Staircases can experience a great deal of foot traffic. While numerous are intended to last, that doesn’t mean they will remain in ideal condition. With so many people moving up and down, you can expect to see some wear and tear over time. A small crack in the wood can lead to a dangerous situation if not taken care of properly. While you may not realise it, your stairs may be telling you they’re in need of repair. These are the signs to look out for below.
The most common threat to your flooring is the dirt that can scratch and dull the surface. Brush or vacuum the wood floor regularly to prevent a build up of dirt and grime that can also cause discolouration.
If you look at your stairs and notice that the tread or the riser is cracked, then you need to act quickly. This will prevent the rest of the stairs starting to get damaged. You’ll need to remove the damaged tread or riser and replace it.
If you find that one of your treads is loose or wobbly then you need to get it fixed before it causes you or someone else an accident. If it is simply the tread you may be able to refasten it to the securing network. However, you’ll need to make sure it is secured into good wood to make sure it doesn’t happen again. If the stair appears securely attached but feels loose then there will be a gap that needs carpenters glue.
A handrail on a staircase is meant to keep you safe in case of a fall. If the handrail on your staircase isn’t securely attached to the wall, this can be a serious safety issue for you or anyone using the stairs. This is an obvious sign that there is an issue with your stairs. You lean on it more than you realise and if it gives way it could cause a serious injury. It is essential to replace the hand rail immediately or get professional help if you can’t do it yourself.
You may not instantly realise that your stairs have been damaged by water but a flood can start to rot your wood. This will often happen in basements where water is more likely to occur. If you’ve had water in your home at some point and it’s affecting your stairs, you’ll start to notice warping or softness of the wood and you’ll be left with damp rot. This can be easily tested for by gently inserting a screwdriver into it. If it goes in easily then you probably have wood rot.
If you have dogs or cats, then it is possible there claws will scratch and scrape on the wood if unkempt. Scratches on wood and carpet stairs do not pose any danger, but should be replaced. If you have a pet who tends to have frequent accidents on the stairs, be aware that it may have the same impact as water damage. These stains are very difficult to get out, so it’s likely you’d need to replace the step.
Fortunately, you should be able to sand this out or replace the damaged covering; making this the easiest issue to deal with on the list!