Thursday, August 20, 2009

Repairing Your Stairs is a Safety Issue

If you have a set of stairs that seem to be getting a little unsafe it is time to evaluate whether a do it yourself repair can fix the problem or whether a new set will have to be built. Not all stairs are built the same so the first thing to do is to assess the problem.

Maybe the stairs, ( sometimes called 'treads' because it's the part you 'tread 'on) are just a little worn and a little nail setting, sanding and painting with a stair or deck paint will fix it all up. If the stairs talk to you, i.e., moan, groan or squeak when you use them, maybe a little re-nailing will fix your problem.

Drive the nails at an angle through the step and into the stringer (sidepiece) from above and below, if you can access the underneath. An alternate way of reinforcing stairs would be to screw into the stair through the stringer. It is always best to drill a pilot hole to prevent splitting .If the stringer has been over nailed or screwed, a block of wood can placed under the stair as reinforcement and nailed or screwed through the stringer, and then downward through the stair. If a stair is worn or broken, it will have to be removed and a new one installed.

If the stairs are a basement or attic rough grade stair, replace it with a similar lumber from your local lumberyard or building supplier. Stairs are often rounded at the front and boards of this type are available. These are generally a stock item. Front edged rounded boards of this type are referred to as 'bull nosed' Remove the old damaged stair and clean the debris from the stringer. Carefully measure the size of the replacement required. Remember, measure twice and cut once.

If the stairs have, no risers (the back pieces) you may wish to add them to the stairs before you repaint them. These will probably be a stock size lumber; all you need to do is cut them to the length required. Tools required for this repair; hammer, nails, wood glue, safety goggles, work gloves, measuring tape, drill and screwdrivers.

If you have a set of concrete stairs that are starting to chip or crumble, these can be repaired with a bit of effort. With a cold chisel and wire brush chip, scrape, and clean away all loose and crumbly bits of concrete. Using 1 X 4 lumber pieces make some forms around the stair to be repaired. Make sure the boards are aligned with the edges of the stairs. Clean motor oil can be applied to the boards to prevent the concrete from sticking. Paint the area to be fixed with a concrete bonding agent, which will allow the new concrete to stick to the old. Prepare a batch of ready mix concrete and work into the area, and smooth until even with the stair. Use an old brush to texture the surface to prevent slipping.

Autor: Thoreau Chuong

Thoreau Chuong enjoys writing about home improvement, home & garden, and other home related articles. If you live in Texas, request a free quote on our website home improvement Dallas Texas or home improvement Fort Worth

Added: August 20, 2009