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Old 03-16-2009, 09:01 PM   #1
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Basement Stairs Repair


My basement stair assembly is mounted to a cinderblock wall on one side, by concrete nails driven into the block. Apparently there is moisture leaking from the wall ( or condensation collecting and running between the wall and stair rail ). This moisture is causing the bottom 2 foot of the stair to rot and weaken. I there any way to disassemble the stairs and splice a new side piece in, or is it necessary to replace the whole thing.?

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Old 03-16-2009, 10:05 PM   #2
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Basement Stairs Repair


Is this a rough basement staircase with open stringers and 2x12 treads or a finished staircase with the treads dadoed into the stringers and 5/4" thick treads?
Either can be done, it just takes more finess with the latter scenario.
In either case I would isolate the new stringer from the concrete wall.
Ron

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Old 03-17-2009, 12:52 PM   #3
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Basement Stairs Repair


Ron, The staircase is fully enclosed and cut into the side piece. Is it possible to just dissassemle the bottom 2 steps and splice in a new side piece or stringer ( whatever its called ) I have average DIY skills and tools. If i get too involved in dissassembly i will have to remove all the drywall on both sides of the steps, as it's a finished stairwell. Tim
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:58 PM   #4
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Basement Stairs Repair


The side pieces, the stringers, carry the weight of the treads and the people who put weight on these steps. The length of this stringer carries this weight from the top framing to the concrete floor. If you cut the stringer, you will need to install vertical studding, as in a wall , from top to bottom to support the cut stringer and the replacement piece.
If you think you can repair the stringer and maintain the structural integrety of the stairsace, go ahead. You'll need a router to recreate the notch for the tread and riser.
Ron
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Old 03-17-2009, 10:36 PM   #5
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Basement Stairs Repair


Ron, The current stringer is rotted at the base, so i believe most of the weight is borne by the side stringer nailed into the concrete block wall. Thats why i thought i might be able to splice a new piece in. Is it possible to dissassemble the steps ? How are steps held together ? Fasteners. glue ? Is this feasable, or should i just get a contractor to replace the whole assembly. Another problem is the fact the landing at the top of the steps is at a right angle to the stairwell, so i dont see how i can even put a preassembled stairway in there without removing a kitchen wall. I guess i could also build a support structure under the existing steps. as i have full access underneath the steps. This one has me stumped ! Maybe i just need to find a experienced carpenter to piece it together. As i was recently laid off, i have more time than money !!
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Old 03-18-2009, 07:08 AM   #6
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Basement Stairs Repair


You can disassemble the treads and risers from under the staircase. You'll see a series of wedges under the treads and behind the risers. They are usually glued it and tacked with a finishing nail. If you can't get them out intact, don't worry as you can make replacements pretty easily.
Once you take out the wedges, the treads and risers will just slide out the back of the staircase.
This is a do able project if you're handy and understand where you need to place the supports under the stairs.
When you place the new wood, isolate it from the concrete using plastic or tar paper, so moisture won't be an issue again.
Ron

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