LESLIE: Lauren in Massachusetts needs some help with an exterior staircase. What’s going on?
LAUREN: Hi, I’m calling about my cast iron railing that came out of the cement stairs.
LAUREN: They rusted out …
LAUREN: … and I don’t know whether to – I really don’t know what to do to fix them, so I was hoping you could help us out.
TOM: Are all the posts rusted off or just one or two?
LAUREN: Just the top ones on each side.
TOM: Mm-hmm. OK. Well …
LAUREN: Alright? So there are three posts altogether so just the top two.
TOM: OK. Well, what you could do is disassemble the railing and you’re going to have to sort of drill out the rusted area …
TOM: … and open up that hole. You may have to do a lot of chisel work and hand work to get it sort of opened up again. And what you can do is you can use, essentially, what will be sort of a metal strap. You can get some metal bar that’s like one-inch wide by about 1/8-inch thick or angle iron and that part of it would be dropped into the hole and sealed in place with an epoxy cement and then the upper part would be mechanically attached to the railing.
LAUREN: OK. Oh, I see what you’re saying. So you would just cement …
TOM: Sort of like a splint. Right. Like a splint. You’re kind of adding onto the end of it that way. And you know what? When it’s all put together and bolted together and painted flat black, it’ll all blend in; you won’t notice it.
LAUREN: That’s excellent because I didn’t want to have to get brand new ones or build a wooden …
TOM: Yeah, that’s real common. The water just collects in those holes and it just rusts them away. So that’s a way to fix it. You know, it’s a good half-day job. It’ll come out nice.