Stair Building Ideas For Design And Construction

Sun Damage - Stairway Construction Problems

Sun damage is caused by heat from the sun. Some building materials deal better with heat than others. The picture below provides you with an excellent example of a wood stairway that is starting to suffer from sun damage.

Extreme Climates And Wood Sun Damage

I've seen lumber crack, split, shrink and even separate from the building, because of the heat from the sun. I've watched certain parts of a brand-new home, suffer and eventually fail, because of the weather.

What's worse than the sun is the combination of the heat and the cold. In the night temperatures can drop below freezing and then during the hotter parts of the day, can be well over 100°. This will cause lumber to expand and contract. Every single day, until it starts to develop cracks.

It isn't long before the small cracks turn into larger ones and then split. I've seen the ends of wood beams split and actually curl, if these splits continue, they can actually weaken the beam and cause it to fail.


Sun Damage And Maintenance

If you live in an area where temperatures during the day are often above 90°, for long periods, you will need to provide some type of protection for the building materials. Make sure that you paint and make the necessary repairs, when needed.

A few years ago I was in Arizona, where there was a stairway that was practically falling apart, because it wasn't maintained. This set of stairs was exposed to the sun, all day long and nobody cared.

I'm going to share a little secret with you, when I say that nobody cared, I guarantee you, that the property owner did. If that property owner didn't, I guarantee you that the next one did. It's a lot easier to buy 5 gallons of paint and hire a painter, to maintain a set sun damaged stairs. Than it is to remove and replace a set of stairs and then buy the paint and hire the painter, anyway.


Stairs / Stair Glossary

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