How to Fix a Broken Attic Ladder: Step by Step Instruction 2023

Most people build an attic in their homes to have more storage space. After building the attic, you will need an attic ladder for easy access to the attic.

Over time the ladder may become worn, rusted, or broken – most especially the steps which carry the weight of the person climbing the ladder. Once you notice these issues, you need to repair them immediately; it may cause severe injury or damage the ladder altogether.

Fixing a broken attic ladder is very simple, and you can quickly fix it by yourself. Fixing it yourself will save you time and money.

If you are not sure where to start, this article will guide you on how to fix a broken attic ladder.

How to Fix a Broken Attic Ladder?

You are expected to fix you’re broken attic ladder once you detect any issue. Fixing a broken attic immediately you notice it will help to keep you and your loved ones from potential injuries.

Fixing a broken attic ladder is very simple, and you only need a few tools to repair it. Some of the tools/materials you will need include Screws or Nails, Screwdriver, Hammer, Adjustable Wrench, Saw, 2-by-4s lumbers.

The steps below will be constructive if you don’t know how to fix an attic ladder:

Open The Access Door to Your Attic

The first thing you need to do is to open the access door to your attic. Most folded wooden attic ladders are usually connected to the access door/access panel. So, when you want to open the access door, make sure you are not in the way because the ladder may unfold abruptly.

Extend The Attic Ladder into a Lowered Position

After opening the access door, the next thing you need is to extend the ladder ultimately into a lowered, climbable position. The ladder should be in the correct position pointing directly into the attic.

Locate The Broken Steps

Now that the ladder is in the correct position, you will examine each step to see broken ones. You can shake each step with your hands or carefully walk on each step to identify the broken or loosen step(s).

Remove The Broken Step

Once you locate the broken step, the next thing is to remove it from the ladder. First, you need to remove the screws or nails used for attaching it to the side rails by using a suitable screwdriver or the claw end of your hammer.

After removing the nails, you will remove the broken step. If you have more than one broken step, you will repeat this same process for all the broken steps.

Replace the Broken Step

Before you replace the new one, make sure you measure the size you removed from the ladder. So, you will cut the exact dimension of 2-by-4 lumber that can easily fit into the same position you removed the broken step.

Insert and Screw/Nail The New Step

Insert the new step into the correct position and screw or nail it to the ladder side rails using the wood screws or nails.

When you insert the wood into the normal position, make sure you check if it is perfectly balanced before you screw or nail it.

Support the Step with Small Brackets

Cut the 2-by-4 wood into small brackets that can easily fit in under the step and will also correspond to the dimensions of your ladder frame. Place the small brackets underneath each side of the steps and screw or nail them to the side rails.

The two small brackets will help to provide extra support and security to the new step.


  • Before using screws and nails, you may use wood glue. The wood glue will help to add extra security and support.
  • Ensure that you put on the appropriate safety equipment like gloves and glasses while carrying out attic ladder repair.
  • Also, use caution while removing nails and cutting wooding so as not to injure yourself.

Few Maintenance Tips for Your Attic Ladder

When you practice routine maintenance, your attic ladder will last for several years to come. Minor issues are quickly detected before they turn into big problems when you practice periodic maintenance.

Practicing periodic maintenance will allow you to detect any damage before it leads to severe injuries.

The steps below will guide you on how to inspect and maintain your broken ladder:

Pull Down the Stairs

Firstly, you need to open the access door to your attic and pull down the ladder into a climbable position.

Examine all the Bolts and Nuts

Now you will begin to examine all the bolts and nuts one by one to see they are still tight. Examine them by grabbing and twisting them with your fingers.  If you find any loose nut, you will tighten it with your adjustable wrench.

Check The Springs

Another thing that you need to inspect is the spring that connects each section of the attic ladder. Check if the springs are still in their proper position.

If you find a loose spring, you will have to climb into the attic to pull back the attic into the correct position using a plier. You may need an assistant to help you in this process.

Make sure you wear heavy-duty gloves when putting the spring back in the hole.

Examine The Steps Carefully

Examine all the steps to see if they are still firm. If the screws or nails holding the steps into position are weak, then you need to support the steps with new screws and nails.

You also need to check if the steps are still vital. If you notice a cracked, broken, or splintered, you will have to remove and replace it. If you don’t know how to fix an attic ladder, you can check the guide in this article.

Check the Metal Arms

Some attic ladders come with metal arms by the side of the stairs. You need to check if these metal arms are not bent. If the metal arms are bent, you will remove them and replace them with a new one.

You can get the metal arm replacement kit from a home improvement store or directly from the manufacturer.


  • If you have abandoned the attic ladder for a long time, make sure you scrutinize it before using it again.
  • Any issue you detect should be fixed immediately. Do not manage a damaged attic ladder, and it may lead to serious injury.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What are the tools/materials needed to fix a broken attic ladder?

Answer: The tools/materials needed for an attic ladder repair include Screws or Nails, Screwdriver, Hammer, Adjustable Wrench, Saw, 2-by-4s lumbers.

  • Why do you need to inspect and maintain your attic ladder always?

Answer: One of the several reasons you need to practice routine maintenance is to help detect any damage that may lead to serious injury.

  • How do I fix my damaged attic ladder?

Answer: You can fix your attic ladder by getting the replacement kit for the damaged parts and the necessary tools needed for the repair.

  • What are the common problems of a pull-down attic ladder?

Answer: Common problems of pull-down attic stairs include broken or loose steps, loose bolt and nut, loose springs, squeaky springs, loose jambs and gaps, and a lot more.

  • Can I replace my attic ladder spring alone?

Answer: Yes, you can repair your attic ladder spring alone, but you will repair it faster if you’ve got an assistant.

Final words

The best time to fix a broken attic is immediately you notice it. Leaving it for another time or managing it may lead to personal injury or even eradicate your wooden ladder.

Fixing a broken attic ladder by yourself will help you save more money. The process is quite simple, and with the help of this guide, you will be able to complete it faster.

To have a stress-free attic ladder repair process, ensure that you gather the needed tools/materials before you begin the project.

In this article, we have prepared a guide that explains How to fix a broken attic ladder.

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