Q: Is there a way to fix a loose metal handrail without replacing the whole thing?
A: A wobbly metal rail is a common problem and is usually due to worn masonry anchors. To strengthen the rail, first remove the rail and the old masonry anchors. Use a hammer drill with a 3/4-inch masonry drill bit to enlarge the holes. If you don’t have a hammer drill, use a standard drill with a 1/2-inch bit and then step up to a 3/4-inch bit. After drilling the holes, insert new galvanized carriage bolts (1/4-inch diameter, 3 inches long) into the holes, positioned head down. Place the rail for a test fit. Then secure the bolts with Anchoring Cement. Immediately set the railing onto the bolts and tighten the fasteners that hold the other end of the rail to the house. Secure the railing with lock washers and nuts.