There are multiple advantages to installing cable railings on your property. They’re appealing to look at, clean, modern, and stylish. These railings can be added inside and/or outside your home and will blend beautifully with any decor. From protecting your decks and balconies to making walking up a flight of stairs easier and safer, cable railings have become a popular choice.

While these railings don’t require much maintenance, it’s important to have them set to the correct tension. Otherwise it could cause structural damage to your railing system or attached surface, or could loosen and cause a safety hazard. Working with a company that specializes in cable railing is the best way to avoid these issues.

Too Tight

If you tension your cable railing too tight, it could damage the cable and the post. A cable must be tensioned such that a four-inch sphere doesn’t go through between two railings. When inspecting how tight your cable is, using a sphere of this size will help you gauge its tightness. Once you feel a fair amount of resistance, you should immediately stop tensioning the cables.

Over-tightening will result in deflection of the post, and if this happens, you’ll need to loosen the cable and rearrange the post. At the start, there will always be a bit of back and forth when tensioning because it involves a fair amount of touch and feel. After a few attempts, you can tighten your cable without problem.

Loose Cables

Loose cables are unappealing to look at because they’re sloppy and saggy. However, looks aren’t the only reason you need to tighten the cable railings. Loose cable railings are unsafe, which means if someone leans on them, the railing won’t give the necessary support. This means they could end up falling and injuring themselves because of the lack of support.

It’s easy to determine a loose cable, and as soon as you notice one, you must not waste time tightening the connection based on the tensioning sequence. Start by lightly tensioning the cables until you achieve the desired tension to keep them sturdy.

Tension Level Standard

As mentioned above, the standard tension level for cable railings is the resistance for a four-inch sphere. Having said that, you must know that wood and metal posts manage to withstand different levels of tension, so the four-inch sphere will feel a different level of resistance when the cable is fastened to a wooden post as compared to a metal post. You will need a little trial and error before figuring out what works best.

At Bay Area Cable Railing, you can expect only the best railings to suit various requirements. Not only do you get top-notch installation solutions, but we also painstakingly ensure that every cable in your system is configured to the perfect tension, using hardware that will keep that tension for the long term. That leaves you with a safer, more reliable railing system that requires no maintenance other than the occasional cleaning.