I'm rebuilding my wooden porch stairs, which aren't covered, so I'm
thinking about the details for proper shedding of rain water. A
Is there any problem with sloping the stair treads 1% downward from
back to front? I'm wondering if that would be a safety issue, as far
as people slipping off the stairs. Sloping side to side doesn't work
for me, as stairs are captive between a knee wall and the house.
Second, what's the best way to handle the tread/riser intersection to
avoid trapping water? I've been thinking of running each riser behind
the tread in front of it, and then leaving an 1/8" horizontal gap
between the tread and the riser. Not sure if this is a good idea.
Here's a couple more details, in case they are important. Beneath the
porch and stairs is a ventilated crawl space interconnected with the
house crawl space. The porch is surrounded by knee walls and the house
on three sides, so the porch deck is sloped 1% towards the stairs for
What you using for material?
Nothing wrong w/ the riser behind the tread as long as you leave
adequate room for the step width. Using thinner material there is
One way to help w/ water accumulation is to not use wide material for
the treads -- instead of a single tread or 2x6-size material, use 2x4
and leave gap between them. If using 2x or 5/4 decking material, be
sure to orient individual boards so end grain direction is downward.
This will ensure what cupping does occur will be such as to not be
upward but downward, also helping to shed water.
For traction, do not use glossy-finish paint or similar finishes.
Depending on how wet your area is, may need to do something to the
surface to prevent buildup of moss, etc., as sounds like the area may
be shaded a great deal of the time.
There's always the ultimate possibility of going w/ one of the
abrasive tread products and inlaying or applying it. In the extreme,
there's the preformed extruded metal grate step or similar if it's a
I've never used the material and as far as I'm aware I have no
acquaintances who have used it for decks so I don't have a clue how
good/bad the Trex, etc., manmade materials are for slickness...
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