Six Staircase Maintenance Tips for Home Owners
Stairs are a great alternative to elevators. They don’t have any moving parts and don’t require weekly maintenance. You also do not have to pay for the electricity to run them, and they’re always working, day and night.
That being said, they most definitely need some periodic maintenance; otherwise, you’ll have a big expense on your hands. Either you’ll get sued by someone who fell down your staircase or you will end up in the hospital after falling down your own stairs.
Many people choose iron-based precast staircases for their durability and longevity; however, iron does corrode over time, especially in wet weather. Besides the obvious falling hazard, who wants an unsightly rusting staircase devaluing their property?
Tips on How to Protect Your Exterior Iron Stairs
At Capital Deck & Stair, we’ve applied our 30 years of experience in both waterproofing and installing iron-based precast staircases to give you our six best staircase maintenance tips.
Tip One – Be Proactive and Look for Early Signs of Step Damage
Keep a close eye on your stair treads for signs of damage. This could be a stair tread that feels loose under your feet or has cracks appearing on the surface. Repairs at this early stage are usually quick and inexpensive. This is the time to call in the experts so that minor problems don’t become major problems.
Tip Two – Inspect Your Outdoor Iron Stair Railing for Signs of Rust or Paint Flaking
It doesn’t take very long for rust to set in, so make sure the protective coating on your stair railing isn’t started to crack or flake off. The intense heat in the summer causes expansion and contraction of the iron railing so paint and other protective coatings can start to crack and then flake off when people’s hands are gripping the railing.
Tip Three – Check the Handrails to See That They Are Not Coming Loose from Their Mountings
Handrails can sometimes become loose from excessive use or poorly attached mountings. Make sure your railings are firmly attached to the wall or wherever they are mounted.
Tip Four – If You Have Metal Stairs, Inspect the Holes in the Treads
Some outdoor metal stairs have treads that are perforated to allow water to drain through. These small holes are often the first places to show signs of rust. Look for holes that have begun to rust or holes where the protective coating is starting to flake off.
Tip Five – Go Beneath Your Stairs and Inspect Them from Below
It’s not enough to just examine the stairs as you’re walking up and down the staircase. You could have unseen damage right under your feet, beneath the staircase. If space permits, poke your head underneath the staircase to see if you notice any signs of damage or rust. Just be careful to watch your head.
Tip Six – Consider Waterproofing Your Iron Staircase
Waterproofing exterior stairs will extend the life of your stairs and the iron railings and help prevent water damage. This is especially important if you have iron stairs outdoor that are exposed to the elements.
If you see any of these signs of damage, or just want an estimate on waterproofing or upgrading your staircase, give us a call at 424-339-0953. We service Los Angeles and Orange County.
Smart Solutions to Prevent Staircase Slip and Falls
Anyone who has ever lived or worked in a building without an elevator knows the pitfalls of a staircase. Besides providing extra and sometimes unwanted exercise, staircases can be a falling hazard.
Fortunately, for property owners who regularly maintain their stairs, little can be done if someone, through their own misstep, falls down the stairs. Climbing stairs, after all, does require some amount of care. If a handrail is provided and the stairs are well-maintained, the owner or manager shouldn’t be held liable.
For the record, since we are waterproofing contractors and installers of fiberglass and iron staircases and not lawyers, we advise you to check with your insurance company, just in case.
It’s Just Good Common Sense to Keep Your Staircase Well-Maintained
The exception to the above is if your stairs are not well-maintained or are slippery—that’s where you can run into legal problems. Stairs, after all, require a stair safety protocol. If you let a known problem persist on your staircase without addressing it, you run the risk of being held liable for significant damages due to your neglect. This is a legal concept known as “premises liability.”
Practice Stair Safety and Don’t Let Your Staircase Become a Falling Hazard
Items left on stairs—like balls, children’s toys, and food—are all easy to slip on. These stair hazards are a reality for anyone with a staircase, no matter how well it has been maintained. Ensuring your staircases are free of hazardous objects is something that anyone can do.
Other stair hazards, however, will require professional help. These include fixing broken or chipped stairs, loose stair treads, and stairs that are slippery.
Should I Replace or Repair a Damaged Fiberglass Staircase?
