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Repairing concrete steps?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Stilettoprefer, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    Okay, so these steps are the main entrance to the house and the middle one is falling apart to the point that it is a safety hazard. Has been for years.

    ImageUploadedByTalkBass1405767744.264536. ImageUploadedByTalkBass1405767759.085990.

    It's not my house, but my father has been putting it off for way too long and I've seen a lot of people fall on this step and more material keeps chipping off. My ex actually lost a toenail to it, my moms fallen on it and I've slipped many times during wet season, just to name a few incidents.

    So great wise ones of TB: Is there any easy way to fix this?

    My theory is that if I come up with a good way to make this entryway safe, we can work on it together and finally fix an old problem. His birthday is in a week and materials + some father son bonding wouldn't be a bad gift. My mom is all for fixing it, btw.
  2. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Estimates are free. Have some qualified, professional concrete companies give you the story of repair/replacement. There is no easy fix and those steps will have to be removed and replaced and I'm sure it'll be expensive. Home ownership! Constant maintenance! Constant expenses!

    Safety is always first. If you think replacing those steps is too expensive, consider how expensive a law suit or a hospital visit or funeral expenses are.
  3. adi77

    adi77 Banned

    Mar 15, 2007
  4. Innocuous

    Innocuous In Memoriam

    May 5, 2014
    N. E. Ohio
    See the problem? You shouldn't go down the steps from this direction.
  5. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Topping cement. It has adhesive in it that binds it to old cement. However, the old has no adhesive. You can buy adhesive to paint on the old before topping to increase the bond. It'll last a couple of years before it begins to let go. :(

    Personally, I would overlay the steps with pressure treated 2x8 (perhaps 2x10 depending on the tread depth) wood held in place with tapcon (other name may be used where you are) screws. It would last longer than topping; perhaps decades. Go to HD or Lowes and ask about the tapcon (concrete) fasteners and the tool to drive them in (hammer drill). They'll rent them to you. They'll even cut the pressure treated lumber to size.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
    placedesjardins likes this.
  6. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    Given what you have to work with here I'd say the above post makes the most sense, topping is only a short term fix and more work than the PT wood steps. Ultimatly you would just excavate the existing steps and start over with new concrete but thats more work and expense.
  7. duff beer

    duff beer

    Dec 2, 2007
    I had a bad set of concrete stairs. I build a small deck with a set of wooden steps to cover them.
    edpal likes this.
  8. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    That's a pretty good idea for the OP's situation. Looking at his stairs they looked pretty darn narrow. They might only have to bust out the side concrete if the new treads would pass over the old stairs. Then sink some pressure treated 4X4s for the four corners and with two pre-cut stringers(Home Depot and others) and a few pressure-treated treads it could be pretty low cost and quick. $80 and 4 hours? Would have to give the concrete you put the 4X4s into overnight to really set up. And the 4X4's could be snagged off at good height for a bannister/rail.
  9. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    jack-hammer them out and replace w/PT and redwood lumber.
  10. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    Wood overlays is a good idea! Probably what I'll go for since nobody in the house can even think about affording new concrete. I have to go to Home Depot today anyways to try and find a bolt for my dirtbike, so I'll take some measurements and check out the pressure treated wood and tool rental.

    Thanks for the replies guys! When we start the project I'll take some progress pictures and make a build thread.
  11. You salt those steps a lot in winter?......salt can do a number on cement or concrete.

    Those steps could be fixed pretty easy......it'll take a bit of work but you can speed things up with a small air hammer jack. You don't have to take the entire steps out.

    Make sure to put some pieces of rebar in there......

    Don't ever use beach sand or salt water to mix cement/concrete.........the salt in the sand will make the cement go soft later.......and it will crumble.

    There's some houses out here on the coast that they built years ago...and tried to save money using beach sand for the foundations......

    Bad move......now you can basically just take a screwdriver and poke holes in it.....
  12. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I'd make a metal cap for all three steps out of some expanded metal and a little angle iron and lag it down.
    pacojas likes this.
  13. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    Salt is applied when it gets icy, so once every 3 years or so here in Oregon. The house is 100+ years old, things were done a bit differently back then and stuff starts to break down after so much use.

    We're gonna be doing pressure treated wood fastened down to the existing concrete with some sort of grippy stuff applied to the top of the wood for traction (probably roofing shingles) in the winter. It's the easiest and quickest solution that two machinists can do in an afternoon :D
    Phalex and edpal like this.
  14. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    you might want to pressure wash, then seal the concrete first.
  15. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010

    Good idea. Gonna have to clear the moss and built up crap anyways, might as well clean up the existing salt and whatnot. There's even a drain conveniently placed at the bottom of the steps!
  16. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    It looked like the old steps have settled and leaned back a little (I'm saying this from the staining,etc. and personal past experience with concrete steps). You might want to take some of that patching cement and use it to create a more level,or ever so slightly slanted downward at front, base for the pressure-treated. Just an 1/8" of an inch slope could make difference between a hip-breaking ice layer and good drainage. Sounds like you guys might drill and screw down the pressure-treated with cement screws like Tap-cons?

    \Good luck!
  17. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    You should just re-do those steps completely - add an extra step because, in their design, they are not friendly steps - too much rise. Take a sledge hammer to 'em and start again.

    Have a look at some of these and notice their height, or rise, and their depth, or run. Try and accommodate at least a large foot on the step and make the gradient as easy as possible.

    There's a golden mean with steps -

    Goes something like this. steps231. :thumbsup:
    pacojas and edpal like this.
  18. Darth Handsome

    Darth Handsome Banned

    Oct 1, 2010
    What the blazes are you talking about? Listen you, we both know there is only one option on how to demo those steps. I don't think you need me to post a picture of it either.
  19. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    You got that right.:D
    Darth Handsome likes this.
  20. Darth Handsome

    Darth Handsome Banned

    Oct 1, 2010

    Tom Bomb likes this.

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