Stairs, stair stringers and stair guards must meet the IRC design and strength requirements height and opening /spacing requirements. When checking the steps you should have a consistent step with a 7-3/4” maximum height riser. A 3/8” deviation from one another is allowed by code but should be avoided. If the stairs have an open riser they should not allow a 4” diameter sphere to pass through. This is designed to prevent small children from getting stuck or falling through. The tread width should be a 10” or greater.
Inspect the stair stringers, posts and railings for cracks, rot and solid connections. Additional metal connectors can be used to connect stair stringers to the deck frame as well as support legs with footings can be added under stringers. The best advice to stairs is if they are starting to get wobbly or show excessive rot – replace them.
Balusters should also be installed so a 4″ sphere can not pass through -refer to your local code for specifics.
Improperly built decks can be dangerous. Local codes were created to keep us safe and many existing decks do not meet current safety codes. Have a qualified contractor look at your deck and evaluate it for a deck safety retrofit is applicable.
By retrofitting your existing deck you can ensure a continuous load path and feel assured that key connections are being made on the framing system and the deck is safer and code compliant.