There are definite signs a household stair tread needs replacing. Just like many structural component in a home, the stair treads are meant to stand the test of time. However, everyday use over decades and decades does eventually take its toll. The good new is, like reviving old appliances, there are plenty of times when you can save most of the original build. Often, it’s only the treads which need to be replaced and the entire staircase does not have to be completely rebuilt.
Signs Household Stair Tread needs Replacing
If you’ve been organizing and under the stairs closet space to free up more space, you might have noticed some damage to the treads. When you’re working so closely by the stair treads, it’s easy to see flaws. Unfortunately, some functional decor can hide stair tread damage, like carpet or a runner. Although these are intended to add beauty, they can conceal problems and that poses a real safety hazard.
It typically takes just a few years before interior wooden staircases start to show signs of wear and tear. Trouble often starts on the horizontal treads, where constant foot traffic wears off the varnish topcoat, exposing bare wood. Next, the vertical risers often get battered and bruised from being repeatedly kicked. And though the handrail doesn’t receive as much physical abuse as treads or risers, it doesn’t take long before the railing is marred by caked-on dirt and smudged handprints. —Popular Mechanics.com
The biggest challenge is to know when simple replacement is sufficient and when you need to bring in an experienced contractor for a total rebuild. Now, there are times when the answer is obvious, but other times, it’s not that cut and dry. The way to go is to err on the side of caution so you don’t let a safety hazard stay in your home. Here are some signs household stair tread needs replacing or rebuilding:
- Visible separation. When you see the tread separating from the riser, it could be due to several reasons. Warping does occur over time, as does sagging. The nails or screws could be loose in this case. But, it’s also possible something else is going on, like the foundation settling, creating a force that pulls the tread from the riser.
- There is wood rot. An obvious sign a stair tread needs replacing is when wood rot is present. Although stairs are constructed to be durable and last for many decades, the wood can rot under the right conditions. If there is rot, be sure to check the entire staircase to ensure you’ve found it all.
- Termite damage. Another obvious reason to replace stair treads is due to termite damage. But here again, you’ll need to check the entire staircase to find the extent of the damage. Also, you should inspect the walls, the floors, and the rest of the house.
- Water damage. Stair tread can warp due to water damage or just excess moisture. For instance, if you’ve had the unfortunate experience of an overflowing upstairs tub or a washing machine mishap, that water can soak into the treads and damage it.
- Sagging treads. Treads that are sagging are just a result of the reality of years of foot traffic. Don’t panic over this because it’s probably the easiest of all the scenarios to fix. You’ll probably only need to replace the sagging treads.
Before you start your next home improvement project, phone 800-433-1094 or visit Haul Junk Away to schedule construction and remodeling debris cleanup.