Repair or replace stairs?
If your staircase gets damaged you need to think if it’s a serious problem and evaluate the damage. After you do this you will know if you need to replace or repair the stairs. Here’s how you can determine what you should do.
Evaluate the stairs. See if there are any large cracks or holes. If there are only some small ones, then use some wood putty to fill them. After this you will need to sand and repaint the damaged area and get the finish to look exactly like the one before.
Always apply a protective coat of polyurethane over the repaired areas. This will prevent rot and water damage and will also prevent it from physical damage. For the best results, use multiple coats.
If some treads have taken quite some damage because of wear or rot, then you should maybe replace those few damaged parts. There is no need to replace the entire stairway. Also balusters can be replaced without rebuilding the entire staircase.
When you replace these parts, make sure that the damage has not extended to other parts of the staircase. Inspection is very important. Also be careful not to damage the staircase further more when you make the repairs.
Total damage occurs when you have a serious water infiltration or a termite infestation. Then you should consider removing the stairs and rebuilding them. Try and save as many parts of the stair as possible. Also inspection is the key. You will need to assess the damage with great care because you do not want to throw your money off the window.
The most important structural components of the stairs are the runners. These should be your first clue for total stair replacement.
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