the handrails to routine inspections and repairs or replacements, depending on the status of the railings.

Working With an Expert in Handrails Lowers Your Building’s Risk to Occupants

Having a handrails expert handle commercial handrail installation is an industry best practice. An expert practitioner will know how to install the railings according to regulations and ensure that there is ample longevity for all the handrails in the building so that it can withhold various amounts of pressure from the people utilizing it. It’s also important for the expert to make sure of the longevity of the railing so that the metals do not corrode or rust, consequently compromising the railing’s integrity. When using a licensed expert for commercial handrail installations, there is a higher guarantee of the building’s railings being sturdy, providing peace of mind to the building contractor.

Tips for Choosing a Handrail Installation Service Provider

Finding Experts in commercial handrail installations is a lot more accessible than one might think. However, the key is partnering with the right expert who will  adhere to the building requirements. Here are some tips that can help find the appropriate contractors for anything required to ensure the safety and security of their building. 

  • Hire an in-house professional – The expert will figure the proper procedure for the specific building and its handrails. Having them be in-house professionals will give instant access to their services. 

 

  • Conduct interviews – When considering a contractor for any job, especially commercial handrail installations, it is important that their skill set closely matches the job’s requirements. Interview the contractor to ensure that they are the right fit for the project.

 

  • Use detailed project descriptions – Write out a clear and detailed description that service providers can use to prepare for the job properly. 

 

Those are just a few tips to get the best specialist for the job. 

Streamline Commercial Handrail Installation With Jobs-amst Building Services

Commercial handrail installation is imperative to the safety and security of any piece of commercial real estate. The best-laid plans for the building will be at risk without care and attention to your handrails. Ensure you choose the right service provider to maximize safety during and after installation. Valcourt building services can streamline the process of installing handrails seamlessly. Click here to get started.