A home could have many hidden hazards, but the interior stairs shouldn't be one of them. Steps can be dangerous for everyone, not just small children or the elderly. Therefore, before buying or selling a house, check to make sure the stairway components are in working order, and there aren't any structural weaknesses that could pose a future problem.
A home inspection is a great tool for finding hidden flaws, and some simple maintenance and repairs could provide an easy fix.
Staircase safety tips for every home
This feature of a house is surprisingly dangerous, and even if the steps are in good shape, trips and falls could happen. Every year, nearly one in three adults over 65 years old falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because of this, it is crucial that a home have proper safety features in place.
Some of the most common problems, besides items left lying around, are broken tread, loose carpeting, low-quality or nonexistent handrail, or uneven steps, the U.S. Department of Energy stated. All of these elements are highly preventable, and should be fixed immediately.
When a home is built, the staircases may not be designed up to a high-enough quality. Check to make sure the height between each individual step is correct, and that the stairs are level and haven't warped or cracked over time.
In addition, carpeted staircase could rip and tear, creating tripping hazards. Any uneven surfaces should be quickly fixed. Replace a carpet if it loses its grip and starts to slide across a step, as well. Handrails are crucial for stair safety, and different states have building codes that dictate placement. Regardless, there needs to be one and it has to be in working condition.
A property inspection can identify problems with a home's internal stair components.
Repair tips and maintenance
Whatever the problem, solutions for stair safety are a must. Not only is a squeaky staircase annoying, it could signal larger issues. When fixing a step, the plaster and paneling around it needs to be removed, according to Old House Journal. Sometimes, additional support boards have to be removed - those should always be put back when the job is done.
Individual steps are often held secure by wedges, not nails or screws. Take a look at the underside of the staircase, because these can come loose or fall out. If this is the case, they can be hammered back into place.
Overall, replace any broken elements. With good lighting and a solid foundation, a staircase won't become a home hazard.