Evaluating Step and Walkway Safety

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If the home that you’re planning to buy or sell has an attached stairway or walkway, it’s imperative for your inspector to cover this area. Uneven steps and walkways can cause disastrous injuries if left unaddressed, so it’s crucial to examine these items before proceeding with the sale. Here, we share the details that your home evaluator will look for during the inspection.

Reduce the Risk of Falling 

Whether the steps and walkway were built with the home or added later, it’s important to ensure that they were constructed correctly. In some cases, additions that were made by a previous owner aren’t up to code and may not withstand normal wear and tear. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors’ Standards of Practice Glossary, steps are considered to be unsafe when an inspector finds: “A condition in a readily accessible, installed system or component that is judged to be a significant risk of bodily injury during normal, day-to-day use; the risk may be due to damage, deterioration, improper installation, or a change in accepted residential construction standards.” While home inspectors won’t check for in-depth code violations, they’ll have the ability to point out safety hazards that the steps or walkways pose.

Handrail Structure 

Handrails should be sturdy enough to provide adequate support and stability. If the property that you’re buying or selling shows any signs of a shaky or loose handrail, your home evaluator will take note and provide suggestions for correction. Luckily, railing is a fairly easy fix and shouldn’t pose a major issue.


Although lighting may seem like a minor problem, insufficient illumination near walkways or steps can cause serious injuries. In order for the home to be as safe as possible, it’s essential for steep or dim areas to be well lit and simple to navigate.

Tread Consistency 

Since stairs and steps are one of the most precarious areas of a home, it’s crucial to undergo an inspection to be certain that this feature is safe for daily use. If the property has stairs or steps, your inspector will examine the quality and consistency of the treads. Uneven or deteriorating treads are undesirable and require replacement as soon as possible. In addition to checking the treads, inspectors will also take a look at the risers and point out height discrepancies.

Whether you’re buying or selling a property, it’s important to schedule an inspection with an experienced home evaluator. If you’re ready to move forward with the process, get in touch with our team at Homerun Inspection. With over 20 years of expertise, our qualified inspectors will provide clients with a detailed report within 24 hours.

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