Taking Care of Cedar Stairs

Cedarwood is commonly known for its aromatic properties which have therapeutic uses and health benefits. But it is also primarily used in woodwork due to its durability that can last for decades. 

It is considered as one of the most durable woods given its natural properties. 

Cedar usually grows in damp climates, which enhances the woods resistance to weather conditions.  

The oils and acids produced by the wood species not only make it aromatic but also give it a natural resistance to moisture, decay and insect infestation. 

Among softwood species, cedar also has one of the lowest densities and places it highly along with hardwoods.  

Its timber is lightweight and easy to transport from places. This also means it requires less effort to cut and nail using standard tools.

Its density also helps maintain moisture content, so it keeps dry for a long time and does not shrink. 

All of these characteristics help cedar survive in harsh environments like extreme summer heat, intense cold weather, torrential rains, and strong winds. 

This makes it a popular choice for craftsmen for outdoor and indoor home, especially in areas with hard-to-predict and damaging weather patterns. 

Some favorite uses for cedar include decks, shingles, exterior, and interior trim, blinds, shutters, fences, , and stairs. 

Unlike exterior cedar applications, indoor cedar items require less protection, but it doesnt mean they dont deserve some tender, loving care. 

In particular, cedar stairs need touch ups to help sustain the wear and tear of regular foot traffic. 

We have listed some points to consider to prolong the life of your cedar stairs. 

Apply some oil or varnish when its still new 

If youre not going to cover it with carpet or paint, your wooden stairs should be applied with varnish or oil as soon as possible to maintain a high-quality look. This will also protect your stairs from permanent stains. 

Keep it nice and clean 

Regularly clean wood stairs by vacuuming and sweeping. While cedar stairs have natural compositions that keep water out or prevent it from warping, spills could leave visible stains on itso avoid leaving wet spots and wipe it immediately. Spills could also cause someone to slip or fall, so take that precaution.  

Dont forget the handrails! 

They may not suffer the wear and tear of ascending and descending as much as the steps, but they are also an essential part of your stairs.  Remember, your hands regularly touch the handrails for support. Protect yourself and your family from dirt and bacteria by keeping them clean. Regularly clean the supporting parts of your stairs, namely the side panels, railings, and handrails. When the steps are polished clean, include them to keep them bright and presentable. 

Use the right type of cleaners 

Cedar stairs are usually bare and unpainted to expose its natural wood color. So always keep it clean. When dusting and sweeping is not enough, your stairs need some good cleaning. Choose a cleaner designed for your stairs wood type.  

Do some damage prevention measures 

Sometimes you also have to make some adjustments to prevent permanently damaging your stairs. Place rugs or mats at the entrance of your home to keep dirt or tiny gravel off your shoes that can scratch the wood surface. You can also opt to use indoor footwear instead. 

Refinish your stairs 

The finish on wood stairs may become worn out or suffer from cracks due to heavy foot traffic for an extended period. You can manage this by applying a new finish to the worn spots using steel wool, but this could take some time. Make sure to sand the old finish before applying a new one. You can opt to bleach, stain, paint or wax your cedar stairs.  

When you need professional help, its best to consult with stair contractors. We, at iStairs, can provide you with the expertise you need. Just give us a call or visit our showroom and well be happy to assist you.