Whether you will need a brand-new staircase or just a repair will depend on several factors. You will definitely need to have each of your fiberglass steps inspected by an expert before an estimate can be given and the appropriate choices made. If you are upgrading your property, you might decide to update the look with a brand-new staircase, instead of repairing the old.
Maintain Your Stairs so You Don’t Have to Replace Them
For more than 30 years, our experts at Capital Deck & Stair have been waterproofing staircases to help prevent them from becoming a slip and fall hazard. Our waterproofing specialists can advise you on whether your stairs need waterproofing, general maintenance, or replacement.
If You Are in Need of a New Staircase, Then You Have Several Options
Magnesite and fiberglass staircases provide exceptional performance and durability, as well as aesthetics. The advantage of these types of stairs is that they are impact-resistant and durable and strong, and they provide a clean and classic look.
Precast and iron-based staircases are sturdy, durable, low-maintenance, long-lasting, and aesthetically pleasing. The stair treads are also easily replaceable if one of them gets damaged.
Taking the First Step to Fix Your Outdoor Stairs
If you are in need of a staircase repair or a brand new staircase, our experts will walk you through each step of the process to determine your staircase needs.
We can also send out one of our staircase specialists to evaluate your existing structure to determine whether it’s suitable for a precast and iron staircase or a brand new set of fiberglass stairs.
If you’re in Los Angeles or Orange County, give us a call at 424-339-0953 and we’ll give you a free estimate.
Most people don’t think twice before climbing up or down a set of stairs, but the truth is a lot of thought and careful consideration needs to go into how a set is designed in order to ensure they are safe. Stairs that are too steep or don’t give you enough space to place your feet (a surface known as “tread”) could potentially lead to slips or trips and falls, which often mean injury. The risk is even greater for outdoor stairs where water from rain could make stairs slippery and even more risky. On this blog, we’ll go over what need to be taken into consideration in order for a set of stairs to be safe so you can make good decisions when remodeling or resurfacing your stairs .
Anatomy of a Set of Stairs
A simple set of stairs isn’t too complicated. Think of stairs as the hypotenuse of a right triangle, with the horizontal length of the set of stairs being one side and how far up they climb being the other. Of course there are rounded or spiral stairs, but many of the principles are essentially the same.
Each step over the distance between the top and the bottom has two dimensions: rise (how far up each step climbs) and run (how far forward each step carries you). These measurements on each step are extremely important because going too large or too small on either one of them could lead to serious issues, both with construction and with injury risk.
If the rise between steps is too steep, climbing the stairs will not only be extra tiring, but the risk for serious injury also increases in the event of a trip and fall. Not to mention, those who already have trouble climbing an average set of stairs may not even be able to successfully get up a set of stairs with too steep of a rise. However, too small of a rise and you’ll have to stretch the staircase out horizontally to have enough stairs to get to the correct height, which adds a ton to your construction costs and may not even be possible.
If the run between steps is too small, those climbing the stairs won’t have enough space to get a proper foothold, and that means a significantly greater risk of tripping or slipping and falling, especially when going down that set of stairs (though up is also certainly dangerous). Too wide of a run presents a similar problem to having too low of a rise: your stairs will have to increase in number, which means the staircase will increase in horizontal length to the point where it’s more expensive and may not even be possible to construct given your location.
Building a Safe Set of Stairs
So you need to build a set of stairs, and you want to make sure it’s done properly. What should you do? The first step is to learn more about local building codes to learn what the minimums and maximums are for stair rise and run in order for your building to adhere to safety requirements. In California, the rise between stairs cannot be less than four inches and cannot be more than seven and a half inches. The run of each stair cannot be less than ten inches. As a result, California prefers that all staircases have an incline that measures between 30 and 37 degrees.
In addition, consistency between rises and is extremely important, as one step being significantly different from another is a huge trip-hazard for those going either up or down a set of stairs. California code says that the greatest rise cannot exceed the lowest rise and the largest run cannot exceed the shortest run by more than 3/8 of an inch.
