The National Safety Council considers unintentional falls one of the leading causes of household accidents in the U.S. This trend is especially true among adults 65 and older with one in three experiencing an injury related fall each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, falls at home can be easily prevented by keeping high traffic areas well lite and clutter free, using non-slip adhesives on the bottom of rugs and carpets, and taking other simple safety precautions.
While homes with interior and exterior stairs pose an added threat for falls, the possibility of accidents can be drastically reduced by making sure a well-secured handrail is available for support. It’s critical that a handrail not only handle heavy loads, but also stands up to abrupt pressure caused by vibration. This requires using a high-strength bonding material like QUIKRETE Anchoring Epoxy that will permanently attach a metal handrail to a concrete surface so steps are much safer.
Steps for installing a new metal handrail into concrete surfaces.
Wearing eye protection, heavy-duty gloves and a dusk mask is recommendation for this project.
* Drill holes 1/16 to 1/4 inch larger than the diameter of the threaded rods being used to attach the handrail posts to the concrete. Make sure the depth of each hole is a minimum of four and half times the diameter of the threaded rods.
* Clean out each hole by rotating a nylon bush a quarter of a turn and blowing out the hole with a can of compressed air.
* Insert the anchoring epoxy cartridge into a high strength dispensing caulk gun, remove the plastic cap from the tip and dispense a small amount into a disposable container until you get an even flow of black and white material.
* Attach the nozzle on to the cartridge and dispense enough epoxy into the disposable container until a consistent gray color is achieved with no streaks.
* Place the tip of the dispensing nozzle into the bottom of the first hole and slowly withdraw the nozzle until the hole is about 5/8th full.
* Insert a threaded rod into the bottom of the hole while turning clockwise being sure to remove any excess epoxy with a putty knife or piece of cardboard.
* Repeat the process until all the threaded rods are in place. Generally, two to four threaded rods around needed to secure each handrail post.
* Allow the posts to cure four hours before attaching the handrail posts by screwing bolts onto the threaded rods. The handrail, baserail and balusters can be added once all the posts are secure.
(The same process can be used to resecure an unstable handrail if the existing holes are free of any debris that might prevent a strong bond between the threaded rods and concrete.)
A sturdy handrail will not only help make stairs safe, but can elevate the look of a home with the right paint, end caps or other decorative embellishments. For more information on properly installing a handrail including a step-by-step how-to project video, visit the QUIKRETE website or YouTube.