Repair Squeaky Stairs

Repair squeaky stairs is not difficult if the carpenter or handyman knows what to do and how to get this carpentry job done.Here are some tips and advice that will help you complete the task that is at hand.

The most common cause of squeaky stairs is a loose tread that rubs against other parts of the stairway. If the tread is separated from the riser (the vertical back board of each step), squeaking will result. Silenc­ing it is a relatively simple matter of determining how the tread and riser are assembled and then closing the gap where the two separate. Tech­niques for this include: nailing them down. gluing them together, insert­ing wedges between the gaps. and reinforcing the tread and riser with wooden blocks. Occasionally a tread may be rubbing on the carriage (the diagonal. terraced structure that supports the risers and treads).

To locate the exact spot that causes the squeak you have someone step on each tread and rock back and forth. Watch closely both the middle of the tread and the ends to deter­mine where the greatest movement occurs. Most squeaks can be elimi­nated from either above or below. If you can work from underneath the stairs because they rise over a closet or they parallel the basement stairs, fixing them is easier because you don't have to be concerned with the cosmetic effect.After you repair squeaky stairs.

NAILING/GLUING SQUEAKY TREAD

Have someone stand on the loose tread while you drill 3/32-inch pilot holes at opposing angles through the tread and into the riser at the point of the squeak. If the squeak is near the end of the tread. drill the holes into the carriage. Have the helper step off and apply a line of white wood glue between the tread and riser. Then insert two 8-penny fin­ishing nails and set them while the helper stands on the tread. If nails will not hold the tread, drill an 11/64_ inch pilot hole into the tread and a 3/32-inch hole into the riser. Then insert a No. 8 wood screw 21/2 inches, countersink it, and plug the hole with a piece of dowel with glue and press it into the joint between the tread and riser. Drive two nails into the riser and one up into the tread. Add as many blocks as are necessary. That may repair squeaky stairs.

REPLACING LOOSE WEDGES IN PREFAB STAIRS

Prefabricated stairs are built with wedges. If they come loose they can create squeaks. Simply split out the old wedge with a chisel and clean out the dried glue. Cut a new wedge to fit, coat the notch with glue, hammer the new wedge firmly into place. but not so hard that it lifts the tread.Where the wedges in prefabricated stairs no longer provide sufficient support, break them out and glue in new wedges.

WEDGING A LOOSE TREAD Remove quarter round molding if you have it. Determine the kind of tread joints by inserting a knife between the tread and riser. Whittle sharply pointed wedges an inch or two long and drive them into the gap between the tread and riser at the points shown. Insert them just enough to silence the squeak. To conceal the wedges. cut off the ends with a utility knife and replace or add quarter round molding in the joint.Thanks for reading this basic carpentry page on howto repair squeaky stairs