The handrail that lines each set of stairs needs to be durable and capable of supporting a good amount of weight without buckling. The rail must be between 34 and 38 inches above the stair surface, measured from the furthest-forward point of each run, including any nosings. It’s strongly advised each rail have a minimum of four to six inches
Finally, there’s another parameter you need to consider, particularly on outdoor stairs: step surface. The surface of each step on a set of stairs should be constructed of a material that encourages grip, and when outdoors that means something that also needs to be durable and minimizes the impact that water can have on the surface. Many contractors will mix fine sand with the paint they coat the tops of these steps with and then use a durable sealant over this surface in order to prevent it from smoothing out or losing grip for as long as possible. Some people will even take things a step further and place a piece of high-visibility grip tape to make edges clearly visible.
Waterproofing a set of outdoor stairs also goes a long way to preserving them and preventing them from losing their structural integrity. Waterproofed stairs will last longer and be less prone to damage from the sun, rain, dew, and other elemental factors that are traditionally hard on anything left outside for long periods of time.
If you need your set of stairs waterproofed, call Capital Deck & Stair Waterproofing today at (310) 912-7737 to request a service estimate!
With the New Year rapidly approaching, you may be busy making your New Year resolutions and preparing to make transformations in your life. While your mind is on renewing old things and bringing them up to date, it’s important not to forget your home, and especially your deck.
In sunny California, the warm weather will be here sooner than you think, and it’ll be time for summer barbeques, splashing in the swimming pool, and spending long evenings on your deck. Why don’t you get a head start and schedule waterproofing services with our Los Angeles deck waterproofing professionals?
Waterproofing can help you refresh the look of a tired and worn out deck. It can also help you preserve your deck for many more years of enjoyment. Our waterproofing solutions are low-maintenance, which means less work and more fun for you. In addition to improving the look and safety of your home, a fresh coat of customized waterproofing can dramatically increase the value of your home or rental property.
We offer warrantied waterproofing service for:
- Garage floors
- Pool decks
- Walking decks
- Leisure decks
- Iron-based precast stairs
- Magnesite & fiberglass stairs
- Tread replacements
Your home’s safety, beauty, and upkeep are important to us. We offer a variety of resurfacing and waterproofing surfaces to help you maintain many surfaces around your property. All our waterproofing projects use superior materials to ensure that your deck is not only waterproof, but fire retardant and flexible to preserve your deck.
We offer custom blended colors at no additional cost, so your new waterproofing coat will blend seamlessly with your existing home and yard décor. We also work around your schedule, and we offer weekend and after-hours services to meet your needs. With multiple crews in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, we can offer quick, reliable service.
Get the advantage of more than 30 years of deck waterproofing experience for your home. Schedule a free estimate today , and one of our qualified waterproofing professionals will come to your home for an inspection.
Every part of your home should be a reflection of your personality and contribute to your vision of where you want to live, from the master bedroom and the living room to outside decks and patios. It is the outer portions of a home that are often overlooked, though, as people think a house is primarily what is on the inside. To truly create a home that fits exactly what you wanted, consider all the fine and forgotten details. In this blog entry, we discuss different types of outdoor stairs and how they can complement your deck .
Three outdoor stair designs that may interest you or complete your project perfectly are:
- Spiral stairs: If you do not have much space in your backyard, utilizing a spiral staircase can minimize the footprint of the entire design, allowing you to save deck space for other projects. Even space is not a concern, spiral stairs should still be considered when you want to add elegance to an outdoor deck, or perhaps complement circular designs throughout your home.
- Cascading stairs: When you have a large deck that you want to seamlessly blend into the surrounding yard, cascading stairs might be the way to go. Each step in a cascading staircase is generally quite shallow and broad, creating a look as if the deck is flowing, or cascading, down the ground. Cascading stairs are typically a finished wood, rather than metal or concrete, to further create the illusion that the naturally look of the yard is part of the deck.
- Traditional designs: A second-story deck for lounging or barbequing can look like the inside of a home has been placed on the outside. To complement this modern look, consider using a traditional staircase design that mimics the stairs you have inside your home. When constructed and finished correctly, this can really bring the look of an entire home together like none other.
Do you have questions about outdoor stair designs, installation, maintenance, or finishing? Capital Deck & Stair Waterproofing is here to help! Our Los Angeles stair waterproofing specialists have been working in the industry for more than 30 years, helping people with countless, complex deck and stair jobs for their homes and businesses. Contact us online to learn more about our services or to get a quote for your project.