Staircases have to endure an enormous amount of traffic which means that, over the years, they are subject to more wear and tear than other floor areas, especially for large families. Staircases in older homes have already had their fair share of footfall and are more prone to problems showing up. Caring for staircases is an important part of home maintenance, especially for older homes and those with larger families.
– Assessing the Situation
Before starting any maintenance job, you will have to consider the safety of your staircase. This will need a thorough inspection and you may need to obtain professional help. During an inspection, you may find problems that need immediate repairs as well as potential issues that need attention to prevent future problems. However, it may also serve as an inspiration to update or replace it entirely.
Whether you would like to simply repair your staircase or update it, here are a few tips to help you get the job done quickly and efficiently:
– Creaking or Damaged Treads
Treads are usually wedged in tightly to keep the stairs secure but over time heavy usage will loosen these wedges. Check each step for creaking and repair the gaps with appropriate wood chips and glue. Powdered graphite sprinkled into the seams between the tread and the riser at the back of the step will take care of squeaking.
– Keeping it Looking Good
Even older, original staircases that add an old-world charm need to be cleaned and refinished periodically to keep them looking good. Give the wood a light sanding and use the appropriate finishing to restore it to newness.
– Loose Railings, Balusters, and Posts
Remove any loose railings, balusters or posts, clean them and replace them by tightening them securely. If some are broken they will have to be repaired by a professional or replaced with a custom designed replacement.
Clean banisters with warm soapy water, dry thoroughly, and if necessary, re-varnish or re-paint them to keep them looking new.
– Carpeted Stairs
It is important to keep carpeted stairs clean by vacuuming them daily. They should be cleaned regularly by a professional carpet cleaning company to get rid of all ingrained dirt that gets trapped in the fibers of the carpet. Sand and grit that is continually agitated when trodden deeply into the carpet will eventually cut through the fibers, making them threadbare. Use a powerful vacuum cleaner with a turbo tool to loosen the grit and suck up every trace of dirt.
With regular maintenance your staircases will last longer and look great.