Exterior Red Wood Stair Tread Cracks


Old 11-21-12, 04:09 PM
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Question Exterior Red Wood Stair Tread Cracks

I live in NY City- I have Red wood stair treads on my front porch.
They are about 25 years old- I have treated them with Thompsons since new.
They have developed small cracks- I filled them with wood filler.
The filler does not really hold for more than a year.
Any advice on a better method?
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Old 11-21-12, 05:22 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Wood by its nature will swell and contract with weather and the elements. As you have seen, trying to defeat mother nature with fillers is to no avail. It is called "checking" and is as normal as breathing. Of course severe checking that will cause problems with the leading edge may not be ideal, but small cracks are unavoidable. You may want to post pictures of what you have, so we can see what you see. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
Old 11-21-12, 06:38 PM
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That is the nature of the product. Twenty five years for an exposed piece of wood is a very long time. To have wood that is unpainted not to show any aging after that time is not to be expected. Exposer to rain and UV light is very damaging.
Old 11-22-12, 05:17 AM
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Thompson's WaterSeal usually doesn't last more than 6 months or so, so that might be part of the reason the filler fails. Generally on a deck/stairs that old it's best to use a solid body stain [resembles a thin paint] which you can get in a redwood color. Caulking the cracks/splits and painting with a solid stain should get you a longer lasting job.
Old 11-22-12, 05:21 AM
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I think the filler fails because it just isn't the right product for the job. A stair tread like that is going to experience many cycles of expansion and contraction every season from rain water. Filler isn't that flexible to withstand those changes.

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