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Old 09-05-2018, 12:55 PM   #1
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leveling stairs without shims


btw, not really leveling. more like getting the right slope.


my front steps hold water and leak. under the steps is storage that needs to stay dry. the plan is to use a polyurethane sealant and deck coat (not sure, maybe Permathane SM7108 and Elasto-Deck 5000 X2) to seal them up. but i still need to deal with the standing water.

ideas i've had:

use something like plastic wood to level the stairs. this would go over existing paint and hopefully bond ok. i don't think the total volume that needs to be leveled (about 6 steps only in left corners) is more then a gallon volume.

cut a "trough" that looks decent near the corners. then apply sealant. i don't know what tool would do a decent job on this or how it would be done to not look like a hack.

i think taking the stairs apart and shimming, or whatever would be done, is a ton of work. the stairs are kind of tightly build in. cramped space.

luckily the part that holds water is off to the side and does not get a a lot of wear.


thx for any ideas
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Last edited by cporro; 09-05-2018 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:51 PM   #2
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Re: leveling stairs without shims


Not enough of a picture to tell but is it possible to trim/lower the bottom of your stringer where it meets the ground to make the treads drain forward?


Have you put a level on your post and balusters in that area to see if they are plumb?


Your design will dictate what you can do. I would try to tweak the entire assembly and not mess with individual steps.
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Old 09-05-2018, 01:52 PM   #3
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Re: leveling stairs without shims


Ever consider a belt sander and just sand down the steps while sloping them down an 1/8" towards the nosing ? The edges will of course, have to be done with a edging sander, all rentable type tools. JMO
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Old 09-05-2018, 02:04 PM   #4
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Re: leveling stairs without shims


The cheap and easy would be to just drill a hole th the corner assuming the stairs aren't closed in underneath.
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Old 09-05-2018, 02:19 PM   #5
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Re: leveling stairs without shims


O P says the steps have storage under them that needs to be kept dry.
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Old 09-05-2018, 03:51 PM   #6
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Re: leveling stairs without shims


Well...I thought I read all of it.

You certainly can caulk all of the joints but as you mentioned that doesn't deal with the standing water. There's nothing in a can that will fix that.

You really only have a couple of choices.

1) cut down the bottom of the stringers to drop the entire stair as mentioned
or
2) remove the treads and risers and either shim up the back or cut down the run portion of the stringer.

I'd lean for cutting the bottom and dropping the entire stair. R&R of the treads and risers without damaging anything 'may' (or may not) be a challenge.

A picture standing back showing the entire area may help.
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:44 PM   #7
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Re: leveling stairs without shims


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregsoldtruck79 View Post
Ever consider a belt sander and just sand down the steps while sloping them down an 1/8" towards the nosing ? The edges will of course, have to be done with a edging sander, all rentable type tools. JMO

best idea so far. sand and check with a level. hmmm...
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:53 PM   #8
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Re: leveling stairs without shims


Can we see some wide angled pics of the stairs from the top & bottom?
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Old 09-05-2018, 06:12 PM   #9
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Re: leveling stairs without shims


Quote:
Originally Posted by cporro View Post
best idea so far. sand and check with a level. hmmm...
Not so much imo. You only have 3/4" of material there. If you sand off a 1/4" of it so it will drain you only end up with a 1/2" or so of nosing material that takes a lot of abuse.

Not to mention the fact that 'belt sander art' is a bit tricky at the least.

What do you want it to look like when you're done?
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Old 09-06-2018, 12:35 PM   #10
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Re: leveling stairs without shims


Nail a panel to the bottom of the stairs.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Palruf-2...0423/100038031

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Old 09-06-2018, 12:43 PM   #11
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Re: leveling stairs without shims


other pics per request. light part is where water stands.
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Old 09-06-2018, 12:45 PM   #12
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Re: leveling stairs without shims


probably only need 1/8" off. according to my level. water standing in corner of step. less foot traffic there.
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Old 09-06-2018, 12:46 PM   #13
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Re: leveling stairs without shims


still would get all kinds of water under stair enclosure. mad mold issues. floor wet and anything on floor wet.
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Old 09-06-2018, 12:49 PM   #14
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Re: leveling stairs without shims


Looks like it would be hard to adjust the stringers. If it was mine and treads were easily removable I would personally shim the treads. Shims and construction adhesive should do it.
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Old 09-06-2018, 03:00 PM   #15
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Re: leveling stairs without shims


Thanks for the picture...

I agree with rrmccabe...Even if you damaged some treads and had to replace them it would still be worth the effort and that along with caulking the joints would solve that problem.
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