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Staircases can see a lot of foot traffic. While many are designed to last, that doesn’t mean they will always stay in perfect condition. With so many people moving up and down, you can expect to see some wear and tear over time.
However, some instances can be dangerous to your family. A small crack in the wood can lead to a dangerous situation if not taken care of properly. While you may not realize it, your stairs may be telling you they're in need of repair. How can you tell? See the signs that it’s time to repair your stairs.
Are you ready to get rid of that squeak in your step? Contact a pro today for up to four quotes from contractors in your area for free.
Stair Repair Costs
If you suspect something may be wrong with your stairs, it’s good to know that stair repair is just a phone call away. Unless you have a background in carpentry, a pro must be called to help identify the problem and provide a solution. The average cost to repair stairs or railings is $597, with most homeowners spending between $361 and $678. This depends on the extent of the damage to your stairs and what needs to be replaced.
1. Repair Creaking Stairs
A squeaky stair is bound to happen to anyone. Most of the time, it’s more annoying than permanently damaging. However, when you’re heading up or downstairs in the middle of the night, you don’t want to wake the whole family up! The good news is that this typically is an easy fix. You first need to locate the squeak. If you have access to the underside of your stairs, this will be easier. Typically, a squeaky, creaky stair is due to a gap in the stair riser and tread. You can use carpenter glue to fill the space if it’s small enough. Otherwise, contact a pro who can help.
2. Cracked Treads Or Risers
Safety is a concern when it comes to cracked treads or risers. Typically, it will be the tread that cracks due to lack of support or a change in humidity. It’s important that your step gets repaired as soon as possible, as not to do further damage to your staircase. This is not a project that can be simply glued together. You must replace the tread. This can be an issue if you have carpeting over your stairs. While you can DIY this project, a pro can help you get the exact repairs you need.
3. Loose Stair Tread
Over time, your staircase can loosen, which can cause additional creaks and stair movement. This can become a serious problem if it’s not fixed. If you have access to the underside of your stairs, this work will be a little easier. While it is often caused by gaps and spaces between the wood, a pro can tell you the cause and how to address it.
4. Detached Handrail
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. In fact, it could even be a code violation. Thankfully, this problem has an easy fix. Replace and tighten up the screws that are attaching the handrail to the wall or post.
5. Loose Fitting Post
A loose-fitting post can be just as dangerous as a wobbly handrail. It often takes a new post installation. Unfortunately, this is a project that is best fixed by an experienced carpenter.
6. Water Damage
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An unwelcome surprise to any homeowner, water damage can harm your stairs even if you can’t see it. 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. This section of your stairs will need to be replaced. Be sure to inspect under and around your staircase for additional water damage.
7. Pet Damage
While you may not consider it as often, your furry friends can take a toll on your stairs. Scratches on wood and carpet stairs do not pose any danger, but should be replaced. You can easily do this yourself by either patching the carpet or sanding and restaining the wood. You’ll need to be careful to get an exact match so the new material is not noticeable.
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. If you see any dark stains or fowl odors where these accidents occur, investigate further. These stains are very difficult to get out, so it’s likely you’d need to replace the step.
Your steps are a vital part of your home. From a slight squeak to an odd shape, if you notice any of these signs, it’s time to inspect your stairs and see what repairs are needed.
Once your repairs are complete, it’s time to make them look great again! Read How To Paint Stairs for a few tips on how you can give your staircase a new look.