Another staircase broken, Kensington and Chelsea

In the past I have written about flights that have collapsed in the 1850’s (Chelmsford Shire Hall and Royal Polytechnic Institution) Sadly the same mistakes that caused those failures  are still sometimes made now.

This flight was in a house that was going through a major refurbishment.

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Part of the work was to replace the nosings of the very worn treads – this was done by cutting out the worn stone and fixing in new pieces. The section of the treads is a very slim triangle, so cutting into the top dramatically reduces the strength of the treads and the result was that some of the treads cracked right through right along the line where they were cut.

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Fortunately there was propping in place which prevented the flight from collapsing.

These flights do have a finite life and once they are worn to the point that the strength of the tread  is compromised they do need to be either replaced or supported in some way.