Cedar steps breaking at edge

My deck is cedar wood, very nice and all, but the steps (also cedar) do not seem strong enough - there is an inch of overhang, and stepping there a lot seems like it will break them. Already a few have cracked. Is there a solution to this? Can I screw an inch thick strip right under the lip as support, or is the lip there for good reason?
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| My deck is cedar wood, very nice and all, but the steps (also cedar) | do not seem strong enough - there is an inch of overhang, and stepping | there a lot seems like it will break them. Already a few have cracked. | Is there a solution to this? Can I screw an inch thick strip right | under the lip as support, or is the lip there for good reason? |
no................3/4" piece not 1". or install a 3/4" scotia molding.................looks better.
the lip is there for good reason.
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Best solution is to run the deck boards the other direction so the ends are projecting over the riser instead of having the edge grain running parallel to it.
The supporting strip of moulding may help, but unless the risers are stronger material than cedar, it's likely over time it will move enough to not provide sufficient resistance. May prevent a complete break-off, however.
One problem w/ the "alternative direction" solution in the retrofit is will probably have to fit in an additional joist in the other direction for support -- it's always better if the problem is foreseen during initial construction.
The other alternative is to replace the treads with a stronger material....you don't mention the thickness of the decking. Thicker decking on all would keep the same step height but might have to adjust first and last to keep the uniformity within code.
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If the edge is not bullnosed or radiused begin there as a square edge will splinter away.
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I've not had to deal with cedar steps like this, but have with PT 2x lumber. The 2x PT seems perfectly adequate to handle the abuse of an inch or so overhang. I suspect cedar usually is too, but depending on the thickness, grade, age and abuse patterns, it may be more susceptable.
Except the one time I slipped on ice and fell right on the edge[+] - I'm posting simply to mention how I repaired it the inch wide chunk of PT that split off...
Used a weatherproof glue (titebond III I think) to glue the chunk back on, and while the glue was still wet, drove a line of 3" treated screws straight in from the nose of the step thru the split.
You could use screws to reinforce the edges _before_ it splits.
Yes, the screw heads are visible. You could glue on nosing if that's objectionable. Or, drive screws diagonally from the bottom edge of the step. Predrill will probably be necessary.
[+] butt first on the very edge of the step. Ouch! I figured I cracked my tailbone, and I was virtually paralyzed by pain for over an hour... The SO didn't even notice that I crawled in thru the back door and expired in the middle of the kitchen floor groaning plaintively... ;-)
--
Chris Lewis,

Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
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