Stairs are an integral part of any home or business having more than one level. However, not all home or business owners prioritise maintenance of stairs until it’s too late, often focusing more on the entryway floors instead. But stairs are subject to a lot of traffic and subsequent wear-and-tear just as much as the floors.
This wear and tear are accelerated by heavy traffic or being exposed so for areas with heavy traffic such as stairs in commercial establishments like “The Block Arcade” in Melbourne. For an establishment that’s been operating since 1892, you’d see how Melbourne’s historic commercial building has maintained every aspect of its architecture, including its stairs; a testament as to how regular maintenance goes a long way.
Whether they’re commercial stairs or the staircase at home, here are tips you’ll want to know in stair maintenance:
Before you worry about aesthetics, you have to keep safety as your priority. Over time and usage, treads may start to crack, and wedges may loosen (resulting in a creaking noise when stepped on). One should check each step carefully and watch for creaking. The earlier they’re repaired, the more likely they don’t need to be replaced. Loose railings, posts, and balusters (the short pillars or column supporting the rail) should also be part of the structural check. After an overall inspection, if it’s seen that there is extensive structural damage, replacing and re-designing the stairs would be the safer option, and might even be cheaper than restoring the worn staircase.
Whenever you clean your staircase, always start from the top and work your way downwards, like dirt, dust, and other objects would fall from one step to another as you clean. You should also take into consideration the material used for the stairs: hardwood or non-carpeted stairs are easier to clean compared to carpeted stairs and only require a broom or a brush, whereas carpeted stairs require vacuuming and thorough cleaning by the crevices (which may require narrower attachments for the vacuum cleaner). Balusters should also be cleaned regularly even though it doesn’t collect as much dust as the treads.
Once you’ve done maintaining the structural integrity and cleanliness of a staircase, it would be essential to focus on its visual qualities. By constant use, staircases, despite having safe and functional parts will inevitably degrade visually. May it be a dented baluster or a tread that has started to discolour due to being more constantly exposed to sunlight, these parts would need to either be restored or replaced altogether to keep the overall appeal of the staircase. Commercial establishments would have to pay particular attention to this as it affects the establishment’s aesthetic, and customers might even see a discoloured tread or dented baluster as a sign of an unsafe staircase.
Maintaining your staircase is just as integral as the stairs themselves. Damaged or poorly-maintained stairs would prohibit access, and may even be the cause of accidents. So make sure to keep these tips in mind the next time you do your home or business’ regular cleaning and maintenance.