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5 To-Dos For Keeping Your Steel Stairs Shiny and Strong

June 13, 2018

Compared to the most common material for making stairs, wood, steel stairs are far more robust in every respect. Stronger, lighter (for the same load bearing capacity), they are unaffected by spills and shrug off wear and tear with aplomb. What's more, steel stairs offer tremendous opportunities to express your design and creative streak.


However, whether your steel stairs are part of your house or duplex condo, or whether they serve a purely utilitarian purpose as a fire exit, steel stairs do require some maintenance to keep them in shape and prevent corrosion. In this article we look at a simple maintenance regimen, as well as how steel stairs can be damaged over time.


Steel stairs are extremely robust but water can cause rusting if allowed to stand. Which is why having a coat of paint or seal is a good idea.


Paint or seal – A coat of paint will make steel stairs far more resilient to rusting and corrosion. With the advancements in paints and coats, you can opt for a colour which suits your décor and ambience or seek out a clear finish, which protects your steel stairs but preserves their raw industrial look.


Water – Spills and occasionally being drenched in water will have no effect on steel stairs, but over a prolonged period contact with water will cause rusting. Whereas minor or only cosmetic at first, if allowed to spread, rust will reduce the structural strength of steel stairs. The simplest trick to avoiding this? Keep your steel stairs dry. Or, better yet, follow point 1 above and give them a protective seal.


Cleaning – If you opted for steel stairs with aesthetic features such as grooves, ridges or holes, chances are you will start to see debris build up in these openings. If a simple vacuum can clean this up, great! Next, try a brush to dust them clean. Otherwise, don’t be afraid to break out the power wash and rinse down the stairs. Just remember to dry them after, promptly. Avoid industrial strength power washes, these can take the powder coating finish and paint off your steel stairs.


Removing rust – If you do see rust build up, chances are, if it’s not too widespread, that it is purely cosmetic. Sand away the rust, clean the surface and apply a protective coat or paint.


Loose bolts – This is a rare occurrence. Typically, when an experienced builder and installation of steel stairs installs them, the bolts are confirmed tight and there are few reasons why nuts and bolts would come loose. Call your installer to check the stairs for an endemic problem, and your installer may discover some other cause for fastening coming loose.