Precast concrete steps are best characterized as a flight of stairs manufactured at a plant and then delivered to a site where they will be installed. Manufacturers create these concrete stairs by pouring concrete in molds that are then left hollow inside but are mainly supported by their outside walls. These days, such building methods are widely used in a variety of both residential and commercial projects ranging from landscaping to massive building constructions.
Accordingly, precast concrete stairs have several advantages over cement steps. To start with, these stairs are easier to design and make. Normally, when a set of stairs is created, it is necessary for an architect to plan the exact proportions of the stones and set these proportions in a digital blueprint. If changes are necessary, requiring the stairs to be moved or totally altered, the architect has to change the general construction of the stairs which can be a time-consuming process. In contrast, precast stairs can be easily designed using a computer program, which in turn allow users to make changes, be it in the size or design, before the stairs are actually developed.
In the case of cement steps, workers are required to set up complicated frameworks in order for the cement to be poured in place. They also have to wait until the weather is at its finest in order for the concrete to be mixed and poured. All these things are eliminated with the use of precast steps since they can be purchased ready-made, which means they are just installed into position. In addition, because precast stairs are lighter than their cement and wood counterparts due to their hollow features, their installation is fairly easier than the traditional method.
Precast concrete stairs are also acknowledged for their stability and durability. As they are developed as a single component, they feature a stable design that cannot be easily dislodged by rain, ice, snow, or frequency of heavy foot traffic, and they do not shift as much as other kinds of concrete stairs. In case, movements or shifts occur in the precast stairs, you can easily adjust the blocks where the stairs rest on in order to return them back to their positions.
One of the main issues with concrete or cement stairs is that overtime they can be subject to cracks and gaps. As moisture easily seeps through these cracks and gaps, cement stairs can fall into a cycle of freeze-and-thaw, which in turn could affect the durability of such stairs and can be dangerous to the users. This is not the case with precast stairs as their seamless design ensures their solidity that cannot be easily penetrated by differing elements.
Of course, aesthetic wise, this type of stairs can be molded in a variety of textures that can suffice to a wide array of preferences. They can be made to mimic the appearance of wood or even brick and can be purchased with raised ridges or bumps, permitting consumers to purchase a set of stairs that will complement the current design of their spaces. Another feature worth mentioning about precast stairs is that most of them are already prepared to attach hand rails to them. This helps in the safety of the stairs and also plays an important role in defining the aesthetics of the steps.
Source by Gregory Martini
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