How to Repair Deck Stairs

Deck stairs carry more traffic than any other part of the deck so they are often the first to feel the strain. Repairing deck stairs is not especially difficult because you will have the old, broken part to use as a template and the new part will fit.

Step 1 – Examine the Broken Part

Before making a replacement part you should check the broken part in case the design caused the break. For example, a stair tread might have been too thin.

Step 2 – Make the New Part

By measuring the gap and using the broken part as a template, make a replacement part exactly the same size.

Step 3 – Fit the New Part into Place

Fit the new part into place and check that the deck stairs are fully serviceable. Go up and down the stairs a few times making sure there is no unusual play in the deck and stair structure.

Step 4 – Stringers Also Break

Although it is the treads that usually break first it is possible for the stringers to break. Replacing these is just as simple, though.

Step 5 – Check the Damage

Look at the damage and see what can be done. Because the stringer supports all the stairs it is not so easy to remove it while the new one is made. The stringer can be measured accurately enough, however, to enable the cutting out of a new one.

Step 6 – Replace the Stringer

Replace the damaged stringer by using the new one to support the steps as the broken stringer is removed.

Step 7 – Check the Stairs

Now that you have replaced one broken part you should examine the rest of the deck stairs to make sure that there are no other treads or stringers looking in danger of breaking.

Step 8 – Check the Rails

If there has been enough traffic to affect the stairs it would be just as well to check the rails that are attached to the stairs in case they have also been weakened. Even the rails are very easy to repair. Remove a damaged rail and replace it with a new one copied from the damaged rail.

Step 9 – Seal and Varnish any New Parts

New steps and risers should be protected with a coat of sealant and a coat of varnish.

Spring Cleaning

If the varnish on the old stairs is looking a bit tired, this is probably a good time to start on the spring cleaning. Rub down the surfaces and remove as much of the old varnish as possible. Apply sealant to all the surfaces first and wait for it to dry. Once the sealant is dry you can apply the varnish and return some of the light airy atmosphere.