Most of you reading this probably know someone who has fallen down the stairs. In the US, there are over one million injuries each year from stairway falls. And the second leading cause of accidental injury throughout the country is from stairway accidents—just behind motor vehicle accidents. It’s reported that about 12,000 accidental stairway deaths occur each year, and it’s not just the elderly that are in this category. When you fall down the stairs, you add the force of your weight to the momentum of the fall, possibly causing major injuries. Utah code requires homes to have handrails in all locations with four or more steps, which shows the importance of safe stairways. During the winter months, it’s especially crucial to have your outside steps free of debris, straight and level, and with a sturdy handrail.
It’s common for homes to settle over time, creating unlevel concrete around the home. In many cases this isn’t a foundational concern, but it can still cause issues. You’ll see these issues most likely on porches, patios, and stairways that are fixed to the home. When leveling issues occur on concrete, it can be a tripping hazard anywhere, but this is especially hazardous on stairways. Sometimes you’ll see an entire step that has sunk, which creates an uneven step-to-step experience. This may not seem like a big deal, but if you’re walking those stairs in the dark or in icy conditions, the unequal depths can be confusing, creating a problem with the foot-to-brain messaging. It’s also common for steps to sink on one side and raise up on the other. If the sinking is severe enough, the steps will eventually crack and create an even bigger hazard, which over time will only get worse.
On many older homes, it was common for concrete steps to be poured much narrower and steeper than they would be now. These stairs are especially tricky and require you to move much slower. If you have larger feet, you know the struggles of going down these stairs. It’s a good idea to replace steps of this style with a safer option with wider steps and a gentler decline/incline.
For business owners, fixing stairs cannot be put off long at all. If you have a customer fall on your property’s stairs, you will be liable for their injuries. The stairs at your property see a lot more traffic than at a residence, so you must stay on top of maintenance and keep a close eye on any damages.
If you see any lifting, sinking, or cracking on your stairway, contact Lift Right Concrete today. We offer free evaluations and assess varying approaches. Sometimes we can level it out and it’s relatively simple, and sometimes you may need a new pour. Our honest team will ensure the fix is the best for the issue at hand and won’t up-sale you on something you don’t really need. During these critical winter months with slick pavements and slushy snowfall, get your concrete issues addressed so you, your guests, and your customers can feel safe walking up and down your stairways.