Need advice on cracked stair risers

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karlmanderson193
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Need advice on cracked stair risers

Post by karlmanderson193 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:25 am

Hello,

I've just ripped the carpet off my stairs for the first time and have discovered mostly all of the stair risers are cracked across the middle. The cracks go all the way through. I haven't been able to find much information about this online, so any help would be appreciated. I have added a pic of one of the stairs for an example, most of them are like this. I don't have any access to underneath the stairs as it's all been plaster boarded up, so removal of these looks difficult.
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stairrisers
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Firstly does this pose any structural risk? and secondly what is the best way to go about fixing it? Would wood epoxy or filler do the trick?

I was hoping to be able to sand all my stairs back and stain them

Thanks in advance
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ayjay
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Re: Need advice on cracked stair risers

Post by ayjay » Mon Jan 21, 2019 8:32 am

karlmanderson193 wrote:
Firstly does this pose any structural risk? and secondly what is the best way to go about fixing it? Would wood epoxy or filler do the trick?


Thanks in advance
I wouldn't really call it structural, but it's not good. The riser is fixed to the back of the tread and supports it. With no support here, the treads will creak and move, any filler will just crack up.

The only way to fix it, short of replacing the risers, (very invasive) is to put a ply cleat (glued and screwed) on the back of the riser to fully cover the crack.
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Re: Need advice on cracked stair risers

Post by karlmanderson193 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:56 am

ayjay wrote:
karlmanderson193 wrote:
Firstly does this pose any structural risk? and secondly what is the best way to go about fixing it? Would wood epoxy or filler do the trick?


Thanks in advance
I wouldn't really call it structural, but it's not good. The riser is fixed to the back of the tread and supports it. With no support here, the treads will creak and move, any filler will just crack up.

The only way to fix it, short of replacing the risers, (very invasive) is to put a ply cleat (glued and screwed) on the back of the riser to fully cover the crack.
Thank's for your reply, unfortunately I have no way of getting behind the risers to do this with it being plastered up, and I live in a local authority house so they are a bit funny with work being carried out, but the chances are they wont fix it and if they do it will be a bodge job, the other repairs they have done for me have been questionable to say the least.

All the stairs are indeed starting to creak and move, with the bottom 3 treads actually snapping away at the corners

As for the risers, filler would crack rather easy with the movement but what about something like Bondloc Wood Epoxy? Would that give it any additional flexibility over filler to work for this? It's the only other way I could see of doing it without access to behind the risers
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Re: Need advice on cracked stair risers

Post by Job and Knock » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:10 pm

In that case the only thing I can suggest is making-up a tightly fitting 6mm plywood facing for the front of that riser. The riser face can then be scraped/sanded back to show clean wood. The plywood can then be glued and pinned onto the face of the riser, ideally using a gap-filling adhesive, something like a cold hide glue (e.g. Elmers or Titebond). The problem is that you'll need to keep off that staircase for at least 12 (preferably 24) hours to ensure that the glue sets thoroughly. It may be possible to use a fast setting glue, such as Everbuild D4 PVA glue, but you still need to keep off that staircase until it has set thoroughly (or at least a couple of hours). The choice of glue for this is very important - ordinary PVA just won't do, PU glue will potentially blow itself off and RF glues and the like require pressure and cramping that will be all but impossible to achieve in this situation

This technique is not 100% guaranteed to work, but without access to the underside I doubt that there's much else I could recommend
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Re: Need advice on cracked stair risers

Post by ayjay » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:05 pm

Job and Knock wrote:In that case the only thing I can suggest is making-up a tightly fitting 6mm plywood facing for the front of that riser. The riser face can then be scraped/sanded back to show clean wood. The plywood can then be glued and pinned onto the face of the riser, ideally using a gap-filling adhesive, something like a cold hide glue (e.g. Elmers or Titebond). The problem is that you'll need to keep off that staircase for at least 12 (preferably 24) hours to ensure that the glue sets thoroughly. It may be possible to use a fast setting glue, such as Everbuild D4 PVA glue, but you still need to keep off that staircase until it has set thoroughly (or at least a couple of hours). The choice of glue for this is very important - ordinary PVA just won't do, PU glue will potentially blow itself off and RF glues and the like require pressure and cramping that will be all but impossible to achieve in this situation

This technique is not 100% guaranteed to work, but without access to the underside I doubt that there's much else I could recommend
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