Unfortunately, timber staircases are known to sustain a little damage over time due to frequent use and old age in general. Luckily for you, it is possible to fix most of the damage that your staircase may have developed, and you won’t even need to call in the professionals to do it! Follow these directions to repair some of the more common forms of damage in timber:
• Broken, frayed, chipped and cracked treads
The main reason that the treads of your timber staircase will sustain damage is because they haven’t been covered. Even then, you will probably notice that the nosing has sustained the most damage. Simply remove the damaged portion of the tread, use a jigsaw to cut out a section of new wood that is the same size, and screw or glue it into place. You should also think about covering the nosing so that this same problem does not occur in the future. You can do this with carpet or with a special nosing protector strip.
• Squeaking steps
There are a number of issues that can cause the steps in your timber staircase to squeak. Are the glue blocks properly positioned between the tread and the riser (you need two per step)? If you find a missing or loose block, be sure to replace it with a brand new one. Are the wedges still in good condition? If they are loose or worn, they will need to be replaced with a new one. If you cannot get access to the underneath of your staircase, you could try driving a screw down through the tread and into the top of the riser. See if this stops the squeaking.
• Broken or loose handrails and balusters
If this sort of damage goes unchecked, you could find that your timber staircase is subjected to even more damage. Look for small gaps and openings in the handrails and balusters. To fix these, simply place some glue into the crack and use clamps to hold it all together. For larger cracks or openings, insert a piece of dowel that has been cut to size and glue it into place. If the damage is irreparable, you could simply replace that section of handrail or that single baluster.
In some cases, there is nothing that you can do to prevent your timber staircase from sustaining damage. Squeaking steps and loose balusters, for example, are issues to arise due to old age. Fortunately, by fixing these problems yourself, you can ensure that your staircase lasts you for a number of extra years and that you are not out of pocket for something that took five minutes to repair.