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Old 10-12-2012, 09:29 AM   #1
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trying to fix squeaking stairs...


my wife is driving me nuts complaining about our squeaking stairs. any ideas on how to stop the squeaking? i purchased squeeknomore which is basically scored screws that snap off after drilling. the problem is i don't think i can find my stringers.

i'm guessing there's one running down the middle but i'm not sure. there's actually a big crack in the riser on the left and i can look in and i don't see a stringer so i'm thinking maybe it's under the rail and i can't get to it. i think i can get to the stringer on the right side but again, maybe it's under the side boards (not sure about nomenclature here, i'm just a DIY guy).

maybe screwing the steps to the stringers isn't even the answer? any ideas?

also, i noticed that there are two little holes (in the third pic below) in a lot of the left hand risers so maybe someone tried to hammer them in to the stringers (but again, i'm not even sure there are stringers there). you can see the holes if you look at the pics closely.

the house is about 90 years old.

any help would be appreciated. if i can stop this squeaking i might get lucky tonight

thanks!
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:35 AM   #2
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trying to fix squeaking stairs...


Any access under the stairs?
Not going to be able to fix them from above without removing all that carpet.

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Old 10-12-2012, 09:38 AM   #3
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Any access under the stairs?
Not going to be able to fix them from above without removing all that carpet.
no access under the stairs. i thought of removing carpet but no way to do that without destroying carpet. the tool i have will drill beneath the carpet and not damage carpet, so if i knew where the stringer was under the carpet i could still screw through the carpet. i actually put a screw through the carpet (in the middle as i figured that's where the stringer might be) but it did not eliminate any of the squeaking.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:11 AM   #4
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trying to fix squeaking stairs...


You might try using a studfinder? Not sure it would work
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
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Stud finder not going to work.
For anything to work you have to figure out how it was built.
You say there's no access under them but is that because there's a closit and there's paster, sheetrock whatever under the stairs?
If so your going to have to open it up to see what's going on.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:26 AM   #6
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Stud finder not going to work.
For anything to work you have to figure out how it was built.
You say there's no access under them but is that because there's a closit and there's paster, sheetrock whatever under the stairs?
If so your going to have to open it up to see what's going on.
i think there is plaster and drywall. but even if i could see under the stairs, what would be causing the squeaking?
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:37 AM   #7
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trying to fix squeaking stairs...


Wood to wood contact. Cracked stringer, not enough fastners, loose fastners.
Any new stair case the treads would have likly have tar paper or constrution adhesive under the treads to prevent wood to wood contact.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:39 PM   #8
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trying to fix squeaking stairs...


I consider squeaky stairs an added security feature. 2am, stairs squeaking, grab your weapon of choice and go investigate. Has your wife considered this approach?
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:58 PM   #9
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trying to fix squeaking stairs...


I could be wrong but the stairs look like full mortise stairs to me. If they are the treads and risers are mortised into the stringers on each side and more than likely no center stringer, but it is possible to have a center stringer but it is a guess without looking under. If that is a full mortise, the treads and risers have wedges underneath, that tighten them up and over time the wedges will shrink, wear or just loosen up. To find out if it is a full mortise stairs look closely at the ends of the treads and risers, can you tell if they recess back into the carriage or stringer on each side?
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:19 PM   #10
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trying to fix squeaking stairs...


That was my first thought too Jim. Those stairs look pretty old to me.

It looks like there's a little smile in the center of the treads as if there's no center stringer support.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:34 PM   #11
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I'm just not seeing a mortised tread, sure looks like they stop at the skirts on my monitor.
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Old 10-12-2012, 06:38 PM   #12
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Yes, they are recessed on each side? What do you suggest my next steps are (no pun intended)?
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:05 PM   #13
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trying to fix squeaking stairs...


I see that smile also Ron, hopefully it is the carpet worn or mashed down, the riser should be supporting the back of the tread and the next riser down should support the tread under the front.

The best way to tighten the treads and risers would be from underneath where you can put glue on the wedges and drive them in tighter. Right off hand I can't think of a correct way to tighten the treads from above, not saying there isn't a way where it would look good.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:51 PM   #14
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trying to fix squeaking stairs...


for the age it very well could be a houses stringer as its more commonly known.. depending on the area they can be very common.

in ontario its nearly all thats used in custom new home construction

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